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  1. #1
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    Piggyback breaker?

    As in a condo complex with the outside units fed via a bank of larger breakers just below the meter in the garage. Supposedly the one on there now is a 40/40 "piggyback" and I need to change it to a 40/20.

    What's the story with these? Does one side of the breaker feed the other? Another case where I'll have to do some walkin' back and forth as right now the installers don't know which side of the breaker feeds the disconnect as they are both 40s. Got a 50/50 shot on the first try, though...

    Why would there be a need for a piggyback? Space contraints? Why not just use skinnys?

  2. #2
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    Can you take some pics? Ide like to see this.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Core_d View Post
    Can you take some pics? Ide like to see this.
    Uh...that doesn't inspire confidence
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  4. #4
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    Piggyback breaker?

    Where can i get that in poster size?

  5. #5
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    Piggyback is two single pole breakers fed from a common bus clip in a single slot case. I've never seen them with two different values. You may have to combine some household circuits together onto 20/20 (or 15/15) to make room for the one you need. They're pretty common in the QO and HOM panels. Beats the heck out of putting in a bigger panel or a sub panel.

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Square-D-by-Schneider-Electric-QO-2-20-Amp-Single-Pole-Tandem-Circuit-Breaker-QOT2020CP/100021761#.Ud4jPcu9KK0

  6. #6
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    Well...I don't know if our guys are using the term correctly. I also heard the term quad bank or quad pack...quad something.

    I don't understand why they did it like this, but here it is. Essentially it's just two single pole skinny breakers paired up per 240 load to catch both legs. You then have to connect them so if one trips they both trip. Simple as that. You'll note the middle two have a clip that fits over the throws, and the outer two are connected by a bracket with nipples that fit into a hole in the side of the throw. We're more used to seeing a bar or pin that connects the throws.

    For the life of me, I can't understand why two regular fat breakers side by side would accomplish the same goal much easier. The load center wasn't built to accomodate any more breakers anyway, fat or skinny.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurtinhvac View Post
    Well...I don't know if our guys are using the term correctly. I also heard the term quad bank or quad pack...quad something.

    I don't understand why they did it like this, but here it is. Essentially it's just two single pole skinny breakers paired up per 240 load to catch both legs. You then have to connect them so if one trips they both trip. Simple as that. You'll note the middle two have a clip that fits over the throws, and the outer two are connected by a bracket with nipples that fit into a hole in the side of the throw. We're more used to seeing a bar or pin that connects the throws.

    For the life of me, I can't understand why two regular fat breakers side by side would accomplish the same goal much easier. The load center wasn't built to accomodate any more breakers anyway, fat or skinny.
    That is a MESS ! :-(

    Hard to tell from the photo , but looks like the outside CB's may be toast ?

    What brand are they ? The writing on one looked a little like GE ?

    Here is an example of a quad

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Eaton-Cut...5#.UeUnspoo6cM

    Here is a twin

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Eaton-20-...3#.UeUoNpoo6cN

    Both are commonly used when you are running out of space in a loadcenter .

    God bless
    Wyr

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WyrTwister View Post
    That is a MESS ! :-(

    Hard to tell from the photo , but looks like the outside CB's may be toast ?

    What brand are they ? The writing on one looked a little like GE ?

    Here is an example of a quad

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Eaton-Cut...5#.UeUnspoo6cM

    Here is a twin

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Eaton-20-...3#.UeUoNpoo6cN

    Both are commonly used when you are running out of space in a loadcenter .

    God bless
    Wyr
    Closely resembles the quad, though mine were all single thin GE's. I don't understand the space saving thing. Whether they are a "quad" of 2 double poles, a quad of single poles, or just two double pole breakers...same amount of space. In my old Fed Pac stab loc panel I switched out a couple single pole fatties and went with skinnier ones - two skinnies could fit the space of one fatty. Now that's saving space.

    In this contraption you are not going to fit anymore in no matter what you do... "Piggy back" must simply mean the peg or bracket that forces both legs to trip if one does?

    Thank you, Wyr.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurtinhvac View Post
    Closely resembles the quad, though mine were all single thin GE's. I don't understand the space saving thing. Whether they are a "quad" of 2 double poles, a quad of single poles, or just two double pole breakers...same amount of space. In my old Fed Pac stab loc panel I switched out a couple single pole fatties and went with skinnier ones - two skinnies could fit the space of one fatty. Now that's saving space.

    In this contraption you are not going to fit anymore in no matter what you do... "Piggy back" must simply mean the peg or bracket that forces both legs to trip if one does?

    Thank you, Wyr.

    Standard or " fatty " CB's are approximately 1" per space .

    The quad in the link was ~ 2" and resulted in two , separate , 240 /120 VAC circuits .

    The twin in the link I send was ~ 1" and resulted in two , separate , 120 VAC circuits .

    The FPE loadcenter you speak of is one of the worst loadcenter / CB systems I have run into and the thin ( ~ 1/2" ) are about the worst of the worst CB's .

    I am not saying this to disrespect you . You are stuck with what you are stuck with .

    The photo did show four 1" CB's . With handle ties . this would result in 2 separate 240/120 VAC circuits .

    They may have done it this way in order to accommodate the way the buss bars were arranged / laid out ?

    God bless
    Wyr

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WyrTwister View Post
    Standard or " fatty " CB's are approximately 1" per space .

    The quad in the link was ~ 2" and resulted in two , separate , 240 /120 VAC circuits .

    The twin in the link I send was ~ 1" and resulted in two , separate , 120 VAC circuits .

    The FPE loadcenter you speak of is one of the worst loadcenter / CB systems I have run into and the thin ( ~ 1/2" ) are about the worst of the worst CB's .

    I am not saying this to disrespect you . You are stuck with what you are stuck with .

    The photo did show four 1" CB's . With handle ties . this would result in 2 separate 240/120 VAC circuits .

    They may have done it this way in order to accommodate the way the buss bars were arranged / laid out ?

    God bless
    Wyr
    Ah...I see - thanks!

  11. #11
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    Am I right in thinking that I see only the two center breakers in use, one on each line?
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    Am I right in thinking that I see only the two center breakers in use, one on each line?
    Nah...I took the picture before I buttoned it back up so you could see the nipple on the left that fit's into the left most breaker.

    They are four skinny breakers, two in the middle for an undetermined load (range) and the outer two for condenser. It's resolved and works, and I see how...just not why?

  13. #13
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    Piggyback breaker?

    Hmm dont see a switch at all? Looks like a connection to the hot bus(s). Keep us posted, far beyond me.

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