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Old 06-01-2014, 09:43 PM   #1
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Double pole breaker for 120v service?


Bought a new property and its an electrical hodgepodge of 50 years worth of repairs. Gutting everything back to the breaker box and going to start fresh and ran into something I've not seen before....it looks like the service is 120v but a double pole 40amp breaker is used instead of a single.

Is there any problems with using this (other than the fact that its taking up extra space?) or going with a 40amp single pole instead?
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:26 PM   #2
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Double pole breaker for 120v service?


Looks like your only using one of those poles !
So going to a single should not be a problem.
Maybe thats all they had on hand at the time.

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Old 06-01-2014, 11:34 PM   #3
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Double pole breaker for 120v service?


That is what you would call classic. They basically tied both busses, so that you have 120 vAC. But only using one breaker.

At least they were smart enough to mark the Neutral with White tape. The good thing is that panel is not doing anything. Other than wasting a breaker space in the main panel. I really hope they did not do the same at the other end.

Pictures of the other panel would be nice.
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:04 AM   #4
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Double pole breaker for 120v service?


This is not an issue nor a code violation.

Now, if you want a 120/240v setup, you will either have to pull in another conductor, or see if the EMT feeding that panel is continuous back, then you can just reconfigure the existing conductors.

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Old 06-02-2014, 11:22 AM   #5
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Double pole breaker for 120v service?


Thanks for all the replies. If you think that box is classic you should have seen the wiring in the place before I demo'd it. The one receptacle with a ground plug had old 2 wire + what looked like speaker wire!!!! to the ground screw on it. Seeing that is what pushed me over the edge to rewire everything and not take any chances.

I have a call into the power company to see how the service drop box is wired (and how many amps I can safely use as 120/40amp is pretty minimal these days). The box on the other end is locked and I do not have access to it to see how its setup.

Glad to hear its not an issue/code violation though.

One more question, the property is actually a floating boathouse so GFCI is a requirement for the outlets when redoing it. Say I have 3 outlets in series, can the first outlet be gfci and the rest regular outlets or do they all have to be GFCI? I have a email into the inspector but haven't heard back yet on this. (Its in minnesota if anyone wants to take a look at the regs and clarify).
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:30 AM   #6
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Double pole breaker for 120v service?


Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
This is not an issue nor a code violation.

Now, if you want a 120/240v setup, you will either have to pull in another conductor, or see if the EMT feeding that panel is continuous back, then you can just reconfigure the existing conductors.
One could argue usage and listing, but IMO there us no hazard with this panel. If anything its a smart idea if only 3 wires are present and a 4th cant be pulled.

Side note: The panel is rated the same as with a 120/240 service. Ie, 125 amp means 125 amps even if the buss bars add to 250 in theory. The reason is that the neutral bar may overload since current is adding rather than cancelling.
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:34 AM   #7
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Double pole breaker for 120v service?


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Originally Posted by ezimmerm View Post
Thanks for all the replies. If you think that box is classic you should have seen the wiring in the place before I demo'd it. The one receptacle with a ground plug had old 2 wire + what looked like speaker wire!!!! to the ground screw on it. Seeing that is what pushed me over the edge to rewire everything and not take any chances.

I have a call into the power company to see how the service drop box is wired (and how many amps I can safely use as 120/40amp is pretty minimal these days). The box on the other end is locked and I do not have access to it to see how its setup.

Glad to hear its not an issue/code violation though.

One more question, the property is actually a floating boathouse so GFCI is a requirement for the outlets when redoing it. Say I have 3 outlets in series, can the first outlet be gfci and the rest regular outlets or do they all have to be GFCI? I have a email into the inspector but haven't heard back yet on this. (Its in minnesota if anyone wants to take a look at the regs and clarify).

Don't worry about the power companies wires or equipment. Its there responsibility and they follow different requirements.

You can feed a string of outlets with one GFCI as long as its fed through. Power coming goes on the LINE side, while the outlets to be GFCI protected go on the LOAD. This is good for only 1 circuit. All can use this method nut just need a different GFCI.

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