I need a quad breaker (siemens), with a 20a-240v and two 20a-120v. It is
available as an internal common trip on the 240v, or with just ties. The
tie version says it is for 240v.
I figure, rightly or wrongly, that they wouldn't make it with internal
common trip unless that was somehow better than ties; but I can only find
the tie version. My electical books says they meet code, but should be used
only as a last resort. But if the manufacturer makes them for 240v...?
Should I keep looking, or is the tie version okay?
If someone can explain this to me, I would appreciate it.
I'm not quite sure what you mean/want here, so lets run thru the basics
(a bit ;-)
A residential 240V breaker is just a dual 120V breaker that's tied internally
or externally. Internal-tie breakers often only have one lever - which is
probably what you're referring to as a "240V".
Yes, codes _do_ approve external ties, but only if they're factory installed (at
least in the CEC). And they clearly _prefer_ internal ties.
As far as I've looked, the Siemans tiebars aren't trivially removable. You'd
have to cut them off. They _may_ be considered internal for that reason. Unlike
I have a Siemans panel. There are some internal tie and some external tie
duals in it. Duals, regardless of internal or external, take up the same
panel space, the only difference being how many levers they have (one or two).
You're asking for a _quad_. Why? Why wouldn't two duals do the trick? You
don't actually have to tie all four breakers together do you? Indeed, if you
don't mind the two 120V circuits tied together (which they should be if they
share a neutral), two internal-tie duals should do the trick (preferably),
but any combination of external/internal tied duals would be acceptable.
As a bit of info, in my panel all of the 15A duals but one are external
The 30As are internal tie/single lever. As I didn't personally buy them all,
and haven't been perusing Siemans breakers _lately_, it may well be that the
larger breakers commonly available are all internal tie. [Don't know about
20A breakers, don't have call for them in the panel.]
Given how freely the inspector approved the panel, I don't imagine the fact
that the ties were external really mattered much.
If the objection to the tied breakers it that they could be removed, then
the Siemens is fine. It came with the inner and outer ones tied together,
and yes, I will have to cut the outer tie off because I want to use them as
120v. I called all the electrical supply houses in town looking for an
internal and several people asked me why I would care. I will take that as
a vote of confidence in the tie.
I need the quad because I am adding a 240v circuit and have little space
Except for one GFCI, they are all twins now. All my big 240v breakers are
2", but messing with those is a last resort; Maybe it is purely in my head,
but I can't see putting 40a through a 1/2" breaker.
Maybe. I can live with a subpanel or the 1/2" breakers (yeh, I know they
are okay, they just look so small); I am afraid it is getting time for a
400a service. Hopefully the more efficient A/C will save me; or maybe I can
start switching appliances to gas.
That would be my choice. In fact it was - in the last 4 years I switched the
clothes dryer (saved 2- 1" spaces) a range (saved another 2- 1" spaces) to gas.
Now my panel looks silly with 32 "slim" breakers and 4-1" blanks!
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