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Old 09-28-2011, 11:24 PM   #1
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


I have a complete solar set up. The inverter goes to a main breaker and then to a sub panel which has 4 20 amp breakers for my house. I am using a 50 amp 2 pole breaker in the main panel. I just bought a new great digital meter and one of those gfci plug ins so I plugged it in and it kept saying that my hot and neutral were reversed...they aren't. I did a test with the meter that tells you if your plugs are reversed and none are. I then tested the main panel and it says it is reversed...it actually isn't, but I think that the two pole is 2 hots of 120 each and I have wired it hot and neutral. I have never had any electrical problem, I think because most electronics are indifferent to ac polarity, but I do have computers and some sensitive things which worries me. What I want to know for sure is...Can I hook hot to one side of the 2 pole breaker, put my neutrals on the bus bar and put a grounding bar in for the grounds? Also if I put a black wire to connect both sides at the top with one hot ac in from inverter and use both sides with 2 separate circuits, will I just get 120 to each and not 240? Then doing the same with neutral and grounds...bus bar and grounding bar? Thank you for any help coming my way. M. Reed

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Old 09-29-2011, 06:57 AM   #2
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


I have absolutely NO idea what you are asking. The way you explain things it's as if we already are familiar with the situation.

To answer a question; Yes, you can use one side of a two-pole breaker for a 120v circuit.

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Old 09-29-2011, 08:54 AM   #3
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


You cannot have 240 volts unless the inverter output is 240 volts. It would also have to provide a neutral. Is this setup completely off grid?
So to start with, what is the output specification of your inverter?
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:21 AM   #4
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


How are the neutral and ground connected/bonded? Are they connected?

Those plugin testor in siplified terms measure hot-neutral, hot-ground, neutral-ground. It must be getting a reading of voltage neutral ground to give a hot neutral reverse.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:57 PM   #5
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


For a system completely off grid (no connection to a public utility) nothing prevents you from connecting one 120 volt hot feed line to both hot feed lugs of a panel. But you may not have any branch circuits in which there are two hot wires (say red and black) and one neutral wire.
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:58 PM   #6
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


Sorry to speedy for not being clearer. Now, the inverter does only put out 120 volts, so that certainly makes sense. My setup is completely off grid.
My main panel has power coming in from the panels through a charge controller to the batteries, to the inverter, into the main panel. It also is set up to use a generator when necessary.
I have two houses going off the main power panel. I have a 2 pole 50 amp breaker which I have the hot in one side of the breaker and the neutral in the other and ground on the bus bar. This is AWG12 wire, 3, one hot, one neutral and one ground. So, my question is, can I put one hot wire in each of the poles, put the neutrals on the bus bar and use a grounding bar for the grounds? Will this solve the problem of neutral to ground having voltage, which yes, it is showing on the main panel.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:13 PM   #7
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by mreed View Post
Sorry to speedy for not being clearer. Now, the inverter does only put out 120 volts, so that certainly makes sense. My setup is completely off grid.
My main panel has power coming in from the panels through a charge controller to the batteries, to the inverter, into the main panel. It also is set up to use a generator when necessary.
I have two houses going off the main power panel. I have a 2 pole 50 amp breaker which I have the hot in one side of the breaker and the neutral in the other and ground on the bus bar. This is AWG12 wire, 3, one hot, one neutral and one ground. So, my question is, can I put one hot wire in each of the poles, put the neutrals on the bus bar and use a grounding bar for the grounds? Will this solve the problem of neutral to ground having voltage, which yes, it is showing on the main panel.
You need to connect the inverter's hot output to BOTH of the hot busses in the panel, and neutral needs to be connected to the neutral bar and bonded to ground. You can either use a double pole breaker with the hot from the inverter connected to BOTH poles, or you can just connect the inverter's hot directly to both of the panel's main lugs without using a breaker. Most inverters have internal overload protection so there is no need for a circuit breaker on the inverter's feed to the panel.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:10 PM   #8
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


Thanks for the info, I appreciate your input. I talked to an electrician friend of my sons and I'll do that. This is a high tech inverter and it requires a main breaker panel before the sub panel. All is well
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:42 PM   #9
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


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Originally Posted by mreed View Post
Thanks for the info, I appreciate your input. I talked to an electrician friend of my sons and I'll do that. This is a high tech inverter and it requires a main breaker panel before the sub panel. All is well
What do you mean by that? How can the inverter require a subpanel of the entire system is off-grid? Something doesn't add up here...
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:35 PM   #10
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


Sorry, I guess being a 'newbie' I am not explaining myself very well. What I mean is, the inverter is the power that goes to a load center bringing the power in and then on to the sub panel that powers my house. I am actually still at a loss with my system.

From the inverter to the load center that takes the power to the house, I am still having a neutral to ground voltage. I tested the inverter and it is perfectly normal..1.5V, then the inverter puts the power into the 50 amp breaker box (required by Trace) and then to the house circuits. If I shut everything down except the power from the inverter to the 50 amp breaker box, I read 120V from neutral to ground which continues through the whole system once turned back on. If I test the receptacles, they read normal, all wires in both load centers are correct...I'm at a loss!!
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:44 PM   #11
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


Deleted, missed one of the OP's replies...
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:48 PM   #12
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


The inverter is a 4024 (4000 watts, 24 volts dc system) and it is a 120V. It is a Trace inverter.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:55 PM   #13
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


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Originally Posted by mreed View Post
I have a 2 pole 50 amp breaker which I have the hot in one side of the breaker and the neutral in the other and ground on the bus bar.
This is your problem.
Disconnect the neutral from the main breaker and connect it to your neutral bar.
Use a piece of wire and make a jumper to connect the two Line side terminals of this 50 amp two pole breaker together. Use wire the same size at the feed from the inverter.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:15 PM   #14
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


Some more questions for the OP
Does the sub panel have two bus bars?
You say there are only 4 circuits, so does the sub panel have room so all four breakers can be on one bus bar?
If so, you would only need to use one side of the 50 amp main.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:24 AM   #15
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


Thanks for all of your good input! I rewired my 50amp breaker which actually had the two hot wires together as I'm going to 2 houses and jumped the poles, using both hots, put the neutrals on the bus bar and the grounds on a grounding bar...power is fine...as in everything works, but it is still showing neutral-ground voltage. I had tried bonding the neutral and ground, but not good with my inverter, so changed it back to the grounding bar. As to the sub panel, it has 2 double 20 amp breakers for my house and all neutrals are on a single bus bar and grounds are on a grounding bar. Both the main and sub panel register neutral to ground voltage...119-121V. None of my receptacles show neutral to ground voltage so no reversal, but they all say there is a reversed hot/neutral with a plug in tester.

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