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This is probably an embarrassing newbie mistake, but I've really been scratching my head over this. I have an Eaton subpanel that states it accepts Eaton type CH, CHT, or CH3 branch breakers. However, when I try to seat two CH breakers side by side, the breaker on one side unseats the breaker on the other. They don't both seem to fit. I've temporarily gotten around this by installing breakers only on one side of the panel, but I would love to know what the problem is and also make sure I am using compatible breakers.

I'm having the issue with regular Eaton CH breakers and also Eaton CH AFCI/GFCI combination breakers (not the plug-on-neutral kind).

Here are images of the subpanel label, inside the subpanel, and also a gif of me trying to seat the breakers side by side:

subpanel label subpanel gif of seating Eaton CH breakers side by side

Thanks in advance for any help!

  • BTW: I take it you've removed the green bonding screw on the right side of the panel, considering this is a subpanel fed with a 4-wire feeder? – ThreePhaseEel Nov 3 '20 at 3:35
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    I'd speculate that you may not have the outer edge seated properly, so the breakers are "tilted in to the center" a bit too much, based on your video. I don't have this type of panel so that's just speculation from observation, not certainty. But that's what it looks like. – Ecnerwal Nov 3 '20 at 3:49
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    I agree, the tail of at least the right side breaker is not hooked in properly, they shouldn't interfere with each other like that... I use mainly CH... – Harper - Reinstate Monica Nov 3 '20 at 7:15
  • Thanks, all. I just went out and tried pushing both in at the same time, and after a few attempts was able to seat them securely. If one of you wants to leave your comment as an answer, I'll go ahead and accept it. – stephen.hanson Nov 3 '20 at 13:15
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    One practice is to remove it completely but drop it in the bottom of the panel, as a visual remonder that it's not there without losing it if the function of the panel ever changed. If it's sitting in the bottom it can't fall aywhere that would cause a problem. Not sure what code thinks of that, my (former) electricain seems to have had a masters license in 3 states and a near-total disregard for code to go with them... – Ecnerwal Nov 3 '20 at 15:51
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Try snapping them both in at the same time. I have the same breakers with a Cutler Hammer panel and the breakers need to be seated correctly on the back bar before they will snap into place..

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