Connect with us

Cutler Hammer (old style) CH230 type Ganged Breaker Question

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by RFI-EMI-GUY, Jul 7, 2008.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. RFI-EMI-GUY

    RFI-EMI-GUY Guest

    In my service panel (dating from 1980) I have several ganged type
    breakers for the AC, Range and Water heater. Today I had to expand the
    panel by two lighting circuits, and in the process had to remove these
    ganged breakers. I was surprised to find that the two breakers in each
    pair were apparently actually separate breakers with a small plastic
    insert stuck between the pole handles of each breaker. As luck would
    have it I broke all of these inserts trying to get the breakers back in.
    Are these available anymore? Is it the right fix to replace those? I
    note the new breaker I bought for my range, a CH-230 looks like two
    CH-130's "glued" together and has a painted metal band around the
    pieces locking their poles together.



    --
    Joe Leikhim K4SAT
    "The RFI-EMI-GUY"©

    "Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
    For if it prosper, none dare call it treason."

    "Follow The Money" ;-P
     
  2. Guest

    | In my service panel (dating from 1980) I have several ganged type
    | breakers for the AC, Range and Water heater. Today I had to expand the
    | panel by two lighting circuits, and in the process had to remove these
    | ganged breakers. I was surprised to find that the two breakers in each
    | pair were apparently actually separate breakers with a small plastic
    | insert stuck between the pole handles of each breaker. As luck would
    | have it I broke all of these inserts trying to get the breakers back in.
    | Are these available anymore? Is it the right fix to replace those? I
    | note the new breaker I bought for my range, a CH-230 looks like two
    | CH-130's "glued" together and has a painted metal band around the
    | pieces locking their poles together.

    I have seen, even in recent catalogs, little attachments for handles that
    will gang breakers together. One type screws into a hole in the tip of
    the handle (well, I assume a screw ... could be a snap-in bolt). Another
    type just slips over two handles, which I assume snaps in place reasonably
    hard enough to stay there.

    What I (and maybe others) are wondering is if this is safe, and if they are
    UL listed for this type of operation.

    One possible issue is with breakers that have a different off-state when
    tripped vs. when switched off. Some breakers go to a half-way position in
    the tripped state (you have to switch them fully off before going back on).
    In these cases, that half-way position might not be able to force the other
    breaker with the handle-tie into the off position (the other breaker might
    not see the over current fault on its phase).

    I'm looking for a 4-pole breaker in order to comply with NEC 210.7(b) when
    using a split duplex NEMA 6-20R receptacle. I mention this because of the
    way that rule is written:

    210.7(B) Multiple Branch Circuits. Where two or more branch
    circuits supply devices or equipment on the same yoke, a
    means to simultaneously disconnect the ungrounded conductors
    supplying those devices shall be provided at the
    point at which the branch circuits originate.

    Note that the wording says "to simultaneously disconnect". It does not say
    "to simultaneously protect". In other words, there has to be a means to shut
    off the power of both at the same time (simultaneously disconnect) and it has
    to be at the obvious location (point at which the branch circuits originate).
    It does not appear to require that both be interrupted together in the event
    of a fault condition on one of them.

    Now, I do not know that this is the acceptable interpretation. Your AHJ may
    have a different understanding of this. My point, though, is that this kind
    of interpretation may be the reason we see a lot of handle tied breakers.
    They may have been used for shared neutral 120V circuits where merely ONE
    of the breakers entering a tripped state would clear a single phase fault.
    I do know many shared neutral circuits in older homes don't even have such a
    handle tie at all. They would comply with 210.7(b) as long as one receptacle
    had only one "side" (120V) of the circuit. 210.4(b) would be another matter.

    What I was considering was looking for a handle tie that would go between 2
    two-pole breakers, for a total of 4 poles, where fault protection would at
    least exist within a single circuit. I have not see any such thing. One
    option I was looking at was using one of those double-gang twins (twins
    being where you have 2 breakers in a single slot), and a common handle for
    the whole thing (there is such a thing as a common handle for the two outer
    breakers in a double-gang twin).

    Since there are no 4-pole breakers for other than certain industrial panels,
    I guess I will not have the option to split a NEMA 6-20R duplex into separate
    single dedicated circuits, and will have to use two such separate yoke devices
    where I need 2 of those 240V circuits to be available.
     
  3. RFI-EMI-GUY

    RFI-EMI-GUY Guest

    I will probably end up changing them all out to be safe.

    With respect to the 4-pole, I imagine a limiting factor would be the
    amount of energy one pole could impart on the remaining 3 poles when
    tripping.

    --
    Joe Leikhim K4SAT
    "The RFI-EMI-GUY"©

    "Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
    For if it prosper, none dare call it treason."

    "Follow The Money" ;-P
     
  4. Guest

    | I will probably end up changing them all out to be safe.

    I think being safe is better.


    | With respect to the 4-pole, I imagine a limiting factor would be the
    | amount of energy one pole could impart on the remaining 3 poles when
    | tripping.

    Especially the pole on either far end. They would need stronger springs to
    mechanically charge, and that means requiring special listing, and hence a
    very limited market (probably mostly for 3-phase switched neutral cases).

    I'll most likely end up with single receptacles for the 6-20R and 5-20R in
    my kitchen (duplexes will be 5-15R on 20A circuits) of the house still in
    design. The shop might get duplex 6-20R (both outlets sharing one circuit).
    The computer room is probably going to get L14-30R through a UPS for the
    computers and L6-15R for the localized A/C. I'll need to rig up some means
    to warn the computers about A/C failure and temperature rise so most of them
    can gracefully power off in an emergency.
     
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day

-