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I built my house in 1990-91, it's a log home, I contracted the log outer shell & rafter work, did all interior, wiring, plumbing myself, even roofed it. Was days I just knew I was in over my head, but I stuck with it.

In 2017 we had a new metal roof put on, it's a two story house with carport attached which I closed in on two open sides in 2004. I had plenty of spots in the breaker box so I wired it for lights, switches, & 7 outlets. I have outlets GFI protected. In late 2017, suddenly the 20A breaker for the carport wiring popped, just left me with one outlet that is on a separate line from 1991, and porch light at the door that is also original. I had much more pressing issues, so I left the breaker "off" and let it ride.

In 2018, I was recovering from a stem cell transplant, shingles, balance issues after cerebral surgery, so I just did what had to be done, I dreaded dealing with that carport. I did buy new switcghes (5) & outlets (7) with plan being to replace all. I spent a day before buying all that pulling devices out for a look, all looked well, no signs of shorts, hence my decision to replace all. I have looked at many pictures taken during construction & wiring with a thought to could a roofing screw have hit a wire, but no wires that close. I have climbed ladders (13 courses of block floor to sill plate, full size sawmill 2x12s above the sill) looking at routing in basement to exterior wall with it all looking great.

This year, 2019, between heat, still getting through shingles, other more important things, I have let it ride still trying to figure out what happened. It was "just on my mind". Yesterday, I pulled the face off my panel to maybe change out the breaker, then I saw "it" … my mistake. The 20A breaker (#38) that tripped had two wires coming out, I can't believe I did that. Both were 12ga though. One was labeled (tag in box) for carport lights & outlets … but the other was labeled (tag in box) for a single outside receptacle in a "weathertight" enclosure on the opposite end of the house, all by itself. I had forgot about it. We almost never use that one. It is a GFI too. I removed the wire from the 20A breaker and retightened the screw with the one wire for carport, flipped breaker to "on" & it worked perfect. Went out and to far end of house and swapped in a new GFI outlet and come in and wired breaker end to a spare 15A breaker and put that in a open spot (#28 now), PERFECT. Seen where that weathertight enclosure had a water line in it, so I'm gonna reseal it soon, maybe put a deflector "mini roof overhang" of sorts over top?

Then I seen some of the 6 screws holds the panel cover on were near stripped so I fixed all 6 with new fasteners but slightly bigger with new threads, made a new correct & "all inclusive" chart for the box, put it all together again, just felt good. Still hard to believe I did that, pulled two wires from same breaker that is … but it was done and I'm the only one ever done anything in that box, so it's my bad. Maybe I just thought as long as either line could handle 20 amps (they could have too) it'd be OK, maybe I was short a breaker? I knew the outlet was out there, but had never wrote it down on the address or assignment chart so it slipped my mind.

Anyway, she's right now.


Last night, "Wife Unit" thought I was crazy going out side just to see the carport lit up …
... but I explained that it was the first time I had seen it lit in years …
… even if it had only been two. :D
 

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I find strange stuff all the time and wonder why did I do that. Probably had a good reason at the time.
 

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The house I bought in 2004 was built in 1918 (ya, over 100 yrs old now) and has been added on to three times since then, most recently I'd guess to be the early '60's

The place was rewired with 12/3 probably in the 50's, there's a "modern", (like '50's) breaker panel with slots for 8 breakers. The 220V range and clothes dryer take up four of the slots, leaving only four other circuits for the house. I had to replace all the two prong outlets with grounded outlets, was happy to find the ground conductors in the 12/3 were actually used and I have good ground! Though only four 20 amp circuits in no way meets today's standards, it is adequate for the two of us living here, I've never once had any issues with overloaded circuits and tripped breakers. But we don't use all that much power.

Years ago I added a GFI outlet to the patio. The breaker panel is right there at the patio, so I just mounted a weather-proof outlet box to the bottom of the breaker panel.

Not wanting to double-up circuits like Crystal-Pistol mentioned, I actually found a two-circuit two-lever breaker switch that after minor modification will fit in the slots where single breakers are, so I installed one and put the patio outlet on it's own switch.

In 2013 I built the garage, it currently only has a 12/3 20 amp overhead power feed for lights and a couple outlets. But with the shortage of breakers in the panel, I decided to double it up with the Patio outlet. Some day I'll run underground 220v service. Not sure how I'd feed it, I'd hate to have to share the 50 amp 220v breaker with the clothes dryer! Might force me to upgrade the breaker panel!

Well, last week the pull-chain switch in the laundry light gave up the ghost (always on) so I had to remove globe and unscrew bulbs to turn them off. So this finds me back in the breaker panel again finding which one shuts off the laundry light. It happened to be the first one I switched off.

I recently bought three more of those double-circuit breakers that fit in the panel after modification, so while the circuit for the laundry was off (killed the bathroom and half the kitchen, too) I replaced that breaker. Now the patio outlet is on its own circuit again.

So there's two more breakers I can replace with the double-circuit ones. But currently there's no circuits that are doubled-up on any breakers. So to make use of the double-circuit breakers, I'd need to run more wire from the panel. But this would give me opportunity to split up the four circuits in the house into six or maybe seven if I double-up the garage feed and patio outlet again.

Someday......
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've seen those doubles, look like two skinny ones back to back maybe? I have a 40 slot box and had not seen them when I built and not even sure they'd work in my 1990 Crouse-Hinds box today. I had to rig my camera to steady it, supply light too, to take a picture just to be able to read that tiny writing on the panel box label. Maybe I could read it "naked" 27 years ago?

I used 6 double pole full size ones for 240V circuits like welder (50A), range (50A), dryer (30A), big radial arm saw (30A), AC (40A), well pump (20A) so they killed 12 of my 40 slots. 3 are still unused. Leaves 25 slots that are either 15 or 20 amp circuits. I've decided which 8 single slots and the well pump's 2 (10 total) will be wired in with my new bypass setup for generator, though it wasn't easy deciding some.

I could rewire my big 1940s era RA saw to just 120V but amperage would double to near 30A, it uses only about 14 amps on 240, start capacitor or points are bad so I have to spin blade by thumb, then move so I can reach around the table to push the start button which I moved so I can't reach both at same time, but have to be quick while blade is coasting. It started when I bought it used in the '80s, but then one day it just hummed and I shut it off and found I could start it either way with a push and hitting the button. Usually the cord is wrapped around a hanger I made, has a 30 amp dryer plug on end. I figure if the double breaker powering the dryer ever defects, I'll rob this one. Same with "range vs welder", but then I do have a spare 50A dbl pole breaker … as well as a bunch of spare 15s & 20s.[/B]
 

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They aren't back-to-back, the original breakers are about 3/4 inch wide, these that I found are like two super-skinny breakers side-by-side in the same 3/4 inch wide housing. Same overall width and mounting as the original breakers, but these have a metal guard across the back of the slot where the input power tab on the panel goes into the bottom rear of the breaker. This is supposed to hold the source power tab secure in the switch. But the source power tabs in my box are deeper and protrude out the back side of the slots in the bottom rear of the original breakers, so I have to break the metal guards out of the back of the new switches to use them or they won't slide down over the power tabs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
They aren't back-to-back, the original breakers are about 3/4 inch wide, these that I found are like two super-skinny breakers side-by-side in the same 3/4 inch wide housing. Same overall width and mounting as the original breakers, but these have a metal guard across the back of the slot where the input power tab on the panel goes into the bottom rear of the breaker. This is supposed to hold the source power tab secure in the switch. But the source power tabs in my box are deeper and protrude out the back side of the slots in the bottom rear of the original breakers, so I have to break the metal guards out of the back of the new switches to use them or they won't slide down over the power tabs.
It just occurred to me what you are describing.

I looked, there are some two pole breakers that will "fit" my box but I'd have to look for "type" listing. My breakers are 1" thick, but the double ones are like two breakers side by side for say 20amps, but just 120 volts, so I could have used one of them in slot #38 and not opened up another slot. I initially mis-understood you. Thank you, will get a couple to have on hand if ever I run out of openings.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, after a Very Merry Christmas, I looked closer at it and while my box might would accept the two pole 120v breakers described, not a listed type for mine. Oh well, still have three open slots and more than ample circuits now, so I'll leave well enough alone.

Couldn't edit my post above.
 
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