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  1. #1
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    Question Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    Can a 20 amp double pole breaker that is designed for a 220 volt circuit be used for a single 110 volt circuit? Like the one in the photo.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    Yes, but ...

    What's with all those disconnected wires hanging around there? That is truly unsafe.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Richard Pultar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    why not look at a the listing


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    Yeah, what's with the two loose conductors? Also the top breaker has a broken throw and looks to be double tapped on the top side. Hard to tell from the photo.


  5. #5
    Steve Lowery's Avatar
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    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    Barry, your double tap is a shadow.


  6. #6
    Michael Almeida's Avatar
    Michael Almeida Guest

    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    Will it work...yes recommended no.
    but ....
    Open splices and damaged breaker above.

    Have electrician further review and improve.

    Michael Almeida
    Home Inspection in Southern Bergen, Hudson & Essex County by Pillar To Post


  7. #7
    Richard Thacker's Avatar
    Richard Thacker Guest

    Talking Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    Yes, The circuit will function; however it is a definate sign of non-professional work, the 2-pole breaker is not being used for its intended design and should be recommended to be replaced with a single pole. The two disconnected circuits are a different matter.


  8. #8
    Timothy M. Barr's Avatar
    Timothy M. Barr Guest

    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    no brainer put cover on box inform client to have qualifed electrician inspect box has a lot of problems as for 220 being used for 110 no


  9. #9
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    Talking Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lowery View Post
    Barry, your double tap is a shadow.
    Steve,
    Thanks, I couldn't tell....but hey I finally "enlarged" the photo, more there to see in the "big" picture.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    So now we have a yes and a no for the question.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    Can a 20 amp double pole breaker that is designed for a 220 volt circuit be used for a single 110 volt circuit? Like the one in the photo.
    The answer is "yes". It has an internal common trip and will respond to overcurrent with just a single circuit terminated on it.

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Robertson View Post
    So now we have a yes and a no for the question.
    Brian,

    I must be missing something re-reading the above posts, but ... where is the "no" answer you are referring to?

    I'm stumped (but, I'm also easy to stump).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Brian,

    I must be missing something re-reading the above posts, but ... where is the "no" answer you are referring to?

    I'm stumped (but, I'm also easy to stump).
    I think the "no" must be Mr. Barr: "...as for 220 being used for 110 no".

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    I think the "no" must be Mr. Barr: "...as for 220 being used for 110 no".
    .

    Maybe that is what he was talking about, but I read that as "as for 220 being used for 110 no", i.e., you do not use 220 volts for 110 volt circuits, but now I see he was saying it meaning "as for 220 volt breakers beings used for 1 - 110 volt circuit, no", which, of course, is incorrect as each side of the breaker only has 120 volts, so using only one side for 1 - 120 volt circuit is not a problem.

    Guess I need to improve my reading-between-the-lines comprehension skills.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    C'mon Jerr I don't even think you needed to read between the lines to figure that one!


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Robertson View Post
    C'mon Jerr I don't even think you needed to read between the lines to figure that one!
    Brian,

    I tend to think in complete sentences, I also tend to write in complete sentences, so when I read something like:

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy M. Barr View Post
    no brainer put cover on box inform client to have qualifed electrician inspect box has a lot of problems as for 220 being used for 110 no
    *I* *HAVE TO MAKE IT INTO* complete sentences to understand what has been written. Sometimes I win on understanding them, sometimes I lose on understanding them. I lost this time.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #17
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    Question Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    interesting salvage;There has to be better ways to save money and respect.
    Does not the 220 breaker have one switch , that is internally
    disconnecting both wires? and if so , as used as two 110 circuits , if one of the 110
    lines was over loaded , would not both wires be disconnected?


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen DeCosta View Post
    Does not the 220 breaker have one switch ,
    No, two internal switches, both operated by the same handle and internal trip mechanism, but two separate switching devices.

    that is internally disconnecting both wires? and if so , as used as two 110 circuits , if one of the 110 lines was over loaded , would not both wires be disconnected?
    Yes, that would be the intent when using a double pole internal trip (or external trip) on a multiwire circuit: it shuts off the power to both 120 volt legs.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  19. #19
    James R. Hays's Avatar
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    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    Check the UL listing book for that particular circuit breaker, and if UL has approved that particular 2-pole breaker, for use as single pole, then its use is "approved". if not, then it is "not approved".
    Jim Hays


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Double pole 220 volt breaker used for 110 circuit

    Few days ago at a inspection the DIY installed a 20 amp double pole breaker to supply the basement receptacles they finished. Somewhere along the line they must of split it for two circuits and tied the grounds and neutrals together.

    I wonder if they where related to the other post that was asking questions on how to wire his basement............

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
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