How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask High-Voltage Your Own Question
High-Voltage, .
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 149
Experience:  .
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
High-Voltage is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a dual breaker circuit of 2 15 amp breakers held together

This answer was rated:

I have a dual breaker circuit of 2 15 amp breakers held together by a small metal bar that use to provide power to an electric baseboard heater (which I have removed) through one 4 wire line that I want to now use for 2 15 amp individual circuits. The single wire consists of 1 black, 1 white, 1 red, 1 copper ground.

Can I split this into the 2 15 amp lines by separating the 4 wire line into 2 individual 3 wire lines ? Circuit 1 - Black, White, Ground and Circuit 2 - Red, White, Ground

What about at the breaker box, does this need to be broker apart as well ?

Can this be done simply by removing the bar that connects them ? or does each line (15 amp circuit) need its own 3 wires for each circuit breaker ?

Or am I just crazy for trying to do this ?

Hi, I will be glad to assist you:

What is it that you want to do with these circuits ultimately?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am going to just use them for an entertainment center and that equipment, placing a surge protection receptical on them. Nothing heavy duty.

Then are correct...

As far as the "2008 National Electrical code" is concerned- Keep that 2-pole breaker hooked up-***It keeps you safe because if you are working on the "RED conductor" for example...the white(neutral) conductor will still be carrying current off the black conductor(and vice versa) and can harm you...Having the two pole breaker there is a safety feature that has now been put into the most recent Electrical code book for this reason.

Good Luck to you!!!And no you are not crazy-that is a very smart thing to do!

High-Voltage and 3 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks and I am assuming that my wiring approach is correct with your response, no need to reply if this is okay. Thanks and have a nice day..

Sure thing...Just make sure that in the panel you have the white with all the other whites and the ground with all the other grounds(depending on how your panel is set up)

The black and red should be on the 2 pole breaker...

Also, at the junction box of your terminations, use the white conductor for both circuits.(I believe thats what you said you were doing anyways)

***check on that, because I have seen some crazy panel wiring before....

Edited by High-Voltage on 1/16/2010 at 4:21 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have another question with this.
It is set up as you suggest in the panel and I have wired it as I mentioned and you comcurred. The problem is that both circuits do not seem to be providing 110 volts I would have thought. When I plug the circuit tester into the outlet it lights up, however when I plug an appliance into the outlets it will not start or the lamp light is low. I have opened the circuit unti lI find out what is wrong.

What might be wrong ?

Hello again...there is no need to be concerned, I am here to advise:Smile

What is it that I said that you confirmed exactly?

Also, is there a wall thermostat for this baseboard?

Edited by High-Voltage on 1/19/2010 at 4:46 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hey thanks for picking up this thread again and I am sorry for the delay, I just thought I could find a simple answer, like I did something wrong - no such luck

That the panel wiring and keeping these 2 lines linking those together as they were when they were 1 circuit is what I confirmed as well as my wiring of the 2 new outlets.

There was a thermostat within the electric baseboard heat but I completely removed it all. What would possibly cause the power to be reduced ? I am a little puzzled.

So there is NO in wall thermostat for this.....correct?

And you have your white(neutral) with all others in the panel, you have black and red on the 2 pole breaker...correct? And ground with gounds of course...correct?

Also is this a residence or commercial?

Edited by High-Voltage on 1/19/2010 at 4:58 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes NO thermostat.
Yes on other questions,
This is a residence

Do you know if there is ANYTHING in line with this circuit? or does it go directly from panel to your GFCI?

Do you know what voltage is present at the GFCI location between the white(neutral conductor) and the black OR red that you chose?

How did you hook up the GFCI?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I took out the GFCI and am just using plain recepticles, this to make sure this was not my problem ( a bad GFCI ). It didn't make a difference.

I had to extend the length from the previous location so there is a "break" now, where there was none before. In doing so I just went wire for wire. Is it possible this be a problem ? I can recheck the wire size but I would assume that going up in wire size does not present a problem. Which is what I believe I did.

What other things should I check ?

you said 20 amp breaker. so what size wire?

I find it to be unlikely that is the problem here because this was a functioning unit to begin with.

What colors did you connect to the GFCI?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Remember I took out the GFCIs so they are not in the circuit at this time, just plain recepticles.

The breakers are 2 15 amps tied together over 1 - 4 wire line ( Red, Black, White, bare copper)

I am connecting red, white, copper to one recepticle and black, white, copper to the second recepticle.

Just that simple.

Its a 15 AMP big deal though, besides the fact that somehow the old unit operated without tripping boggles my mind with the amperage it consumed that you provided....Must be a weak breaker, but let's solve one issue at a time anyway.


-What was the reason you replaced the baseboard in the first place?

-Are you sure this is a direct line from panel to recepticle with no boxes or devices or thermostats,etc. in between?

-Do you have a multi meter(voltage meter)

***Check connections at the "break" and elsewhere...give a slight tug on each conductor under thier corresponding wire nut to ensure this.

Keep me posted....I'm here with you-no problem...

Edited by High-Voltage on 1/19/2010 at 7:05 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
its 2 15 amp breakers delivering 30 amps to the baseboard heater.

Removed it to make wayu for a gas fireplace.

I am pretty sure there is nothing else in the line.

yes I have a volt meter and will do some checking as soon as I get a few minutes, whcih may not be for a couple of hours, sorry I have to work.

I am sorry to bother you as you probably thought this was over. so did I. It's just driving me a ltlle crazy at the moment as I have other projects that need this finished.

That breaker is not delivering 30 amps....its a 15 AMP 2-pole....

You will need to read up on "AC sine wave theory for a 120/240 volt single phase service" to get a clearer image as to why that is...

However, please do and investigate as I advised in my last reply.

It's 15 AMPS per leg if used as 120 volts....TOTAL of 30 AMPS for both...which you are doing....I may have just misread what you said...My apologeeSmile

You may contact me again for further advice in this matter...Thanks!

Edited by High-Voltage on 1/19/2010 at 8:39 PM EST

Related Electrical Questions