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Old 06-05-2012, 07:24 PM   #1
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GE Panel - Breakers - Tandem or Slim?


Help for a newbie... first-time poster so please go easy on me!

I have a 100AMP GE panel (model TM2010S). Selling the house and the buyer's home inspector put two "problems" in his report:

1. Double-tapped 15A breaker.

I looked inside and see that this is double tapped for the doorbell transformer. Classic issue (that transformer is really low load), but now the buyer wants me to fix it.

2. Double-tapped 20A breaker.

I looked inside and see that this is double tapped for the auxiliary outlet to the left of the panel. The buyer wants me to fix it.

--------------

So I called an electrician and had him come out tonight to fix it. He suggested using tandem breakers for the 15A and 20A slots. We took a trip to HD together but they didn't stock tandem or slim GE breakers. So we tried some Square D and Murray ones, neither would fit (I know, wrong brand, so we shouldn't have even tried).

Anyway, so now I'm looking around online and see that GE doesn't have tandem breakers for this box, but rather only uses slim (1/2") breakers in certain locations (if the box is even equipped to accept them).

I pulled out the breakers in question and the bars have both the big horizontal bar but also little vertical bars on them. Does this mean that this panel can accept the slim GE breakers?



Below are some pictures.





Thanks for any help.

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Old 06-05-2012, 07:29 PM   #2
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GE Panel - Breakers - Tandem or Slim?


Just pigtail the double taps and forget about installing new breakers.

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Old 06-05-2012, 07:32 PM   #3
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Just pigtail the double taps and forget about installing new breakers.
Thanks, that's what I suggested to the electrician and he told me that isn't as safe as the slim or tandem breakers since the 20A on the left might get overloaded.

Then again, he also said something about pigtail-ing them would be against code. He's licensed but I was surprised he said that since I've seen that all over the place online as a suggested fix.

I'm in Massachusetts, USA, if that makes any difference.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:36 PM   #4
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GE Panel - Breakers - Tandem or Slim?


There is no NEC code against splicing in the panel and I don't see slim breakers in the pictures you are showing.

Call a new electrician, he doesn't sound like he knows anything or he is trying to sell you something you don't need. If the breaker is overloaded, it will trip. It doesn't matter if it is pigtailed or double tapped. If it works now, it will when it is pigtailed.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:37 PM   #5
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GE Panel - Breakers - Tandem or Slim?


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Originally Posted by TBrown1 View Post
Thanks, that's what I suggested to the electrician and he told me that isn't as safe as the slim or tandem breakers since the 20A on the left might get overloaded.

Then again, he also said something about pigtail-ing them would be against code. He's licensed but I was surprised he said that since I've seen that all over the place online as a suggested fix.

I'm in Massachusetts, USA, if that makes any difference.
It is not any more unsafe than you have it now, and unless it is a local code, pigtailing inside a panel is allowed.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:41 PM   #6
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There is no NEC code against splicing in the panel and I don't see slim breakers in the pictures you are showing.

Call a new electrician, he doesn't sound like he knows anything or he is trying to sell you something you don't need. If the breaker is overloaded, it will trip. It doesn't matter if it is pigtailed or double tapped. If it works now, it will when it is pigtailed.
Good point - but he's not trying to sell me anything, he said 2 hours at $40/hr no matter what. I'm paying for parts straight from HD (now straight from supply house). About the slim breakers, his advice was to replace the double-tapped ones with two slim breakers each. Are you saying that this panel doesn't accept slim ones?

The real problem is, I need a receipt from a licensed electrician showing that the work was done. Otherwise I would just pigtail them myself. I guess I can call another electrician and see what he thinks.

By the way, would be be a problem to pigtail if the two wires are different gauges? The doorbell transformer conductor is smaller than the other.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:49 PM   #7
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GE Panel - Breakers - Tandem or Slim?


There is nothing wrong with pigtailing wires of different sizes. The pigtail itself has to be rated for the breaker size.

I didn't say that the panel isn't rated for slim breakers, but by the look of the diagram, it doesn't.

If this guy won't pigtail them, call someone who will. Since this panel doesn't allow slim breakers, its about your only choice.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:52 PM   #8
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There is nothing wrong with pigtailing wires of different sizes. The pigtail itself has to be rated for the breaker size.

I didn't say that the panel isn't rated for slim breakers, but by the look of the diagram, it doesn't.

If this guy won't pigtail them, call someone who will. Since this panel doesn't allow slim breakers, its about your only choice.
Thanks, will do. I checked the Massachusetts revisions to the NEC, but don't see anything about this issue that would suggest a local law governs this issue:

http://www.mass.gov/eopss/docs/dfs/o...red/527012.pdf
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:00 PM   #9
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BTW, if what you are telling me he told you is all true, I'd call someone else because what he has told you makes no sense.

A 20A breaker is rated for 20A, no matter if it is slim or regular. Besides the fact that if he was going to replace the single regular breaker with two 20A slims, the load on each of those slims would have been less than the load on the single regular 20A.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:07 PM   #10
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GE Panel - Breakers - Tandem or Slim?


If you look on the panel label it says twenty poles maximum. You have twenty poles installed. Your panel cannot use tandems.

It sounds like you need an electrician with some more knowledge. These are simple concepts that he seems to be missing.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:34 PM   #11
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GE Panel - Breakers - Tandem or Slim?


What electricksion would try to use sq. D in a g.e. panel?
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:37 PM   #12
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What electricksion would try to use sq. D in a g.e. panel?
I was going to say something about that, but since it wasn't mentioned in the report as a condition for selling the house
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:42 PM   #13
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GE Panel - Breakers - Tandem or Slim?


But that panel won't accept "slim" breakers.
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