So right now I have this eaton 20/20 quad breaker in my GE panel and we're trying to make room for a larger circuit. We identified one area where if we could swap it to a 20/50 we could make room. Problematically with the breaker shortage right now we're having a hard time finding a 20/50 quad. I'd also prefer to bring the panel back in line with only using GE breakers.

To be clear I am not doing this myself and I do have an electrician coming but I am trying to source these breakers early since they are hard to find at the moment.

Can I swap a 20/50 common trip quad breaker with two 1-inch double poles?


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to two of these? (one 50 and another 20):

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Here is my panel:

Could we put a 50 amp 1 inch in the middle and two 20 amp .5" THQP breakers on the side and tie them together with that handle tie?

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  • 1
    You should provide a picture of the panel, especially on the inside where it tells you the model.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 19:13
  • Thank you, gonna add them now...
    – Jon Singh
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 20:08
  • No. The BQC Eaton line has an internal common-trip mechanism. That silly little handle tie does nothing except remind you to turn them off together. It does not fit GE breakers! Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 23:34

1 Answer 1


That Eaton breaker DOES NOT belong in that GE panel!

That's called an "alien breaker". The bus stabs on different makes of panel are different shape (to avoid patent infringement) and they will "clip in" but they won't work reliably. You can get a panel fire, which will at the very least burn up a bus stab, taking 2 spaces out of commission, which is the last thing you need when you're already having panel-cram problems.

GE does double-stuffing in a completely different way

Instead of a balky quadplex like the Eaton, GE uses special bus stabs which allow breakers to "straddle" spaces, leaving a half space on each side of them, which you fill with 120V half-width breakers. If you put those on each side of the breaker you have pictured, you'd have the equivalent of the Eaton quadplex.

The Eaton breaker takes two even spaces. The GE breakers need to straddle spaces. So the GE breakers you want to use won't even fit in the 2 spaces you cleared by removing the alien. They need to be offset by a half-space up or down, with other breakers moving around as needed, and half-width GE breakers deployed as needed.

Those require a special "magic bus stab" unique to GE, which adds a cruciform to the stab. Half-width breakers don't clip onto the stab, they clip onto the cruciform.

Those cruciforms stick out of the bus stab, and that Eaton breaker doesn't have a notch to clear them. It would not fit properly in a GE panel capable of taking double-stuffs.

Your panel DOES take the right breaker

Your panel label data clearly shows every space is listed for double-stuffs. You can use the GE 1” tall 240V breakers. So...

First the Eaton goes away. Byebye!

Now, the 240V breakers need to straddle the line between spaces. The old breaker was on even spaces, so you need to do something about that.

Move the "washer" breaker up 2 full spaces, so it is snug against the top of the gap.

Your panel is now ready for the two GE 1” breakers you asked about.

Remember the wiring is no longer inner/outer.

  • I added some extra pictures, I believe this panel supports both of those tabs based on what I see, I want to get rid of the Eaton, 100%
    – Jon Singh
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 20:13
  • @JonSingh yes it does, good catch! Yes, you can do this. Edited. Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 23:44
  • Thanks a bunch, "washer" goes to right under "insta-hot" and then it will support the two new 1 - inch breakers because now theyre sitting in two uneven spots, i see that now in another part of the breaker box too - thank you!
    – Jon Singh
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 0:18

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