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electrifier
electrifier, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1633
Experience:  Electrical contractor and electrical inspector for over 24 years with phone and networking expertise
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How do replace a double pole 40 amp GE circuit breaker with

Customer Question

How do replace a double pole 40 amp GE circuit breaker with 4 wires?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  electrifier replied 6 years ago.

electrifier :

Can you explain what you mean by the 4 wires?

electrifier :

Do you have 2 pairs of wires connected to the 2 terminals on the breaker?

electrifier :

What is connected to this breaker? What is on the other end of the wires?

electrifier :

What sizes are these wires, one being thick and one being thin as you stated?

JACUSTOMER-d6za0vp6- :

Hi,

JACUSTOMER-d6za0vp6- :

Hi

electrifier :

Can you explain your question a bit more? What sizes are these 2 sets of wires? What do they go to? Do you have room for another 2 pole breaker in the panel?

JACUSTOMER-d6za0vp6- :

There were 2 pairs of wires on the GE THQP230 30 amp 30 amp double pole (one thick (?8 gauge) and one thin (?12 gauge). This double pole is for a year 2000 Marathon electric water heater, which can be shut off and on by Dakota Electric by a little box of Dakota Electric's located near the main meter. Also, a special meter of Dakota Electric is near the main meter. The special meter records the amount of electricity used by off peak appliances (in our case by the water heater and the air conditioner.

JACUSTOMER-d6za0vp6- :

I think I have room for another 2 pole breaker in the panel.

electrifier :

#12 conductors may only be connected to a 20 amp breaker, not a larger one. #10 can be connected to a 30 amp breaker. We can't guess at the wire sizes. We have to know the size and make sure the wire is heavy enough to carry the rating of the breaker.

electrifier :

You must not try to connect these 2 sets of wires to the same breaker. A water heater requires a larger breaker than #12 wiring is safely connected to.

electrifier :

A water heater is normally connected to a 30 amp circuit, not 40 amp.

JACUSTOMER-d6za0vp6- :

I will try to find something to measure the wire sizes. The double pole 30 amp breaker has been in use with the off-peak water heater system since 2000 without any problems. Someone from

JACUSTOMER-d6za0vp6- :

Someone from Dakota Electric did come out to look at the water heater issue & there was no power going to the off peak box and the off-peak meter was not active as it should have been for the time of day it was inspected. This box normally has green and sometimes red lights on it to denote the current status of the off peak system. The Dakota Electric tech believes the problem to be unrelated to their box.

electrifier :

Did you test the breaker to verify it was or was not working?

electrifier :

Did someone add the smaller wires to this breaker after it's initial installation?