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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I was inspecting a service panel the other day and noticed a couple of the 240V appliances were being powered by 2 individual 20-40A breakers instead of just one 40A 240V breaker.

So basically you could switch one breaker off if you wanted.
I tried switching one breaker off thinking that I'd might get only 120V from the appliance outlet but I was wrong! It still came out as 240V.

This was very confusing to me, could somebody explain why it did that?

Also, is this panel up to code??
 

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Did you switch off the other breaker and read 0 voltage? You have to keep going with the troubleshooting until you figure it out. You will get better and faster. You might also want to look at systems that are working correctly and take some readings, etc. What type of meter were you using? Sometimes the electronic meters will read phantom voltage. When you use a wiggy or other meter with more resistance these voltages disappear. :cheesygri
 

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What type of panel. Can you describe the breaker? Could be a 2 pole breaker that has a 2 pole 40 in the middle and a single or 2 pole 20 on each end!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
jbfan said:
What type of panel. Can you describe the breaker? Could be a 2 pole breaker that has a 2 pole 40 in the middle and a single or 2 pole 20 on each end!
Then panel had on the breakers lined up horizontally.
All the breakers were put in as individual so you can shut off any one breaker independently from others. They were very skinny breakers if that helps.
 

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Johnny916 said:
Hi, I was inspecting a service panel the other day and noticed a couple of the 240V appliances were being powered by 2 individual 20-40A breakers instead of just one 40A 240V breaker.

So basically you could switch one breaker off if you wanted.
{snip}

Also, is this panel up to code??

It's perfectly fine to use two single pole breakers in lieu of one double pole breaker; HOWEVER, the NEC requires that the handles be mechanically connected with an approved handle tie so that if one of the breakers trip, the other will open also. From what you described, you can turn one of these breakers off without affecting the other. So, no, that panel is not up to code.

As far as the odd voltage reading you mentioned, without eyeballing the situation to see exactly where and under what conditions you were getting them, I gotta steer clear of that one.

-Rhett :Thumbs:
 
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