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Old 12-12-2009, 08:34 PM   #1
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Can 2 20 amp breakers be used for a 20 amp 220v circuit?


Someone is telling me that I can take two 20 amp breakers, attach the switches together with a pin and use it in place of a 20 amp 220v breaker. I'm pretty skeptical about it and will get the correct breaker either way. I'm curious all the same though. Would that work? It's a Murry panel if it makes a difference.


Last edited by Marlin; 12-12-2009 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:36 PM   #2
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Can 2 20 amp breakers be used for a 20 amp 220v circuit?


I was under the impression that under NEC 2008 you had to use a 240v breaker now
Problem with 2 singles is that on some panels you may not have 240v, you'd be pulling from opposite hots

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Old 12-12-2009, 08:49 PM   #3
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Can 2 20 amp breakers be used for a 20 amp 220v circuit?


A handle tie is required. A "pin" is not a safe, legal or acceptable solution to this.
A two-pole breaker is a simple and safe solution.
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:02 PM   #4
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Can 2 20 amp breakers be used for a 20 amp 220v circuit?


I have seen this a few times .Get the right Breaker
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:06 PM   #5
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Can 2 20 amp breakers be used for a 20 amp 220v circuit?


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Problem with 2 singles is that on some panels you may not have 240v, you'd be pulling from opposite hots
Same problem exists with double pole breakers. They can be installed in some panels so that they are both on the same pole.
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:17 PM   #6
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Can 2 20 amp breakers be used for a 20 amp 220v circuit?


I'm a plumber, not an electrician so please forgive my lack of terminology. What exactly is a pole? Is each hot side considered a pole?

And as I said before I am using the correct breaker reguardless, I just like to learn and what he said sounded fishy and interesting at the same time.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:08 AM   #7
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Can 2 20 amp breakers be used for a 20 amp 220v circuit?


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I'm a plumber, not an electrician so please forgive my lack of terminology. What exactly is a pole? Is each hot side considered a pole?
You could say "pole" or "phase" or "leg".

You might notice homes have 3 wires coming in. Two are "hots" and one is a "neutral".

The two "hots" are actually different. They are "opposite". (I'll leave it at that*.)

In a circuit breaker panel, the slots you plug circuit breakers into alternate between the two hots. So if you use a double pole breaker, it would connect to two slots in the panel. Each of these would connect to each of the hot wires. One each.

And if you measure the voltage between the two hots, this would be 240 volts. And used for things like ranges, water heaters, and dryers.

(Measuring the voltage between a hot and the neutral will show 120 volts.)

*I once read a book on steam heating and it was terribly complex. And this is the way AC house electricity is to explain. Very complex. But if you are interested in learning more, here is some info...

Mains Electricity...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity

AC Electricity...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_electricity

DC Electricity...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_current
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:04 AM   #8
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Can 2 20 amp breakers be used for a 20 amp 220v circuit?


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I'm a plumber, not an electrician so please forgive my lack of terminology.
What exactly is this breaker for? Or are you just asking in general?
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:45 AM   #9
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Can 2 20 amp breakers be used for a 20 amp 220v circuit?


Some manufacturers provide listed handle ties for their breakers.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:59 AM   #10
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Can 2 20 amp breakers be used for a 20 amp 220v circuit?


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Some manufacturers provide listed handle ties for their breakers.
This is absolutely true. Thing is, by the time you find one you could have gone to HD and bought a 2pBR style breaker for less than $10.

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