Split receptacles see a bit of use where the "second half" is fed through
a switch (fed from the same hot that is feeding the other half of the
So, you can have an outlet in your living/bed room where the top half is
"always on" and the bottom half is "on when the wall switch is turned
on" (e.g., for a table lamp). You typically don't want/need the top
AND bottom (of a duplex) to be switched at the same time in these
sorts of locations (*two* table lamps plugged into the same receptacle??)
In the US a 120V outlet or lighting circuit MUST have a single (120V)
breaker. You cant have a dual (240V) breaker feeding a 120V device.
Dual breakers are only for actual 240V devices such as an electric
range, water heater, clothes dryer, etc. However, some electric ranges
have a 120V outlet and lights on them. I'm guessing they have an
internal fuse or breaker for the 120V stuff. (Just a guess, since I have
never owned an electric range). I stick with gas ranges.
You typically *don't* want to split a duplex receptacle. I.e.,
so the "top outlet" is on one circuit while the "bottom outlet"
is on another.
It's easier (and less labor) to just wire the "odd" duplex
receptacles on one "hot" and the "even" duplex receptacles
on the *other* "hot". That way, you make only three connections
at each fixture instead of *four* (and, don't have to bother trying
to isolate the second half of the receptacle to "split" it.)
For example, in our kitchen, (a minimum of) two GFCI circuits are
required for "countertop appliances". We know that every other
duplex outlet is on the same circuit (because we chose to wire it
that way instead of "left half of counter" and "right half of counter").
So, if I want to plug in two electric frying pans, I can safely do so
by making sure they are on different duplex receptacles (because ours
aren't "split", the top and bottom halves are on the same circuit
as is true of most homes) AND make sure that there are an even
number of duplex receptacles between the ones we choose.
So, if we plug the first into the third duplex receptacle, then we want to
make sure we plug the second frying pan into the second ("zero" receptacles
between this and the location of the other frying pan), fourth (again, zero),
sixth (two receptacles between the third and sixth": namely, the fourth
and the fifth!), eighth (four receptacles skipped over), etc.
It's easiest just to pick two adjacent receptacles and know that one
will be "even" while the other is "odd".
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