common trip breakers

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by puckhead95, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. puckhead95

    puckhead95 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Happy New Year!

    Question:

    I've seen breakers sold at the Big Boxes that have clips connecting two breakers to force a common trip but are there any aftermarket connectors or clips available that can make two standard 1-pole breakers into a common trip set? Would this be acceptable under the NEC?

    Gracias!
  2. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy In the Trades

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Breaker ties do not make breakers common trip. They force the person turning off a breaker to turn off both (or all three) poles. With breaker ties installed between breakers, when out breaker trips, it will not open the other breaker.

    Only two pole (or on 3Φ service, 3 pole breakers) purchased as one assembly will open all phases when one phase trips.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,677
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    ties

    The DO pull the second breaker open during a trip, otherwise the unsafe condition would still exist, and some manufacturers do make them.
  4. GabeS

    GabeS Remodel Contractor

    Messages:
    294
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    Just a thought. Why not just remove the singles and put in a double. Do it right. Sleep at night.
  5. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy In the Trades

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I disagree. Two pole breakers are common trip. Two single pole breakers with a handle tie are not common trip. Breakers are designed to trip even if the handles are restrained for some reason. They even make a clip to lock a breaker handle in the "on" position for critical equipment that can't be turned off. These breakers still trip properly even though the handles can't move.

    Here's one manufacturer's thoughts on the matter. Sorry for the poor quality. Tried to upload a PDF, file was too large for this site. So I converted to gif, uploaded, and this site converted again to JPG. so it's been tampered with and compressed 3 times. Hope it's readable.

    Attached Files:

  6. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    USA
    A handle tie rated for the application and breakers can be used for a two pole application and be NEC compliant.
  7. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy In the Trades

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Not always. Not for multiwire branch circuits serving other than line-to-neutral loads. I'm looking at the 2005 NEC. 210.4 (C) Exception No. 2. I don't know if this changed in the 2008 or what code the OP is under.

    "Where all ungrounded conductors of a multiwire branch circuit are opened simultaneously by the branch circuit overcurrent device."

    I don't believe that a handle tie meets the requirement of all circuits being opened simultaneously BY THE OVERCURRENT DEVICE.
  8. BrianJohn

    BrianJohn DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    VA


    Wrong.

    A handle tie when installed either a legal tie or a 1/8 toggle bolt through the handle (NOT APPROVED, though illegal handle ties are illegal because they are not tested to operate under any condition) will result in opening of both CBs with a trip (fault) on one of the conductors.
  9. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina

    This is a false statement. Handle ties does not open both breakers in a fault in one breaker.

    Listen one more time handle ties does not open both breakers in a fault condition of only one ungrounded conductor.

    Handle ties does not operate both breakers in a fault condition

    Handle ties does not trun off both breakers in a fault condition..

    Only two pole breakers will open both circuits in a fault condition
  10. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    Personally, I spent an hour troubleshooting because a two-pole breaker with connecting pin only tripped on one side and I didn't notice that only one pole was tripped.
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