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I am replacing the top two of those two pole breakers in the top left (green) with one quadplex with common trip model EATON BQC220220. Is the attached wiring diagram right(just follow the dots color where wires will go / interconnect)? I really appreciate the help

I need to make room for a 50 amp double pole breaker for the generator that will go to the top left after the quadplex install.

I will also add a main breaker in the empty space with the proper interlock. I do have another main breaker outside.

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    Excellent first post, only missing one thing - the model (preferably via a pic of the labeling on the panel itself) of the panel. – FreeMan Mar 3 at 19:38
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    The plumbing pipe fittings (white PVC) leading to the lower surge device (exterior to the panel - I see you have two surge devices in play) are not code compliant. Conduit and plumbing are not the same. Also looks like there's not a full conduit path into the bottom of box. – Ecnerwal Mar 3 at 21:26
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    @JohnWhicker why do you have two surge arrestors? – jay613 Mar 3 at 21:33
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    @JohnWhicker If you have a separate main cut-off somewhere, I think you need to do one of two things: 1) Feed the generator into a transfer switch outside this panel 2) Add main breakers to this panel with an interlock to your generator ... is that your plan? Will you use the space at the top of the panel that looks to be available for a main breaker? If not you have to free up four full adjacent spaces, not two. I may be missing something. – jay613 Mar 3 at 21:54
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    Hi Jay. Yes the intent is to add another main breaker to this panel as you observed and then replace the2 x two-pole breakers (top left) with a quadraplex breaker. By doing so I will gain space for two-pole 50 AMP breaker installed at the very top left under the main breaker so then I can do the proper interlock install. So all this is to gain space for the generator breaker and put the interlock on when I put in the new main breaker. I do have a main breaker but is outside is nothing I can add to that due to space constraints. I hope this make sense Sir and many THANKS – John Whicker Mar 3 at 22:00
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Sure, if it fits

Your panel labeling specifically lists the BQC type breaker, so that's alright.

Your wiring (one pair in middle, one pair outside) is correct.

The breaker appears to be "common trip, both inside and outside" so that is either correct or overkill for your circuit, so that's fine. (Beware Eaton "Non-common-trip" types).

However, your panel is labeled for BQC breakers only in certain places depending on whether the bus stabs have a forked tongue. The label is not specific as to where that is in your panel, but given that it's a 30-space panel and the old CTL limits were 40-space, I'm guessing it's the bottom 5 rows of spaces. Which are mostly populated already.

Might be time for a subpanel

As you are seeing, 30 spaces/40 circuits is inadequate for a modern house. A better use of 2 spaces might be to feed a subpanel, so you can offload some loads into that.

If you had any thought to having a "critical loads" subpanel to support future generator or battery/gen/solar backup system, this would be a good time to think about that.

Normally I recommend a house finish with about 50 spaces, so by that a 12-space subpanel would suffice; however, since your house is so full already, I'd aim for more like 60, suggesting a 24-space or 30-space subpanel. Scrimping on spaces is a futile gesture; the price difference is tiny compared to the frustration of - well, you know exactly, don't you! You spent more on that BQC breaker than the price difference would've been for the last guy to buy a 40-space panel instead of the 30. So why not? Spaces are cheap, make the sub a 40-space. Never run out of spaces again.

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    Not "If": to support future generator - See OP I need to make room for a 50 amp double pole breaker for the generator. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Mar 3 at 21:30
  • Another option for feeding a subpanel would be to install subfeed lugs on this one -- the labeling lists the part numbers for that. That may be useful if OP doesn't add a subpanel now, but comes back to it in a few years when there are no breaker slots left. – Nate S. Mar 3 at 21:54
  • I don't see the topic of an interlock or transfer switch being addressed here. I find it unlikely that one of the other contributors to this post would not have spotted and addressed that so I fear I must be misunderstanding. Am I? If the generator is feeding directly into this panel, and there is no main cutoff in this panel, how do you handle backfeed? – jay613 Mar 3 at 22:01
  • Jay I didn't mention it. Is my intention to install another main breacker with an iterlock. I added this info to my initial post. I apologioze – John Whicker Mar 3 at 22:12
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    @jay613 OP is way ahead of us on that. Note how OP wants to clear spaces to put the generator breaker in a particular position. The only reason to care which position is to accommodate a sliding-plate style interlock, as they give you only one choice of location. Eaton probably makes one for this panel in the $80 neighborhood. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 5 at 16:36
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Yes you have the proper locations / positions with the proper dots. Good question with pics and explanation well above many that are asked +

The only question to ask wou be if your panel is rated for tandems/quads

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  • Many thanks. I tried to do my home work so one answering can follow. I strive to do my best Sir. This is a Cutler Hammer Pub 26542 panel and I was advised by them on taking this approach so my assumptions is that it does. How could I very that expect taking their word? THANK again – John Whicker Mar 3 at 19:36
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    The panel may have had. Number like 30/60 this would be 30 full sized locations or 60 tandems or a mix in between. If the factory gave you this info I would trust og it looks like there are tandems in the bottom section already. – Ed Beal Mar 3 at 20:02
  • Thanks Ed. There is a big white label on the inside door, would it say on that? What do I need to look for? And yes it seems the bottom 5 slots do allow tandems as I have few small ones already. – John Whicker Mar 3 at 20:07
  • This is the Label Ed, not sure ot 30/60 is there :) --> imgur.com/a/fwist3f – John Whicker Mar 3 at 20:20
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    The label does say, just not in the most intuitive way. Your tandem is a type BQC, and if you look at the picture of the bus stabs on the right side of the label, you can see that those breakers are allowed in positions where the bus stabs have a notch, and not in positions where it doesn't. – Nate S. Mar 3 at 21:08

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