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taybrynn 10-26-2008 11:52 PM

Trying to find twin breakers to fit panel

I'm looking to determine if I can find a 20a (or 15a) single pole twin breakers that will fit my existing subpanel. Ideally I need 20a twins.

I pulled the A/C double pole 40a breaker to show what the breaker connections look like. The first and second pictures show the connection best.

Home Depot and Lowes have Square-D twin breakers, but they are shallow and not full depth ... or have a large hook ... but neither type fits the tall rail found in my main panel. My house was built in 2005, so its a modern Square D 40 slot main panel, but only 4 spots left.

Can anyone tell me if (a) a proper fitting 20a twin breaker exists and (b) a part# or reference link? also (c) reccomend a place to purchase these from?

Thanks in advance,

Gigs 10-27-2008 12:05 AM

Sure, it's a Homeline breaker by Square D. They have them at my local hardware store. I know because I needed the kind with the clip and accidentally got these instead once.

Gigs 10-27-2008 12:12 AM

This what you want? A tandem single-pole?

taybrynn 10-27-2008 12:18 AM

Yes, I'm looking for tandem breakers, preferably 20a ones.

I don't think those (in the link) are the right ones either ... because I believe those have a big hook on the back side.

The ones I need are square in the back end, with a deep clip connection, just as shown in my breaker pictures above. If you look at the top-most picture, it shows the deep clip connector I'm looking for. I've either found the hook or a shallow clip, not this deep clip. The single breakers in the homeline series have the deep clip on them, but the tandems don't.

The other type I have been finding that doesn't fit are the shallow clip variety. It seems strange that for a breaker serving double duty that you would create LESS contact with a shallower clip.

So I should add I'm trying to added this into the bottom slots in the box, but they don't appear to be any different looking that the other slots in the box. I have heard some special tandem slots are often required.


Gigs 10-27-2008 12:37 AM

Some homeline panels just don't take the tandems it seems.

Apparently it's a sort of safety feature, so I doubt a tandem with the deeper slots exists, since it would bypass that.

Good luck.

BTW- QO has the big clip (I think what you are calling hook) that sticks out, HOM has the slot.

Speedy Petey 10-27-2008 05:59 AM


Originally Posted by Gigs (Post 177298)
Some homeline panels just don't take the tandems it seems.

This is true for all panels.

HouseHelper 10-27-2008 08:09 AM

Your panel either doesn't accept tandem breakers, or you are trying to place them at a spot in the panel that does accept them. Many times, only the lower positions will accept the tandems. What is the model number of the panel?

Jim Port 10-27-2008 08:35 AM

Based on the statement that you have a 40 circuit panel you will not be able to use tandems in this panel.

theatretch85 10-27-2008 12:48 PM


Originally Posted by Jim Port (Post 177354)
Based on the statement that you have a 40 circuit panel you will not be able to use tandems in this panel.

Good point, most panels will only accept up to 40 or 42 circuits max. Just because you have a 40 circuit panel, doesn't mean you can get an extra 2 circuits; 40 is the max. Some panels will say 30/40 what that means is it has 30 spaces for full size breakers, but can take up to a maximum of 40 circuits by use of tandem breakers in special slots (like it was said here earlier, its usually the last 10 slots in a circuit panel).

Probably your only option is to install a sub panel next to the main panel to gain a few extra circuits.

taybrynn 10-27-2008 07:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks everyone. It makes sense that a 40 slot main panel would not accept tandem breakers.

I did find a cutler hammer tandem breaker (at lowes) that is the proper clip depth and virtually identical to a normal Square D homeline breaker ... but it had a little notch of plastic in the way that prevented it from working. It look like that notch could be removed with a dremel in 10 seconds, but I didn't want to get myself in trouble doing that. It was tempting.

Speedy Petey 10-27-2008 08:11 PM

DO NOT alter the breaker!!!

ONLY Homeline breakers should be used in Homeline panels. Those slots are what is rightfully preventing the breaker from being used where it is not supposed to be.

Your 40 space panel CANNOT accept twins. You need a sub-panel.

taybrynn 10-28-2008 10:24 AM

Thanks. I am not crazy ... I won't mod anything.

I appreciate the strong advise and plan on taking it. :thumbsup:

I'm actually going to use (4) 20A single pole breakers instead of trying to use tandems. I can pull two out in a year or two and add a subpanel when I really need to ... as part of my basement finishing project.

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