How does a double-pole circuit breaker work?


Quick Answer

Double-pole circuit breakers, also known as two-pole breakers, feature a combination handle that makes it possible for both phases of the breaker to trip if a short is detected on either side. The tripping has the effect of cutting the flow of power into a home’s wiring. Thus, the gadgets are safeguards against entry of excess current into a circuit.

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Full Answer

According to eBay, a double-pole circuit breaker has the capacity to handle a higher voltage than single-pole designs. The breakers have a capacity of 240 volts compared with the 120 volts managed by single-pole models. Households with high-energy-consuming appliances such as hot water systems, electric dryers and well pumps should deploy double-pole circuit breakers.

Ebay cautions against powering heavy-duty electrical appliances with single-pole breakers. Such appliances come with two hot wires. In an instance where only one of the hot wires overloads or shorts out, it's possible that a single-pole breaker won’t trip. If the breaker fails, then the household circuit could have two overloaded live wires, which could lead to a fire disaster. All circuit breakers can be reset after tripping to allow the flow of current through a household circuit. However, About advises that it's wise to find out what caused the problem to avoid more costly repairs.

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