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AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
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Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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I am adding two (2) circuits (outlets & ceiling fixtures)

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I am adding two (2) circuits (outlets & ceiling fixtures) to the 2nd floor of my house. My question: Is it OK to run a 12/3 with ground from the panel box in basement to the attic crawl space, then run the two circuits with 12/2 wire (from a junction box) in the attic. In the basement, I intend to connect the red & black wires in the 12/3 to two separate (now empty) ,15 amp breakers in the panels box and the neutral (white) would be connected to the neutral bar in the panel box. In the attic junction box, the red from the 12/3 would be connected to the black wire the 12/2 of circuit #1, and the red wire from the 12/3 would be connected to the black wire in the 12/2 of circuit #2. Also in the attic junction box, the white wire of the 12/3 would be connected to the white wires of both 12/2 wires for circuits #1 & #2. Is this all OK?

AssuredElectrical :

Welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX would be glad to assist.

AssuredElectrical :

What you described is perfectly fine, it is referred to as "split circuit"

AssuredElectrical :

Thta is where 2 circuits on opposite phases share the same neutral

AssuredElectrical :

Two things that must take place to do so: 1. The breakers MUST be on the same side of the panel, one directly above the other, and they have the handles joined together so that they both turn off at the same time.

AssuredElectrical :

Typically best to use a double pole breaker for this situation

AssuredElectrical :

Mark in the panel also on the directory that they are split or shared circuits, that keeps someone later from thinking it is a 240 circuit to something.

Customer:

I currently have two empty breakers (15 AMP) in the box, should I put in a double pole breaker instead of using the existing ones? Or is it just good practice to put split circuits on double pole breakers & mark them accordingly?

AssuredElectrical :

Best to use a double pole because it already has both sides connected with the bar on the handles. Otherwise you have to one to add on 2 single poles.

AssuredElectrical :

best practice to use the double, not required. But joining the handles is required.

Customer:

I'm not sure what you mean by the "handles'.

AssuredElectrical :

what you use to turn the breakers off and on with

AssuredElectrical :

that is its hadle

AssuredElectrical :

handle, sorry

AssuredElectrical :

look at a double pole breaker and you will see it is just 2 single pole breakers joined together at their handles

Customer:

Oops. I didn't see the whole answer on yours from the previous questions, explaining how the must be on the same side of the box, with handles joined so they turn off together. It makes perfect sense.

AssuredElectrical :

Understand, no problem

Customer:

Thanks for your help, Mike. i hadn't thought about the double breaker at the box; so glad I asked.

AssuredElectrical :

yes, it is a lot easier, you are most welcome, glad to assist

AssuredElectrical and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you

Something to verify with your local permitting/inspections office.

All areas of the country are on different years of the code .

Check to see if your local area is requiring Arc Fault breakers on the bedroom circuits.

Many areas are under the latest code cycle and require them, some are not.

Only your local office can advise which cycle you are on at this time.

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