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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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Field Guide for Home Inspectors, a quick reference for finding the age of 154 brands of HVAC systems, water heaters, and electrical panels, plus 210 code standards for site-built and manufactured homes, and the life expectancy rating of 195 home components. Available at amazon.com for $19.95.
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