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Can you substitute two 120-volt breakers for a 240-volt breaker in a panel?
Friday, April 15, 2022
Yes, you can use two side-by-side single-pole 120-volt breakers as a substitute for a two-pole 240-volt breaker as long as the following three requirements are met:
1) The breakers must be “specified" as suitable for installation in the panel by the same company that manufactured the panel box, or “classified” by a recognized rating agency like UL as an acceptable alternative by a different manufacturer. See our article What is the difference between specified and classified circuit breakers? for more on this.
2) The breakers should be marked as rated for both 120 and 240-volt usage by the manufacturer.
3) You must connect the two breakers with a handle tie rated for use with that company’s breakers. An improvised connector, such as a piece of wire, is not acceptable and may allow one breaker to trip without the other.
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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about CIRCUIT BREAKERS:
• What is the maximum number of circuit breakers allowed in an electric panel?
• What is a tandem circuit breaker?
• When did arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) breakers first become required?
• Can you add circuit breakers by different manufacturers to an electric panel if they fit?
• My circuit breaker won't reset. What's wrong?
• How do I identify a combination AFCI (CAFCI) circuit breaker?
• What does a circuit breaker with a yellow or white test button indicate?
• What is the difference between GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers?
• What is a Dual Function Circuit Interrupter (DFCI)?
• What does it mean when a wire is "overstripped" at a circuit breaker?
• What is a double tap at a circuit breaker?
• What is the life expectancy of a circuit breaker?
• Why do some breakers in my electric panel have a "TEST" button on them?
• What is the maximum allowed height of a circuit breaker (OCPD) above the floor?
Visit our ELECTRIC PANELS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.
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