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Old 05-01-2013, 11:45 PM   #1
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Changing a Multi-wire branch circuit to a single circuit.


Currently, my home has 3 separate Multi-wire branch circuits (supplied by 3 double-pole 15amp breakers. After mapping the whole house, I found that thees 6 circuits supply a total of 7 fixtures (5 outlets & 2 lights) between a hallway and the dinning room.

  1. Can I combine these circuits together? I was planning on just wire-nutting (I realize that's probably not a real word) the 6 Hot wires together and pig-tailing them to a single 15amp breaker. The Neutrals & Grounds I was just planning to leave alone as they are all connected to the same place in the panel anyways.

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Old 05-02-2013, 05:35 AM   #2
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Changing a Multi-wire branch circuit to a single circuit.


Why do you want to take away 3 circuits and cut your ability to run things by 50%?

Receptacles in dining rooms cannot share lighting.

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Old 05-02-2013, 05:55 AM   #3
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Changing a Multi-wire branch circuit to a single circuit.


Why mess with it?
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:24 AM   #4
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Changing a Multi-wire branch circuit to a single circuit.


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Why mess with it?

Sounds like he wants to add new circuits but doesnt have the room so the solution is to combine all the MWBC since like he says they only service 7 devices.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:48 AM   #5
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Changing a Multi-wire branch circuit to a single circuit.


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Why do you want to take away 3 circuits and cut your ability to run things by 50%?

Receptacles in dining rooms cannot share lighting.
Never heard that before; how old is that?
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:48 AM   #6
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Changing a Multi-wire branch circuit to a single circuit.


Method #1. Unhook the red wire from its panel breaker, tape the end, and curl it up inside the panel. Unhook the other end of that red wire (in some outlet box or junction box up in the house and tape that end. Connect any orphaned black or red wires continuing downstream to the incoming (feed) black wire of that formerly multiwire branch circuit cable back to the panel.

Method #2. Identify where two or three 3 wire cables for their respective multiwire branch circuits come into the panel. Unhook their red wires from their panel breakers, get a short length (pigtail) of black or red wire, and attach that to those two (or three) wires. Connect the other end to one of the breakers. Similarly, unhook the black wires from those same cables from their breakers, wire nut them together with a pigtail, and connect the pigtail to one of the breakers. Double check to be sure you have 240 volts between the two pigtails. Now you have two or four breakers freed up for other purposes.

Method #3: Add more downstream wiring and receptacles etc. to one or more of the circuits without making any panel changes. (Don't violate the requirements of certain circuits serving only certain areas for example a laundry circuit serving only receptacles in a laundry area.)

Note: In some cities you must withdraw the two cables from the panel and do the wire nutting in a junction box next to the panel and run only the pigtails into the panel to reach the breakers and neutral bar. You can also combine non-MWBC circuits in this manner to free up more breakers.

Also note: The dining room, laundry area, etc. circuits which must be dedicated to those purposes may be halves of MWBCs where the other half may be for something else. If you combine both halves of the MWBC you make it non-code-compliant.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 05-02-2013 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:31 AM   #7
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Changing a Multi-wire branch circuit to a single circuit.


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Sounds like he wants to add new circuits but doesnt have the room so the solution is to combine all the MWBC since like he says they only service 7 devices.


You got it.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:41 AM   #8
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Changing a Multi-wire branch circuit to a single circuit.


[QUOTE=AllanJ;1171109
Method #2. Identify where two or three 3 wire cables for their respective multiwire branch circuits come into the panel. Unhook their red wires from their panel breakers, get a short length (pigtail) of black or red wire, and attach that to those two (or three) wires. Connect the other end to one of the breakers. Similarly, unhook the black wires from those same cables from their breakers, wire nut them together with a pigtail, and connect the pigtail to one of the breakers. Double check to be sure you have 240 volts between the two pigtails. Now you have two or four breakers freed up for other purposes.


Note: In some cities you must withdraw the two cables from the panel and do the wire nutting in a junction box next to the panel and run only the pigtails into the panel to reach the breakers and neutral bar. You can also combine non-MWBC circuits in this manner to free up more breakers.



Thanks, Method #2 sounds perfect. I appreciate all the help.
The only downside to getting this info so quickly - no excuse to keep sitting on the couch.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:54 AM   #9
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Changing a Multi-wire branch circuit to a single circuit.


Add a sub panel instead. You move two circuits out for the 2 pole breaker to feed the new panel.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:02 PM   #10
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Changing a Multi-wire branch circuit to a single circuit.


You need to tell us much more !
Why do you need to do what your preposing ?
It might not be wise depending on what your doing.
Please elaborate !
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:12 AM   #11
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Changing a Multi-wire branch circuit to a single circuit.


Before going thru any of this work (not that its difficult) I'd be curious to know if the current panel accepts tandem breakers.

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