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Old 03-05-2009, 09:02 PM   #1
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Double up


I am going to be short 1 or 2 20amp breakers in my box because I took up to much space with my on demand HW heaters. My electrician says not to worry, we can just double up. Is this an OK pratice?

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Old 03-05-2009, 09:21 PM   #2
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Double up


I'm not a big fan of twin breakers but, hey...it happens.

By double up, I asume he means installing a couple of twin brealers. Two breakers in one position.

As long as the panel will accept the twin and as long as the phasing is proper on MWBC's, you (he) will be fine.

In a pinch, there are occaisions where you could double up two circuits on the same breaker. A recep below the panel and the irrigation timer would be one example. It's not a good idea to put two stock house circuirts together on one breaker.

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Old 03-05-2009, 10:45 PM   #3
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I bought (2) & used them briefly until my sub went in

If you have no plans to ever add anything else then go for it
If there is more electric then I would plan on a sub-panel
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:04 AM   #4
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Double up


If you going to use the twinner breaker make sure you double check the panel model number to make sure they can take the twinner breakers otherwise you are out of luck unless you get a subpanel next to it.

I allready ran into like this more than once on both side of " Pond ".

Merci,Marc
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:44 AM   #5
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Double up


Theoretically you can do as you ask. But, unless you upgrade the conductors/cable, (4 wire), install the correct breaker for the conductor size and install the correct receptacle for the range you would be violating the code.
No, you cannot use the circuit as it is, unless the range calls for a 30 amp circuit which is highly unlikely.
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:22 PM   #6
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Double up


If he means to double up by putting two wires on the breaker screw, no do not do this.
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
If he means to double up by putting two wires on the breaker screw, no do not do this.

There is nothing wrong with putting 2 wires under the breaker screw as long as the breaker connection is rated for 2 wires, as all the square D's that I have run across are. Most circuits in the house are using a very minimal percentage of the total allowable load anyways.
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:12 PM   #8
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Double up


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If he means to double up by putting two wires on the breaker screw, no do not do this.
That is also what i believe he is talking about.
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
Theoretically you can do as you ask. But, unless you upgrade the conductors/cable, (4 wire), install the correct breaker for the conductor size and install the correct receptacle for the range you would be violating the code.
No, you cannot use the circuit as it is, unless the range calls for a 30 amp circuit which is highly unlikely.
are we reading the same thread?
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Old 03-07-2009, 05:42 PM   #10
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Okay.. yes if the breaker has a flat clamp type connection, not the lug type you can from a physical point of view double tap. BUT... if each circuit was properly designed based on code and covers the area for let's say 15 amps. You cannot just double tap another circuit and have one breaker protect twice the area it is designed for. If this was such a good idea, why not buy only one 15 amp breaker and lug all the 14's together and pigtail one 14 to the one breaker?
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
Okay.. yes if the breaker has a flat clamp type connection, not the lug type you can from a physical point of view double tap. BUT... if each circuit was properly designed based on code and covers the area for let's say 15 amps. You cannot just double tap another circuit and have one breaker protect twice the area it is designed for. If this was such a good idea, why not buy only one 15 amp breaker and lug all the 14's together and pigtail one 14 to the one breaker?
Because that would border on stupidity.

But if you were to take an ammeter and check the loads on diferent circuits, and you were to then able to determine that a couple of your circuits will never have a very large load on them (if you know what they are feeding), you could then be confident that you would be able to double them up with no negative effects on your circuits.

It is done all the time, it is not unsafe at all, and you might safe yourself a couple of thousand dollars in an upgrade.
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:17 PM   #12
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yes.. done all the time... lot's of things are.. does not make them right or a good idea. You are in effect making the two circuits one circuit. If these are covering more area than the 3 watts per foot you are in violation.
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:08 PM   #13
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yes.. done all the time... lot's of things are.. does not make them right or a good idea. You are in effect making the two circuits one circuit. If these are covering more area than the 3 watts per foot you are in violation.

But unless you live in some cheap crappy tract home your house is going to be wired to more than the 3 volt-amps/square foot anyways, they always are. So don't worry about it, it most likely will not violate the rule. There is nothing unsafe about it.

By the way, the 3 VA is for the general lighting and rec.. Do you think the powers that be are going to reevaluate that number once all the incandecents are replaces with flourescent and LED? Do you think that it will dramatically change the general lighting load? Do you think it already has? So do you really think there is something magical about that number?

I don't.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:48 PM   #14
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Double up


I have a better understanding and only have to double up on 1 20 amp sq D that is used for outlets.

Thanks all!
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:05 AM   #15
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Double up


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
yes.. done all the time... lot's of things are.. does not make them right or a good idea. You are in effect making the two circuits one circuit. If these are covering more area than the 3 watts per foot you are in violation.
I have to disagree with you. Although 3 Va/Sq.Ft. is used to calculate load to determin service and panel size there is no VA/Sq.Ft. limit on an individual circuit, total circuit load would be the determining factor.

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