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Old 01-31-2014, 07:10 PM   #1
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Circuit Breakers and Amperage?


Hello, in my house I have 2 breakers that are outputting 220v. Each breaker is 20 amps and I am wondering if the total current can be 40 amps or if it is only 20?

Then what gauge wire will I need to support this power?
Thank you!

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Old 01-31-2014, 08:14 PM   #2
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Circuit Breakers and Amperage?


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Originally Posted by pclever1 View Post
Hello, in my house I have 2 breakers that are outputting 220v. Each breaker is 20 amps and I am wondering if the total current can be 40 amps or if it is only 20?

Then what gauge wire will I need to support this power?
Thank you!
20a 240v.
12g wire would work with it.'

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Old 01-31-2014, 08:15 PM   #3
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Circuit Breakers and Amperage?


If you have one double pole 20 amp breaker, you have 240 volts 20 amps. Theoretically, you could have 20 amps on either leg and have 40 amps worth of 120 volt loads, but that is not how it is described.

12 awg is what is usually used with 20 amps circuits. What is this circuit feeding? (Or going to feed?)
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:18 PM   #4
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Circuit Breakers and Amperage?


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Originally Posted by Kyle_in_rure View Post
If you have one double pole 20 amp breaker, you have 240 volts 20 amps. Theoretically, you could have 20 amps on either leg and have 40 amps worth of 120 volt loads, but that is not how it is described.

12 awg is what is usually used with 20 amps circuits. What is this circuit feeding? (Or going to feed?)
They both tie into one cable leading to a humidifier that draws 17amps.
What is the point of the second breaker then, is it just to double the voltage?
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:44 PM   #5
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Circuit Breakers and Amperage?


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Originally Posted by pclever1
They both tie into one cable leading to a humidifier that draws 17amps. What is the point of the second breaker then, is it just to double the voltage?
Each breaker serves a 120 volt leg. Your transformer puts out two 120 volt lines (I believe 180 degrees out of phase), put the two legs together and you have 240 volts. The motor uses both legs and therefore uses 240 volts.

It's similar to having a 120 volt hot wire and a neutral, except instead of a neutral you have another 120 volt line.

The arrangement is called "split phase" power.
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