Electrical Questions? Ask an Electrician Online.
Is a double pole 30 amp breaker just two 15 amp breakers side by side; doubling the voltage? Or is it two 30 amp breakers side by side?
The amperage rating of the breaker is the number that is stamped on the breaker. If it says "15", then it's a 15 amp breaker. If it says "30", then it's a 30 amp breaker. In other words, you are not required to do any math to determine the amp rating for the breaker.Since it is a double pole breaker, it is double the Voltage of a single pole breaker installed in the same panel. So, if your panel is 120/240 volts like a standard residential panel, then your double pole breaker is rated for 240 volts.
Here's the reason I asked: I have an old oven that I think draws 40 amps but it's fed by two linked single pole breakers marked 20 amps. Can that be? Should the individual breakers both be marked at 40 amps?
That's correct. By the way, the electrical code only allows two single pole breakers to be used as a double pole breaker if they are linked by an "approved" handle tie.