Handle Ties or Double Pole Breaker for Multiwire Branch Circuit

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
If you ask me, the bar connecting the two poles of most two-pole breakers is a handle tie. It's kind of ridiculous to suggest otherwise.
It is a type of handle tie, but it is not what makes them common trip or multipole breakers.

It is the internal common trip bar that you cant see that runs through them that makes them multipole breakers.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
We are mixing things up. The OP wanted to know if a two pole breaker is allowed on a MWBC. It is, without a doubt.

You and I and Bob are arguing about using switches.

Yes because Bob brought that up and I thought there was something I was missing in the NEC. I was asking how he came to that interpretation. I don't see it
 

ADub

Senior Member
Location
Iowa
Thanks Dave. I see that but reading item 1 which references multi wire branch circuits, it doesn't say a 2 pole can be utilized in a multi wire branch circuit. I'm going to speak with our AHJ. If the book doesn't specifically state it, he doesn't allow it.

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Does your ahj not realize the nec is a permissive text and actually works the opposite way he thinks it does? If it doesn't say you can't then you can.


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cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
Yes because Bob brought that up and I thought there was something I was missing in the NEC. I was asking how he came to that interpretation. I don't see it
Well you and Bob are crazy so I just skipped over your comments. :p Actually in the handbook it does say that you may use a 2-pole switch. The code language on the other hand does not mention it.
 

Dennis Alwon

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Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Well you and Bob are crazy so I just skipped over your comments. :p Actually in the handbook it does say that you may use a 2-pole switch. The code language on the other hand does not mention it.
I would certainly think that a dp switch would be okay I just don't see the wording. That is why I was asking if there was an exception somewhere. Oh well.
 

Dennis Alwon

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Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I see using a switch as a practical solution to meet code on old fuse panels.
I agree but that was not my point. I would imagine most inspectors would allow it rather than force a panel change but I bet there are some inspectors who wouldn't. Might be a worthwhile proposal.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I would certainly think that a dp switch would be okay I just don't see the wording. That is why I was asking if there was an exception somewhere. Oh well.
And I don't see any wording requiring the overcurrent device to open all poles.

It simply says a means to disconnect all ungrounded conductors at the source.:)
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
The source is at the OCPD locating a switch beside the panel is at the source

If they meant specifically the OCPD had to open all poles that is what it would say as it does in say aticle 240.

This whole idea that it must be a breaker really blows my mind. Never have I heard anyone express that opinion before this thread.

I cannot wrap my head around it in the least.
 

jumper

Senior Member
The source is at the OCPD locating a switch beside the panel is at the source

If they meant specifically the OCPD had to open all poles that is what it would say as it does in say aticle 240.

This whole idea that it must be a breaker really blows my mind. Never have I heard anyone express that opinion before this thread.

I cannot wrap my head around it in the least.
I am not saying that the code says one must use a breaker nor does it say one cannot not use a switch. The problem is the way it is worded. "Near, beside, or close to" are not the same as "at".

You said:

The source is at the OCPD locating a switch beside the panel is at the source
That may be your opinion, but IMO no. This may have been the intent, but the words as written do not specifically state such.

Your words back in 2008:

I think they needed to leave an option for MWBCs that are supplied from old fuse panels.
http://forums.mikeholt.com/showthread.php?t=103750&p=910075#post910075
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Yes, my words in 2008 saying the same thing I am saying now.

There is nothing in the wording preventing up the use of a switch.

We will have to disagree. The source isn't the switch no matter how you look at it. The source of the circuit is at the overcurrent protective device. In your scenario I can have a switch 100 feet from the panel and it would be compliant since no distance is given. Using Charlie's Rule I honestly cannot see it any other way -- obviously you do so we will have to agree to disagree.

I want to be clear that I honestly don't see an issue with putting a dp switch on it but how is one to know what that switch disconnects-- nothing states I must label the switch. I see a lot of problems using the logic you employed.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
We will have to disagree. The source isn't the switch no matter how you look at it. The source of the circuit is at the overcurrent protective device.
The CMP feels differently.

This is from the 2008 ROP and makes clear that the CMP does not feel the source is the OCPD. I will admit It does show other people have some confusion on it though.

2-32 Log #598 NEC-P02 Final Action: Reject
(210.4(B))

Submitter:
Herbert S. Pharo, Cape May, NJ

Recommendation: Revise text as follows:

Each multiwire branch circuit shall be provided with a means that will
simultaneously disconnect all ungrounded conductors nearest At the point
where the branch circuit originates.


Substantiation: The problem is that the point where the branch circuit originates is at the overcurrent protective device. Nearest as used in 230.70(A) (1).

The new word will make it clear that the disconnect need not be overcurrent protective device.

Panel Meeting Action: Reject

Panel Statement: The term “nearest” is vague and unenforceable. The present language is clear and enforceable by the authority having jurisdiction.

Number Eligible to Vote: 12

Ballot Results: Affirmative: 12



In your scenario I can have a switch 100 feet from the panel and it would be compliant since no distance is given.
No, that would not be at the source that would be a 100' away.

Think of it the same way as 'nearest the point of entrance'


Using Charlie's Rule I honestly cannot see it any other way -- obviously you do so we will have to agree to disagree.
I am not going to change my mind, the CMP sees it like I do (or I see it like they did) OTH what you are suggesting is not supported by the words in the section.
 

Transportation Guy

Senior Member
Location
Williamsburg,VA
Appreciate all the professional opinions. The AHJ allowed the use of a DP breaker. To comment on the statement if the NEC doesn't say you can't then you can didn't work here in NC. We used an open top trough on a hotel installation and he (AHJ) rejected it. Department of Insurance agreed and said open top troughs are not permissible, only open bottom where the NEC says you can. The NEC is clear as mud.

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roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
Appreciate all the professional opinions. The AHJ allowed the use of a DP breaker. To comment on the statement if the NEC doesn't say you can't then you can didn't work here in NC.
Where are you working in NC and is this a state job? Your experience is not the norm.

Roger
 
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