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  1. #1
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    Default Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Can a SQ-D double pole breaker with single lever be used for two 110 volt circuits. Ignore the label that says "hot tub" there's not one installed.

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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    No problem ... other than it needs to be re-labelled to show what it is really for.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    That's what I thought, just wanted a second opinion to be sure.


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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Although commonly referred to as 110 and 220, the correct voltages are 120 and 240.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    If this is a MWBC the 2 pole CB or two single poles with a handle tie is required.
    Did you not look at the large picture? It's a single lever breaker, a handle tie can't be insatlled.


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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    If this is a MWBC the 2 pole CB or two single poles with a handle tie is required.
    It is required for new work in areas that have adopted the 2011 NEC (I don't recall if it was in the '08). There is no requirement that existing conditions be upgraded.

    Corey


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    Can a SQ-D double pole breaker with single lever be used for two 110 volt circuits. Ignore the label that says "hot tub" there's not one installed.
    I assume you looked inside? If it was a hot tub the white would have been on the breaker also, so you're saying they moved the white to the neutral bar to make it a single pole circuit and then added a circuit to it? It could actually be a single circuit.


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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Bennett View Post
    so you're saying they moved the white to the neutral bar to make it a single pole circuit and then added a circuit to it? It could actually be a single circuit.
    I'm going on the fact the the original poster stated "used for two 110 volt circuits", which I took as meaning that he had removed the panel cover and saw two black conductors connected to it and each had it own white neutral, however, at the of MWBC I also understood that he could have seen a black and a red to the breaker with a white neutral.

    Yes, there are other "potential" possibilities for what is there, and without a photo with the cover off and showing the breaker connection we just do not have enough information, and possibly even a photo may not answer what it is if not enough is shown in the photo.

    The simple matter of fact is: there is no prohibition against connecting one 120 volt circuit to a double pole internal trip breaker, nor is there a prohibition against connecting two 120 volt circuits to an internal trip double pole breaker. The main thing is that the breaker be labeled properly for the circuits which is serves - and we *know* that is incorrectly labeled as he told us that.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    I've got to go with JP on this one. I see dishwashers and disposals wired like this frequently in recent construction. It is usually a 3 conductor cable with a shared neutral. Red to one appliance, black to the other.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Yes I pulled the cover. Breaker is for branch circuits, lights and receptacles for three rooms.


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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    I just learned something (again). I would have thought that the 240 breaker would not trip if one 120 volt circuit overloaded.


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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Houck View Post
    I just learned something (again). I would have thought that the 240 breaker would not trip if one 120 volt circuit overloaded.
    A 2 pole breaker will trip when either pole (or both) is (are) overloaded as the trip mechanism for both breakers is tied together internally. Some makes of breaker have the single handle for a 2 pole and some have two handles with a tie, but will still trip both poles if the tie is removed because of the internal connection.

    2 single pole breakers with a handle tie will trip individually if overloaded. The handle tie is only there to satisfy the requirement (on multi-wire or 240 volt) that when you move either handle manually that both breakers are turned off. It is possible, but difficult, to turn off an individual breaker with a handle tie.

    I prefer tied single breakers on a multi-wire circuit so that the only time both circuits go off is when the handles are moved to reset a tripped breaker or intentionally turned off.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    I prefer tied single breakers on a multi-wire circuit so that the only time both circuits go off is when the handles are moved to reset a tripped breaker or intentionally turned off.
    Bill,

    Still trying to wrap my head around what you said ... an internal common trip breaker will only trip both sides when the handle is moved to reset a tripped breaker ro intentionally turned off.

    I am sure that I am missing the obvious ...

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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Bill,

    Still trying to wrap my head around what you said ... an internal common trip breaker will only trip both sides when the handle is moved to reset a tripped breaker ro intentionally turned off.

    I am sure that I am missing the obvious ...
    I prefer tied single breakers on a multi-wire circuit

    Maybe I should have added "handle" tied, but I was not talking about an internally tied breaker.

    Or, maybe you misinterpret moving the handles to reset. When one handle tied breaker trips only one handle moves to the tripped position. But, when you move the handle to the reset (off) position prior to turning it on again, the handle tie forces you to turn off the other breaker as well.

    Anyway, with the handle tie you only loose the circuit with the problem in a tripped situation. The other remains on except for the momentary interruption when you reset the tripped breaker.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    An "approved" handle tie (normally) doesn't fit tight enough to trip both handles if one of the handles is the thing causing the movement. It is very difficult, though not impossible, to duplicate this if you attempt to do it manually. The "tripped" position is only about half way to the off position and typically doesn't move the second handle at all, but the "tripped" position doesn't have a detent and when you attempt to move one handle it most often pulls the other one once you get past certain point.

    I would note that this is "normal" behavior and as always, YMMV.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    This is interesting. I thought the idea of a handle tie was to cause two sp breakers to work as a two pole breaker? For example some of the gen-tran transfer panels come with handle ties on some breakers if you have a 240 volt ckt, like a water pump. Theirs are tight fitting, but if only one side tripped you could possibly damage something. I am curious also about the term "approved" handle tie. Neither one of my electrical supply houses sells handle ties, which makes me wonder how approved they are.I do like the idea for the mwbc, it would ease trouble shooting, but might create a potential shock hazard.


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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Anyway, with the handle tie you only loose the circuit with the problem in a tripped situation. The other remains on except for the momentary interruption when you reset the tripped breaker.
    The handle tie is there so that it will trip the other breaker is one is tripped - if the handle tie does not provide that function, then the handle tie is not appropriate for those single pole breakers.

    Thus, when one side trips, the other also trips off, which means that both go off not only when the handle is tripped to 'off' to reset it, but that both sides were already 'off'.

    If you find a double pole breaker consisting of two single pole breakers and the handle tie allows one breaker to trip and the other breaker to stay on ... you have not only a reportable condition, you have a condition which urgently needs to be corrected.

    Now wonder what I just read in the new IAEI read as it did: the 5th leading cause of workplace accidents from 1980 to 1995 was ... (drum roll) ... ELECTROCUTION!

    #1 was vehicle accidents, #2 was machinery, #3 was (believe it or not) homicides, #4 was falls, and #5 was ELECTROCUTION ... maybe it was all those handle ties that only tripped one side of the breaker and left the other ungrounded conductor hot?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The handle tie is there so that it will trip the other breaker is one is tripped - if the handle tie does not provide that function, then the handle tie is not appropriate for those single pole breakers.

    Thus, when one side trips, the other also trips off, which means that both go off not only when the handle is tripped to 'off' to reset it, but that both sides were already 'off'.

    If you find a double pole breaker consisting of two single pole breakers and the handle tie allows one breaker to trip and the other breaker to stay on ... you have not only a reportable condition, you have a condition which urgently needs to be corrected.
    Because this is NOT the way handle ties work is the reason that handle tied single pole breakers are restricted in 240.14

    The handle tie is all about turning the 2 breakers off together when done manually. For example, there is no rule requiring both lines in a multi-wire circuit both go off when there's an overload on one, but does require that they can be TURNED OFF by one handle (tied set of breakers)

    I would add this is no different than if a 2 pole fused switch is used for over current protection.

    Last edited by Bill Kriegh; 03-10-2013 at 08:22 PM.
    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Because this is NOT the way handle ties work is the reason that handle tied single pole breakers are restricted in 240.14

    The handle tie is all about turning the 2 breakers off together when done manually. For example, there is no rule requiring both lines in a multi-wire circuit both go off when there's an overload on one, but does require that they can be TURNED OFF by one handle (tied set of breakers)

    I would add this is no different than if a 2 pole fused switch is used for over current protection.
    That explains it better for me.(I forgot about fused disconnects)


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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    We electricians sometimes purposly install a double pole breaker for 2 separate circuits.
    One application would be for an appliance that requires two circuits. This method kills the power for the whole unit for servicing. Also, a cheepskate might think he/she is saving on a padlockable breaker device if the circuits are hard-wired


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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The handle tie is there so that it will trip the other breaker is one is tripped - if the handle tie does not provide that function, then the handle tie is not appropriate for those single pole breakers.

    Thus, when one side trips, the other also trips off, which means that both go off not only when the handle is tripped to 'off' to reset it, but that both sides were already 'off'.

    If you find a double pole breaker consisting of two single pole breakers and the handle tie allows one breaker to trip and the other breaker to stay on ... you have not only a reportable condition, you have a condition which urgently needs to be corrected.

    Now wonder what I just read in the new IAEI read as it did: the 5th leading cause of workplace accidents from 1980 to 1995 was ... (drum roll) ... ELECTROCUTION!

    #1 was vehicle accidents, #2 was machinery, #3 was (believe it or not) homicides, #4 was falls, and #5 was ELECTROCUTION ... maybe it was all those handle ties that only tripped one side of the breaker and left the other ungrounded conductor hot?
    Jerry-
    You are so far off base you are in the parking LOT.
    The only reason for handle tied breakers is for shut off purposes only . That is why they can not be used for 240 volt circuits. They are restricted to multiwire branch circuits only.
    I see you like to throw out statistics to go along with you scare tactics

    Gerry B -
    Any supply house that sells circuit breakers can get handle ties for you.


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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Because this is NOT the way handle ties work is the reason that handle tied single pole breakers are restricted in 240.14

    The handle tie is all about turning the 2 breakers off together when done manually. For example, there is no rule requiring both lines in a multi-wire circuit both go off when there's an overload on one, but does require that they can be TURNED OFF by one handle (tied set of breakers)

    I would add this is no different than if a 2 pole fused switch is used for over current protection.
    Being a doubting Thomas (Vern), I took apart an old breaker and sure enough, when the handle is moved the same distance as a trip condition, which is less than or equal to 1/2 way, the contacts remained closed... didn't know that! Thanks

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Because this is NOT the way handle ties work is the reason that handle tied single pole breakers are restricted in 240.14

    The handle tie is all about turning the 2 breakers off together when done manually. For example, there is no rule requiring both lines in a multi-wire circuit both go off when there's an overload on one, but does require that they can be TURNED OFF by one handle (tied set of breakers)

    I would add this is no different than if a 2 pole fused switch is used for over current protection.
    Actually ... what you stated IS NOT the way the handles ties work - handle ties are required to SIMULTANEOUSLY disconnect ALL ungrounded conductors ... with a few EXCEPTIONS, one of which is for multiwire branch circuits. That EXCEPTION from having to SIMULTANEOUSLY disconnect ALL ungrounded conductors DOES NOT APPLY TO breakers with handle ties and used for uses other than the EXCEPTIONS.

    An the EXCEPTION for multiwire branch circuits IS NOT as you stated either. The exception ONLY APPLIES TO "Individual single-pole circuit breakers, with identified handle ties, shall be permitted as the protection for each ungrounded conductor of multiwire branch circuits that serve only single-phase line-to-neutral loads."

    There are four exceptions and each exception specifies that the handle ties for those single-pole circuit breakers be "identified handle ties".

    If those handle ties are not identified for that use, then it falls back to the requirements of 240.15(B) which is "Circuit breakers shall open all ungrounded conductors both manually and automatically" ... "unless otherwise permitted" and then lists the four exceptions.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    The language of the code that covers multiwire circuits and 120/240 volt circuits is quite specific as to under what circumstances individual handle tied breakers are permitted. That language says only that a disconnect has to turn off both ungrounded conductors simultaneously, but says nothing about the overcurrent device being required to do so.

    Many handle ties are a metal piece that has 2 ends that fit very sloppily in the handle holes with a slightly larger part between handles. It's physically impossible for these to trip both if there is an overload on just one breaker.

    You need to spend some time looking at some of this stuff.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    The language of the code that covers multiwire circuits and 120/240 volt circuits is quite specific as to under what circumstances individual handle tied breakers are permitted. That language says only that a disconnect has to turn off both ungrounded conductors simultaneously, but says nothing about the overcurrent device being required to do so.

    Many handle ties are a metal piece that has 2 ends that fit very sloppily in the handle holes with a slightly larger part between handles. It's physically impossible for these to trip both if there is an overload on just one breaker.

    You need to spend some time looking at some of this stuff.
    You need to spend some time looking up the requirements under overcurrent protection - BOTH apply, you cannot just apply the one you want willy-nilly without applying the requirements of BOTH.

    The section for overcurrent protection specifically addresses what is "permitted" for multiwire circuits, and, as you pointed out, two single-pole breakers are allowed for multiwire circuits, and, as I pointed out, with "identified" tie bars, not just 'any old tie bar' someone wants to use.

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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Jerry, as long as a fused disconnect is legal for the circuits in question, and they still are, there is no requirement that the over current device open both ungrounded conductors at the same time.

    As to the tie bars, I am referring to the factory supplied kind - you know, the ones that are supplied by the manufacturer for the purpose.

    Better start chatting with your experts on this one.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Jerry, as long as a fused disconnect is legal for the circuits in question, and they still are, there is no requirement that the over current device open both ungrounded conductors at the same time.
    Unless that "fused" disconnect is not "fuses" but is a "breaker". Do you agree?

    As to the tie bars, I am referring to the factory supplied kind - you know, the ones that are supplied by the manufacturer for the purpose.
    Good, because that is the same type I was referring to also. The way you were talking, the way I was reading what you were typing, was starting to lead me to think you were referring to tie bars made from wire, nails, etc.

    Not sure why you want to wander off course and bring up fuses when the discussion is centered around 'tie bars" ... how many "tie bars" have you seen on fuses?

    Yes, you do need to talk with your experts.

    Is a double pole breaker for a 240 volt circuit supposed to disconnect both ungrounded conductors simultaneously, whether the breaker is an internal trip double-pole breaker or two single-pole breakers with a handle tie? It is a simple question, nothing in there about "fuses".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Unless that "fused" disconnect is not "fuses" but is a "breaker". Do you agree?



    Good, because that is the same type I was referring to also. The way you were talking, the way I was reading what you were typing, was starting to lead me to think you were referring to tie bars made from wire, nails, etc.

    Not sure why you want to wander off course and bring up fuses when the discussion is centered around 'tie bars" ... how many "tie bars" have you seen on fuses?

    Yes, you do need to talk with your experts.

    Is a double pole breaker for a 240 volt circuit supposed to disconnect both ungrounded conductors simultaneously, whether the breaker is an internal trip double-pole breaker or two single-pole breakers with a handle tie? It is a simple question, nothing in there about "fuses".
    According to Square D, all 2pole and 3 pole circuit breakers have common internal trip, unless labeled "no common trip". Single pole circuit breakers with handle ties may or may not open both circuits upon overload or short circuit conditions.Dear :

    Thank you for contacting Schneider Electric !

    The 2 or 3 pole breakers are linked internally and if any pole trips, they all open together.

    Single pole breakers linked externally with a handle tie are not common trip.
    One breaker (pole) tripping does not trip the others.


    Regards
    Jeff Dixon
    Square D/ Schneider Electric
    Cedar Rapids PSG Sr. Product Support Specialist
    1-888-778-2733

    Last edited by Brad Richter; 03-14-2013 at 04:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    .....and letters from any other manufacturer will say the same thing. I'll say one thing Jerry, when you decide to dig holes they're deep.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    .....and letters from any other manufacturer will say the same thing. I'll say one thing Jerry, when you decide to dig holes they're deep.
    I'll try to dig it deeper so you see the daylight at the other end.

    Fromthe 2008 NEC: (bold and underlining are mine)
    - 240.15 Ungrounded Conductors.
    - - (A) Overcurrent Device Required. A fuse or an overcurrent trip unit of a circuit breaker shall be connected in series with each ungrounded conductor. A combination of a current transformer and overcurrent relay shall be considered equivalent to an overcurrent trip unit.
    FPN: For motor circuits, see Parts III, IV, V, and XI of Article 430.
    - - (B) Circuit Breaker as Overcurrent Device. Circuit breakers shall open all ungrounded conductors of the circuit both manually and automatically unless otherwise permitted in 240.15(B)(1), (B)(2), and (B)(3).
    - - - (1) Multiwire Branch Circuit. Except where limited by 210.4(B), individual single-pole circuit breakers, with or without identified handle ties, shall be permitted as the protection for each ungrounded conductor of multiwire branch circuits that serve only single-phase line-to-neutral loads.
    - - - (2) Grounded Single-Phase and 3-Wire dc Circuits. In grounded systems, individual single-pole circuit breakers with identified handle ties shall be permitted as the protection for each ungrounded conductor for line-to-line connected loads for single-phase circuits or 3-wire, direct-current circuits.
    - - - (3) 3-Phase and 2-Phase Systems. For line-to-line loads in 4-wire, 3-phase systems or 5-wire, 2-phase systems having a grounded neutral point and no conductor operating at a voltage greater than permitted in 210.6, individual single-pole circuit breakers with identified handle ties shall be permitted as the protection for each ungrounded conductor.

    Only Exception (1) above can be applied to the discussion, and that can only be applied to multiwire circuits, not all circuits, and Exception (1) references 210.4(B) included below:
    - 210.4 Multiwire Branch Circuits.
    - - (B) Disconnecting Means. Each multiwire branch circuit shall be provided with a means that will simultaneously disconnect all ungrounded conductors at the point where the branch circuit originates.


    Not me saying that, the NEC says that.

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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Gentlemen, I know that someone will be determined to be correct and another will be incorrect, but this has been a good discussion. Thanks.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    If you read the NEC, and apply the exceptions that apply to circuits that are permitted to have individual breakers with handle ties, you can use breakers that are not required to trip together. That's what the discussion is about. They aren't allowed on all circuits precisely because they DON'T trip together, and the manufacturer's agree - they don't and aren't designed to. They do, however, turn off together when the handle tie is used to turn them off, thereby meeting the requirement that the disconnect turn off all ungrounded conductors at the same time. If this wasn't the case, why would there be applications where the individual breakers with handle ties wouldn't be allowed?

    There are circumstances ( in fact most where there is more than one ungrounded conductor) where internally tied breakers are required because they do trip together. These are permitted on all circuits where there are multiple ungrounded conductors.

    Jerry, maybe you ought to stick your nose in a panel once and a while and see what really goes on. I'm worried, you are starting to react like that W guy...........

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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    Question Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Let me take this in a somewhat different direction: If a 30 amp double pole breaker is used for two 110V circuits, will it trip if one of those circuits exceeds 15 amps? Or must it exceed 30 amps?

    A friend just bought a house where the carport was converted into an office. There's a 240V outlet for a dryer connected to a 30 amp, double pole, single switch breaker. Then a hot comes off each terminal of that outlet to feed two 110 V circuits. The neutral for each circuit is routed back to the neutral bar in the panel. The outlets on the circuits are 15A and the wire is no. 12. I told him I didn't think that was code and might not be safe, but I'm not sure.


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    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Bartol View Post
    ... If a 30 amp double pole breaker is used for two 110V circuits, will it trip if one of those circuits exceeds 15 amps? Or must it exceed 30 amps?
    ...
    No, a 15 amp load will not trip a 30 amp breaker
    Yes, the load must exceed the breaker rating for he breaker to trip

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    No, a 15 amp load will not trip a 30 amp breaker
    Yes, the load must exceed the breaker rating for he breaker to trip
    Thanks. That's what I was afraid of. The dryer outlet is not in use. Will it resolve the issue if I: 1. Replace the 30 amp double pole with a pair of 15 amp single pole breakers. 2. Remove the outlet and tie the individual wires from the breakers to their respective circuits with wire nuts (in the outlet junction box). 3. Put a cover on the junction box?


  36. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,898

    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    What is the wiring method and is it 3 or 4 wires?

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Double pole breaker being used for 110 circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Bartol View Post
    Thanks. That's what I was afraid of. The dryer outlet is not in use. Will it resolve the issue if I: 1. Replace the 30 amp double pole with a pair of 15 amp single pole breakers. 2. Remove the outlet and tie the individual wires from the breakers to their respective circuits with wire nuts (in the outlet junction box). 3. Put a cover on the junction box?
    Matthew, not to be harsh, but this is not something you are qualified or knowledgeable in. You may get lucky and not burn your friends house down (or worse). Be smart, let a qualified electrician take care of this.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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