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Old 12-27-2010, 02:20 PM   #1
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2000w heater on 15A-240v


Hello, is it acceptable to have a 240v, 2000 watt fan forced heater running on 14/2 wire and two 15A circuits?

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Old 12-27-2010, 02:23 PM   #2
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2000w heater on 15A-240v


ummmm.... I'd guess no......

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Old 12-27-2010, 02:25 PM   #3
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2000w heater on 15A-240v


2000 watts @ 240 volts equals 8.3 amps. Are you asking about a 2 pole circuit breaker and calling it 2 15 amp circuits?
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:27 PM   #4
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2000w heater on 15A-240v


A 15 amp, 240 volt circuit is capable of 3600 watts. Well within the heater at 2000 watts. If by "two 15A circuits" you mean 2 15 amp circuit breakers there may be a problem. If it is 2 seperaate single pole breakers they must be side by side and connected with a handle tie so both turn off at the same time or use a single 2 pole, 15 amp breaker.
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:34 PM   #5
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2000w heater on 15A-240v


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Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
A 15 amp, 240 volt circuit is capable of 3600 watts. Well within the heater at 2000 watts. If by "two 15A circuits" you mean 2 15 amp circuit breakers there may be a problem. If it is 2 seperaate single pole breakers they must be side by side and connected with a handle tie so both turn off at the same time or use a single 2 pole, 15 amp breaker.

This application would absolutely require a 2 pole circuit breaker and NOT 2 single poles with a handle tie. It is NOT a MWBC.
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:46 PM   #6
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2000w heater on 15A-240v


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Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
A 15 amp, 240 volt circuit is capable of 3600 watts. Well within the heater at 2000 watts. If by "two 15A circuits" you mean 2 15 amp circuit breakers there may be a problem. If it is 2 seperaate single pole breakers they must be side by side and connected with a handle tie so both turn off at the same time or use a single 2 pole, 15 amp breaker.
Thanks, just out of curiosity what could happen if 2 single 15amp circuits were used in this application, and were not side by side?
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:53 PM   #7
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2000w heater on 15A-240v


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Originally Posted by DragonFire View Post
Thanks, just out of curiosity what could happen if 2 single 15amp circuits were used in this application, and were not side by side?
Fire, smoke and the IRS may visit!!

If they are not on a 2 pole breaker, and side by side, you Will have issues in the future!

Someone(meaning you) may need to swap breakers around and put them on the same leg, thus having no heat.
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:53 PM   #8
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2000w heater on 15A-240v


If they're on the same buss then nothing will happen. There will not be any current flow.
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:00 PM   #9
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2000w heater on 15A-240v


... the double-pole breaker thing is a code requirement - a law of the government, not a law of physics.

If you have two single-pole breakers on opposite legs, the heater will work. In the event of a fault, it will be the same as protecting it with two seperate fuses, which IS legal. If the fault is to ground, ONE breaker will trip and the other may not, meaning that the heater may stop working, and one breaker may be tripped, but the heater may still be "live" on one end. The "danger" this creates is to the person who comes along attempting to fix said heater, believing the power to be off, and discovers the hard way that it is not so.

Put another way, as long as everything remains in good condition (and I mean internally as well), nothing bad will happen, but it's not a good idea, because someday, sooner or later, something will "wear out" (or otherwise expire) and potentially cause an unexpected condition.

Having one double-pole breaker ensures that ANY overcurrent/short fault will turn off the heater ENTIRELY.
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:10 PM   #10
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2000w heater on 15A-240v


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Originally Posted by emolatur View Post
... the double-pole breaker thing is a code requirement - a law of the government, not a law of physics.

If you have two single-pole breakers on opposite legs, the heater will work. In the event of a fault, it will be the same as protecting it with two seperate fuses, which IS legal. If the fault is to ground, ONE breaker will trip and the other may not, meaning that the heater may stop working, and one breaker may be tripped, but the heater may still be "live" on one end. The "danger" this creates is to the person who comes along attempting to fix said heater, believing the power to be off, and discovers the hard way that it is not so.

Put another way, as long as everything remains in good condition (and I mean internally as well), nothing bad will happen, but it's not a good idea, because someday, sooner or later, something will "wear out" (or otherwise expire) and potentially cause an unexpected condition.

Having one double-pole breaker ensures that ANY overcurrent/short fault will turn off the heater ENTIRELY.
Yes it will work. IT IS A CODE VIOLATION.
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:43 PM   #11
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2000w heater on 15A-240v


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Originally Posted by brric View Post
Yes it will work. IT IS A CODE VIOLATION.
This particular application is considered a 240V circuit, which requires a double-pole breaker by code. Using two tied single-pole breakers is only appropriate for a 120V MWBC, which requires a properly-pigtailed common neutral. The OP's 240V application does not require a neutral and therefore does not qualify as an MWBC. Code requires a double-pole breaker, similar to a WH.

While two stacked single-pole breakers would technically work in this situation, it increases the possibility for a later homeowner to rearrange the circuits incorrectly, since it might not be obvious why the breakers were arranged that way originally. Hence the code.

That being said, a 15A double-pole breaker would be appropriate for this situation.
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:58 PM   #12
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2000w heater on 15A-240v


Thanks for all the great information guys. A further theoretical question.... is there any significant difference in the following 3 install scenarios for a 240v heater:

--2 single stacked 15amp circuit breakers
as opposed to
--2 single 15amp circuit breakers being non-stacked (ie slot #1 and #3 in the same side of the service panel)
as opposed to
--2 single 15amp circuit breakers on opposite sides of the service panel

Again, these are theoretical questions, as I completely understand the requirement for a 15amp double-pole breaker in my original question.
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:20 PM   #13
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2000w heater on 15A-240v


Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonFire View Post
Thanks for all the great information guys. A further theoretical question.... is there any significant difference in the following 3 install scenarios for a 240v heater:

--2 single stacked 15amp circuit breakers
as opposed to
--2 single 15amp circuit breakers being non-stacked (ie slot #1 and #3 in the same side of the service panel)
as opposed to
--2 single 15amp circuit breakers on opposite sides of the service panel .
Whether each of these works electrically depends on the way the inside of the panel is constructed which in turn can vary from one model to another.

Two single stacked breakers (or the code compliant double wide 2 pole breaker) almost always yields 240 volts because the fins underneath the breakers in the panel are usually arranged with the odd rows on one side of the line and the even rows on the other, as:
AA
BB
AA
BB

Non-stacked, e.g. rows 1 and 3, usually don't yield 240 volts although once in awhile they might (if the fins are arranged:
AA
AA
BB
BB
AA
AA )

On the same row on opposite sides of the panel usually does not work but might if the fins are arranged something like:
AB
BA
AB
BA
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-27-2010 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:05 PM   #14
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2000w heater on 15A-240v


Thank you, brric and clashley, for agreeing with me. Perhaps next time a closer read of my post will result in a less-argumentative tone to your confirmations, however.

While we're on the subject, and this is for academic purposes only, I do have to raise the situation of a 240V circuit drawn from a fuse box. It is, as you know, virtually impossible (or at least very difficult) to manufacture two fuses with a "common trip", so a fault to ground will quite likely leave the other side energized...

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