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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all!

First post here. Been looking around your site and feel like there's enough people here with enough knowledge to help me through some of the questions I may have. A little bit about me, I'm 28 years old, live in MT, am newly married and have a little one on the way. On top of that, I'm a first time home owner. I bought a HUD home and remodeled the upstairs with my father in law so that's about as far as my home improvement goes. The downstairs is a project in itself that I've been trying to finish on my own. I have 2/4 rooms complete.

To get to my question, I am wanting to run a new circuit. One to my laundry room/new outdoor outlet. My breaker box is outside so I fished 12/2 wire to where had my outlet box. When I took the cover off of my breaker box I noticed I had two spots open to add breakers to. However, when I tried to add my 20 amp single pole breaker, the "clasp" wouldn't grab onto the (what the guy at my local Ace Hardware called) spine. I tried a few different styles of breakers but to no avail. I've done a little research and it may be that I have a single pole bus bar? I've included a couple of pictures for reference. Anyway, I need to have two new circuits because I am planning on putting a bathroom downstairs also & there's nothing existing to tie into.

I'm at a loss. As some of you may know, money is tight for a newlywed and first time home buyer so that's why I've tried to do most of this myself. However, if I have to get an electrician involved for this one, I understand as it is one of those things I don't want to bite off more than I can chew but also if it's a rather easy fix, I'd prefer to tackle it myself.

Is there such thing as a 3-pole breaker?

Sorry to ramble on but hopefully one of you can help out. Thanks for your time!

The top two are, of course, are my main circuits so don't really want to mess with that.
 

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Your pictures are not working.

I can only guess that you are not getting the correct breaker for your panel.

You are going to need three circuits for what you describe.
Laundry needs to be dedicated - only laundry room on it.
Bathroom needs to be dedicated - only bathroom on it.
Outdoor can be on other circuits but not laundry, bathroom, or kitchen.
 

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Naildriver
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You're a new poster, so your pictures didn't show up. It is a security feature. Try your pictures again, and tell us the brand of panel you have and the brand/type breakers you bought.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)

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You need to get the type of breaker that is listed for your panel. There should be a label on the inside of the door that says what types of breakers are compatible with your panel. If you take a picture of the label and post it here, we can help you figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You need to get the type of breaker that is listed for your panel. There should be a label on the inside of the door that says what types of breakers are compatible with your panel. If you take a picture of the label and post it here, we can help you figure it out.
RAL, thank you for the reply! I just went and looked and looks there was a label but it has since been ripped off by someone. Looked like most of the ones on the panel already are "Eaton Kohler". To go further, I thought about that and disconnected one of the breakers below where I want to add to see if it would 'catch' but it did not. That's where one of the pictures was taken. Hope that makes sense!
 

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When you take back the breaker to the Ace hardware store, bring one of your breakers with.
Just find a circuit you can do without for the time you are gone.
You can still bring the information off of the panel.
But looking at your picture, you do NOT have any room for more breakers
The section to the right of the main breaker is NOT for more breakers.
All you can do is remove one of the single and replace it with a tandem.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When you take back the breaker to the Ace hardware store, bring one of your breakers with.
Just find a circuit you can do without for the time you are gone.
You can still bring the information off of the panel.
But looking at your picture, you do NOT have any room for more breakers
The section to the right of the main breaker is NOT for more breakers.
All you can do is remove one of the single and replace it with a tandem.
I was afraid you were going to say that. I believe all of the existing are already single pole breakers but will double check. If that's true, back to getting an electrician involved? As I stated earlier, with the plan that I have, it is a must that I get another circuit or two ran.
 

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I was afraid you were going to say that. I believe all of the existing are already single pole breakers but will double check. If that's true, back to getting an electrician involved? As I stated earlier, with the plan that I have, it is a must that I get another circuit or two ran.
You have at least one in your picture that you can convert.
I believe on the lower left side. Most of the breakers on the right are what are called tandem breakers. They have two breakers in the space of one.
If you can change out one of the single ones for one that has two breakers you can get your extra circuit.
The bottom two on the left side are singles. You can switch one of them out for a tandem.
Hud homes are notorious for needing electrical updates.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You have at least one in your picture that you can convert.
I believe on the lower left side. Most of the breakers on the right are what are called tandem breakers. They have two breakers in the space of one.
If you can change out one of the single ones for one that has two breakers you can get your extra circuit.
The bottom two on the left side are singles. You can switch one of them out for a tandem.
Hud homes are notorious for needing electrical updates.
Thank you very much, Missouri! Didn't even notice that. Can I switch both of the bottom ones to tandems?
 

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Thank you very much, Missouri! Didn't even notice that. Can I switch both of the bottom ones to tandems?
You can.
But be wary of the loads as they accumulate. I can't read the main breaker but I would guess it is 100 amp. It would have probably been a good idea to upgrade the service when you bought the home.
 

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Since you are not planning on adding much load adding a subpanel is the most reasonable solution. You would move 2 single pole breakers out to make room for a 2 pole to feed the subpanel.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Since you are not planning on adding much load adding a subpanel is the most reasonable solution. You would move 2 single pole breakers out to make room for a 2 pole to feed the subpanel.
Thank you, Jim! There is a small panel inside the house, and one outside which I'm talking about. Does adding a third do anything? Is wiring a subpanel pretty easy or do you have any sort of estimate on what it would cost to hire it?
 
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