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#56080 - 12/06/03 07:17 AM Handle Ties on Adjacent Single Pole Breakers

There are disadvantages to using a couple single pole breakers for single phase 240v loads and also multiwire circuits of 12-3G etc, instead of the 'common trip' 2 pole breaker.

These handle ties on single pole breakers will switch both poles when manually switching the breaker on and off ,

But when an overload or overcurrent in one pole trips its own breaker, only one of the poles will be de-energized and the remaining breaker still has hot going out!

Breakers are designed to trip internally, even when the handle is restricted somehow.

This is normal and code.
For now.

Just so we aint gonna hurt one another out in the playground.


#56081 - 12/06/03 11:20 PM Re: Handle Ties on Adjacent Single Pole Breakers
Bob_Fleming Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 30071
Loc: Ft Collins, CO USA
Ernie, thanks for the reminder on this. Too easy to forget the unsafe breaker operation.

#56082 - 12/07/03 06:12 AM Re: Handle Ties on Adjacent Single Pole Breakers


you are very welcome


#56083 - 12/08/03 03:52 PM Re: Handle Ties on Adjacent Single Pole Breakers

Not all breakers with handle ties are NON-COMMON TRIP...i.e. 'individual trip''

Common trip is where all poles are opened together when a fault or overload happens.

Some quads etc where the 2 middle poles are for 240v loads will be common trip,and the 2 outside poles of 120v will be non-common trip.[INDIVIDUAL TRIP]
Quad requires 2 spaces

Other 2 pole ,240v breakers with two handles and a tie will also be common trip...where overcurrent in one leg will open both poles inside the breaker.

Some of these designs are merely for the mfg convenience and economy

The usual TANDEM/TWIN DUAL breakers with a couple single poles will be individual trip also...even with handle ties.
and...These will not provide two poles for 240v loads!
..a common error.
These SP tandems are for 120v loads only .
Tandem One pole breakerBreaker Requires one space

There are also double tandems ..'Quad tandems' .. with 4 handles that take two spaces like a 2P20a/2P30a

There are also 4 handle breakers and with 'ties' in one package that are used as main breakers and are COMMON TRIP!

Switching a breaker of manually is not the same as trip.

A breaker that is tripped open [off] due to over current or overload,,, is tripped ..not switched!

The moral of the story...."always verify that voltage is truly 'off' when switching off any breaker with handle ties"!

the life you save may be mine!

#56084 - 12/08/03 04:00 PM Re: Handle Ties on Adjacent Single Pole Breakers

"...The term Quadplex and Triplex comes from the Murray (ITE) product and in general refers to a breaker that offers the benefits of 4 poles in two breaker positions with the benefit that if one phase trips on the 240v configuration, the other phase trips internally instead of relying on the pole handles to be physically tied.
A QUAD breaker is when the two outside two poles are tied together and the inside two poles tied together providing two 2-pole 240vac breakers.
A TRIPLEX breaker is when either
A) the two outside poles are tied together for a 2-pole 240v breaker and the two inside poles operating independently as two 1-pole 120v breakers or
B) the same as A but switching inside and outside poles.

The alternative to using a QUAD or TRIPLEX breaker is to take two twin breakers and physically tie the two inside and/or two outside poles together.
The downside is that this method relies on the physical connection of the pole handles for the other breaker to trip instead of the internal trip mechanism.
The Quadplex or QUAD breaker offers a 2-pole inside common trip breaker for a 120/240vac plus two extra independent single pole 120vac breakers.
The configuration can be the outer two poles as a 2-pole It is made by T&B and MURRAY but not by Square D..."

slang triplex



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