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Our house has a Square D QO style breaker box, where it uses single pole breakers that have 2 clips on them like this:
enter image description here

I am looking to add a new breaker and am out of physical space in the box currently.
The box currently has 4 tandem breakers, so I figured I would just replace a single with a tandem. (Based on info from this thread, physical space is the limitation.) When shopping for a 2-20 tandem breaker, one of the guys helping me at the store told me my box is super old, and I should just upgrade it.

It seems parts for this box might be harder to acquire compared to a new box, but should I legitimately be considering upgrading my box just cause its old?

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Don't listen to the guy at the store telling you to toss out a perfectly serviceable QO box. Parts for the QO line are available through practically every supply house in North America, and most of the big-box stores too -- it's quite common to this day in both residential and light commercial work, and as far as I know, hasn't been altered in a backwards-incompatible way since its introduction in 1955.

As a general rule -- if the panelboard is of a type still in use today (i.e. QO, Homeline, CH, BR, QP, or THQL), has the ampacity and physical space (incl. tandem/double-stuff slots), and is in good condition inside and out (no hot spots, arcs, or burnt insulation), it's a keeper. It's those pesky FPE, Zinsco, and to a lesser extent Pushmatic panels that need to be sent to the smelter....

  • All my panels are CH and Pushmatic. I'm deliriously happy with the CH panels and would buy more except 3/4" wide breakers limit your options for more exotic breakers. The Pushmatics have got to go. – Harper Sep 10 '16 at 20:27

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