I am aware it is illegal, and I know the reason is that it leaves one wire
hot when the circuit dies. Someone not realizing that could easily contact
the live wire.
And I know that reason I can't do it for myself is that the next owner will
not know about it.
But if I swear on my Mother's grave that I will convert it to 120v before
selling the house....
I have a bunch of extra 15a 120v breakers, but would have to buy a 15a 240v.
As I see it, the circuit is open whenever either breaker is open. If the
live wire somehow leaks to the ground wire, that will trip the other
breaker. I just don't see any potential danger here. Am I overlooking
I saw something at work the other day that kind of concerned me. We
had a recent remodel and they did some electrical work. Anyways, they
tied the switches of two breakers together with a chunk of ground
wire....I am assuming to do exactly what you are talking about-convert
2 120 v breakers to one 240 v one.
I am not sure if this is legal or not...I would assume it is not...but
t makes me wonder....the final electrical got approved by the building
its an interesting thought..
Jumpin' Jiminy! It's less than ten bucks! How cheap can you be?? Jeeezzzz.
Send me your snail-mail address, and I'll mail you a damn breaker.
I have an extra 15A 240V Murray breaker that I'm not using and probably never
will. It's pretty dusty from sitting for years on a shelf in my basement, but
I think it's new. Murray breakers are compatible with General Switch, Siemens,
Westinghouse, and Bryant panels, and a few others - maybe Cutler-Hammer and
Challenger. (Strictly speaking, it's a Code violation to put it in anything
other than a Murray panel, since panels aren't tested with -- and thus aren't
listed for use with -- other manufacturer's breakers. Just so you know.)
Or you could sell those single-pole breakers on eBay, and use the money to buy
Yes, but if only one breaker is open, the other conductor is still live.
You said in your first paragraph: "Someone not realizing that could easily
contact the live wire."
Here, you say "I just don't see any potential danger here."
I'll bet you don't see any contradiction here, either.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Someone goes to work on the circuit, shuts one breaker, then
electrocutes themselves on the live wire in the box.
Around here at least it is code to use two single pole breakers on 240V
circuits as long as you use a tie bar to ensure that either breaker
being shut off (or tripping) will ensure that the other does the same.
Just buy the damn tiebars for your type of single pole
breakers and save a fire or the life of a some poor sole
trying to help family members or visitors when you just
didn't happen to be there when they had an emergency.
On a 220 device, and one breaker open, both sides of the 220
device are still at 110 to ground and will knock you on your
butt. Even the single open breaker still has 110 on the
LOAD side, albeit out of phase with the buss side.
Tiebars are a buck.
if the breaker handle has an 1/8" hole, bridge them with a
nail thru the holes.
-larry / dallas
You shouldn't swear to something you may not do, and even your promise
means nothing. You may be dead or disabled by then. If youre over 50
you may forget, no matter what your intention.
When I lived in an apartment in Brooklyn, I taped up the bathtub
overflow, to give myself an extra inch and a half depth in the tub,
with the promise to myself that I would undo it later. Well, I did,
but I was only 36 when I moved out. And there was no other way to
accoomplish what I wanted. And no one was going to die if I didn't
You could make a metal bracket that holds the two switches together
well, or better yet, you could probably find one made for that
Or you could buy one.
Read what you yourself wrote at the start.
So 14 amps at 110 volts isn't a danger?
**Although even when the tub overflowed, I'll bet it would have taken
them all quite a while to figure out why. The new tenant woudl
figure it was his fault. The stupid landlord (and he was) would think
the drain was clogged, and even the plumber wouldn't get it right
away. (The tape covered a hole and wrapped around a pipe that had a
porcelain handle and went into another pipe outside of the tub. Only
place else I've seen this is in hotels from the period (30's and 40's)
I can testify to that....Because just last night had to drive back to
the office from home because I'd left my briefcase there sitting next to
my desk and needed something in it.
I've been carrying a briefcase from home to work and back five days a
week for about 50 years now, and can't recall ever forgetting to take it
home before that. Guess I'm finally getting CRS*.
The worst part about middle age is that you grow out of it...
At the risk of repeating myself, this quote attributed to Albert
Einstein seem applicable to the OT of this thread:
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that there are limits to
* CRS = "Can't remember pshitt"
Of course you might have forgotten it many times before, but didn't
notice because you didn't need anything from it.
I once walked from my apartment to the bookstore, and on the way
wondered if I had enough cash and checked my wallet. A few blocks
later, I wondered the same thing, and didn't remember the outcome of the
last check, so checked again. Finally, at the bookstore, I was thinking
of buying a book, and wondered if I had enough cash, because I could not
remember the outcome of the last two checks of the wallet!
I didn't check again, though, because I realized that I had passed two
ATMs on the way, and if either of those checks had failed, I would have
stopped at the ATM machine and got cash, so I *must* have enough cash
now either way. I was right.
I suppose its a bad sign that I forgot twice like that in such a short
time (and I was only about 33 at the time!), but it's a good sign that I
at least was able to deduce that it didn't matter. Gives me hope that
when I'm old and really losing my memory, I might at least be able to
bluff my way through life!
Either tie the two together with I think tie bars or put in the 240 breaker.
I realize you'll change it when you move but what happens if you get hit by
a bus and don't make it
home to change it? Do it right the first time.
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