for some reason the electrician doing the wiring for our house renovation
removed the external metal plate that kept the two poles of the breaker
together and now the two are independent. this is for the kitchen counter
circuit. (actually he did something even weirder, he used two separate
breakers for the kitchen counter plugs, and put them next to eachother, and
took the metal bar off the double pole breaker and used it as two single
breakers for some other circuits)
I understand why it's a good idea to have both tied together, but is it
required by code too?
and is there anything I can buy to tie those two together? they're Siemens
breakers and they have a hole going through the breaker "handle", I guess I
could stick something through and tie them together.
What the electrician did is common practice, as long as the two circuits
don't supply more than one device on the same yolk (such as a split-wired
duplex receptacle.) The breaker ties are not required, or desired. Do you
really want to lose power to all of your kitchen counter receptacles when
only one circuit gets overloaded? Not only did the electrician spare you
that inconvenience, but could have easily sold you two single pole breakers
that you didn't need. See NEC (2002) Section 210.4(B).
I'm in Canada (Quebec to be exact).
I believe that according to the current code the kitchen countertop plugs
(only those above the counter that will serve stuff like toasters and other
high-draw devices) are supposed to be split.
as a result, there's no GFI protection on them (and I haven't seen GFI
outlets in any kitchen here, I don't think the code requires it)
the electrician passed one 14/3 wire from the panel to one outlet, then to
the other outlet. there are two outlets in a chain, but instead of each
outlet being on a different circuit, the two plugs in an outlet are on
different circuits, but the two outlets are in a chain sharing these
circuits. I'm not sure if I'm making this clear...
Outlet A has holes A1 and A2, outlet B has B1 and B2
there are 2 "phases" coming from 2 breakers, A1 and B1 are on one phase and
A2 and B2 on the other.
I think the neutrals are connected together in the outlet (outlet has a bar
connecting the two circuits between A1 and A2, one bar on the hot side is
removed to make A1 and A2 independent, bar on neutral side is not)
Sorry, I'm not in the habit of checking headers. Seems you're in Canada.
The info that I provided was for the US _only_. Your installation may be OK
per CEC. Maybe someone who is familar with the CEC will respond.
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