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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to tap into some of you residential guru's knowledge.

I have a Square D Homeline 61 series panel in my old house. I'm thinking maybe 30-36 circuit. I am attempting to fix myriad f-ups from the previous owners wiring skills (It's a 1927 farm house that has had countless "upgrades"). Anyway, I want(ed) to install a few 15 amp tandems to split several low power circuits.

It seems that these tandems don't want to fit in the bus slots. Sooo...

1. Are there different configurations of Homeline panels?
2. Is my panel an oddity or outdated, or just not meant to accomodate tandems?
3. Am I too stupid to install the dammm thing (a real possibility)?

As an industrial guy, I rarely run across this type of issue. We never use tandems, and we usually use QOBs anyway. I have very limited knowledge of the Homeline brand. So gentlemen, I sure could use a little education.

Thanks,
Mark
 

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ET rocks
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Hey Mark.

i'm not sure what the 61 series is, but look at the buss. If your tandem breaker is not seating all the way down, it might not accept tandems. Sub panel time.

Pull the breakers, if the buss is solid straight across, it won't accept tandems. If it has an indent, then tandems will fit.

Lemme see if i can find some pics.

Something like this. This isn't a homeline panel, but you get the idea.

 

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Pool Shark
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Circuit Total Limiting* CTLs are designed so you won't be able to overload the bus of the panel.


Sub-panels are always an option. Interesting enough, a larger 40 circuit sub-panel could be installed as a sub-panel off the smaller 30 circuit main panel as long as the main breaker remains compliant with the smaller 30 circuit panel.

If you want in your spare time calculate your branch circuit loads with you ammeter. You may find a breaker feeding a 60 watt bulb and that is it. In which case you can free up the breaker by combining that circuit with another breaker.
 

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I don't think its the current that is limited but the number of circuit breakers / given size of enclosure. More circuits = more wires = more air space needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As part of this (my) latest upgrade, I am doing little things like.... using the ground wire for an actual ground. The last DB did things like:

No connectors into the 4" square boxes, just bang out the KO and sticka wire in the hole.

No box covers on anything in the basement (under a drop ceiling).

No staples on the NM, just run across the ceiling grid.

Cutting back ALL ground wires on every NM at every box, but oddly enough landing them all real pretty like in the panel.

He (they) also tagged onto just any ol line they could find to add a widget here or there. I have many circuits that, say, run a receptacle in the front upstairs bedroom, a light fixture in the basement bath, and the outside porch light in the back yard! Yeah, lots of that kind of stuff.

I see nothing, however, that will burn the house down tonight, so I'm just chipping away at it in the evenings. I could, and may end up doing a quick load study and then rearrange some things.

I find it hard to swallow that there could be more than one "Homeline" brand panel and breaker cofiguration. I cannot find any references at Square D to explain if differences exist. I just figured I was too dumb to install these things.

Hell I may rip it all out and start over just for chits and giggles. I'm sure the war wagon would be real proud of me for disrupting her "new" house! :no:

Thanks guys.
 

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Pool Shark
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I never understood this. If a 2-pole 30a breaker will fit on the bus, isn't that the same possible amount of current as 2 tandem 15a breakers?
To answer your question no as you are not figuring in the neutral current.

2 pole and 3 pole breakers are only used for multiwire branch circuits See Article 210.4 for further reading.

Article 100 Defines a multiwire branch circuit as any branch circuit that consists of two or more ungrounded conductors that have voltage between them.

A multiwire branch circuit is essentially a 208/240 volt system and the remaining unbalanced loads are very very little.

In your example two tandem breakers may or may not be on the same phase. This not only puts all the load on one phase and directly the neutral, it also creates a risk for injury because the circuit is still open if only one tandem breaker is turned off.

CTLs are mainly a residential restriction. Non-CTLs have no limit to the amount of breakers.;)
 

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Pool Shark
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I find it hard to swallow that there could be more than one "Homeline" brand panel and breaker cofiguration. I cannot find any references at Square D to explain if differences exist. I just figured I was too dumb to install these things. ....
I think you're confusing the two.... because I just did. :icon_redface:
http://www.schneider-electric.us/si...&country=US&lang=EN&id=FA130326&redirect=true

Some here may not know the difference between HomeLine and QO. HomeLine is pretty much interchangeable with a lot of other breakers, whereas QO only fits QO.
 

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It's against code to put different manufacturers breakers in a panel.. If it's a qo 40 space panel and there are 40 panel spots they won't fit anywhere if it's a qo 40 space panel and there are 30 spots then 10 spots will allow a cheater breaker. They are usually grouped on top or bottom and will have a little tit on the buss to hold the breaker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In my industrial aluminum and steel mill world, I use QO almost exclusively for new projects. I simply like the fact that I (my people) can quickly spot a trip condition. I have both bolt-in and snap-in panels. I have never seen another breaker that would "fit" the QO series.

Maybe I'll hire a real electrician to re-work my new old house......

Nah, I need the practice. :whistling2:
 

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That is true so article 110.3(b) states you must follow manufactures specifications... Without looking it up(don't hold me to it) I believe that

Eaton, Cutler hammer, Bryant, Westinghouse can be interchanged... Seimens, Ite, Crouse hinds, Murray, Gould can be interchanged... GE Cannot be and Square D cannot be

Please tell me how it "simply is not true" that it's against code to put different manufactures breakers in a panel when the ones that are interchangeable are manufactured or owned by the same company.
 
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