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Old 11-08-2010, 11:07 AM   #1
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2 Single Poles to 1 Double GFCI Breaker


I have a kitchen MWBC (one to dishwasher, the other to the disposal and o-t-s light). They are on separate Square D single pole QO 20A circuit breakers. I want to replace both with one QO double pole 20A GFCI breaker.

Will the cables attach to the double just as they did in the singles? Or will there be some sort of difference?

Thank you.

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Old 11-08-2010, 11:11 AM   #2
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2 Single Poles to 1 Double GFCI Breaker


per 2008 electrical code, you must have them fed from a 2 pole breaker.

why are you changing this now?

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Old 11-08-2010, 11:43 AM   #3
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2 Single Poles to 1 Double GFCI Breaker


Thanks nape, but what does that have to do with changing it now?

We just did a DIY kitchen remodel and found the MWBC. Never heard of a MWBC before this.

Is there a problem with changing it now? That would bring it up to code, yes?

Thanks.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:46 AM   #4
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2 Single Poles to 1 Double GFCI Breaker


If the breakers are next to each other, you can buy a handle tie instead of changing the breaker.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:46 AM   #5
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2 Single Poles to 1 Double GFCI Breaker


It just seemed odd that you would out of the blue ask a question such as this. With your additional info, it explains it quite well.

Yes, a 2 pole breaker is required and should be installed.



and a tandem breaker is not a 2 pole breaker. (well, technically it is but not in the terms involved in this situation) You need a full sized 2 pole breaker in this situation.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:48 AM   #6
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2 Single Poles to 1 Double GFCI Breaker


I'll let Nap respond to my handle-tie comment...I'm not sure if the fact it is GFCI has any bearing on whether or not a handle-tie is legal.

This is the handle tie I am referring to:
http://static.schneider-electric.us/...840-172-01.pdf
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:03 PM   #7
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2 Single Poles to 1 Double GFCI Breaker


without looking it up specifically, I believe a handle tie is legit IF the handle tie is (as with all equipment we use) "listed for the purpose" and "approved" by whomever would approve it (UL is usually the approval agency for most things but it doesn't have to be UL).


in other words: a nail (even if it fits perfectly) is not an acceptable handle tie. A listed and approved handle tie is (unless of course, I am mistaken but I think I'm right)
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:33 PM   #8
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2 Single Poles to 1 Double GFCI Breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by nuckphoto View Post
Will the cables attach to the double just as they did in the singles? Or will there be some sort of difference?

Thank you.

If it is a MWBC then there should only be one cable. Other than moving the neutral form the bar to the GFCI breaker it should connect similar the singles.
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Last edited by joed; 11-08-2010 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:06 PM   #9
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2 Single Poles to 1 Double GFCI Breaker


dang joed, yell at me once in awhile. I screwed this one good.


I missed it was a GFCI. If you have a MWBC, you have to use a 2 pole breaker designed for a mwbc. ( QO220GFI I believe). You cannot use two separate breakers, handle ties or not.
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:04 PM   #10
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2 Single Poles to 1 Double GFCI Breaker


Because this is a DW and a disposal, gfci protection is not required.

If it is a mwbc, then a listed handle tie will work.

If you want to protect this with gfci, the a 2 pole gfci is required.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:42 PM   #11
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2 Single Poles to 1 Double GFCI Breaker


Thanks, everyone. Much appreciated.

But I might add that on each branch of the MWBC there are also receptacles above the counter near the sink which is why I'm going for the 2 pole GFCI.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:48 PM   #12
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2 Single Poles to 1 Double GFCI Breaker


You may not be required to change this since it's preexisting, but i believe code requires two dedicated 20A "small appliance branch circuits" (ie. countertop receptacles). I do not believe these circuits can have the DW or Disposal on them.

Also, GFCI breakers are not necessary. If your outlets are wired without pigtails, you would only need 1 GFCI outlet per circuit, and all remaining outlets could be fed off the LOAD side of the GFCI. If they are pigtailed, you may be able to replace all the outlets with GFCI's more cheaply than buying a double-pole GFCI breaker. How many outlets are on each circuit?

A double-pole 20A QO breaker is well over $100:
http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CDsQgggwAA#
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Last edited by secutanudu; 11-08-2010 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:27 PM   #13
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2 Single Poles to 1 Double GFCI Breaker


Code does not permit counter receptacles and lights to be on the same circuit. If you are changing it you must meet the current code. Leave the receptacles on the circuit and pull new power for the lights, DW and GD.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:47 PM   #14
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2 Single Poles to 1 Double GFCI Breaker


Before we can split any more hairs in here but I will direct this question to OP which location you are in due the USA and Canada have slightly diffrent rules to deal with it.

Merci.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:58 AM   #15
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2 Single Poles to 1 Double GFCI Breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
Code does not permit counter receptacles and lights to be on the same circuit. If you are changing it you must meet the current code. Leave the receptacles on the circuit and pull new power for the lights, DW and GD.
THIS is your answer, not installing a GFI breaker to mask a blatant code violation.

WHO wired this? Not an electrician obviously.

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