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Author Topic: Single-pole breakers on multi-pole receptacle on distro  (Read 745 times)

TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Single-pole breakers on multi-pole receptacle on distro
« on: February 23, 2017, 09:12:25 am »

I'm shopping for a distro from a major player (not ampshop) and was surprised to see they offered two different versions of several output panels of the same receptacle type - i.e. L14-20.  One version has multi-pole breakers; the other has exactly the same receptacles but untied single pole breakers.

The rationale was that true multi-pole loads needed common trip, but if the L14-20 was used only for 120V loads, single pole non-common trip breakers is acceptable.  This is a listed shop so presumably UL/ETL has OK'd this, but I was surprised because this would never fly in a construction setting, and it wouldn't fly for me either - having to keep track of "this is the single-phase only bank" and "this is the OK to use for 208v bank".

Thought that was very curious.
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Henry Cohen

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Re: Single-pole breakers on multi-pole receptacle on distro
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2017, 03:07:18 pm »

I'm shopping for a distro from a major player (not ampshop) and was surprised to see they offered two different versions of several output panels of the same receptacle type - i.e. L14-20.  One version has multi-pole breakers; the other has exactly the same receptacles but untied single pole breakers.

The rationale was that true multi-pole loads needed common trip, but if the L14-20 was used only for 120V loads, single pole non-common trip breakers is acceptable.  This is a listed shop so presumably UL/ETL has OK'd this, but I was surprised because this would never fly in a construction setting, and it wouldn't fly for me either - having to keep track of "this is the single-phase only bank" and "this is the OK to use for 208v bank".

Thought that was very curious.

For those that ride the balanced power bandwagon.
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Henry Cohen

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Ray Aberle

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Re: Single-pole breakers on multi-pole receptacle on distro
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2017, 04:12:25 pm »

I'm shopping for a distro from a major player (not ampshop) and was surprised to see they offered two different versions of several output panels of the same receptacle type - i.e. L14-20.  One version has multi-pole breakers; the other has exactly the same receptacles but untied single pole breakers.

The rationale was that true multi-pole loads needed common trip, but if the L14-20 was used only for 120V loads, single pole non-common trip breakers is acceptable.  This is a listed shop so presumably UL/ETL has OK'd this, but I was surprised because this would never fly in a construction setting, and it wouldn't fly for me either - having to keep track of "this is the single-phase only bank" and "this is the OK to use for 208v bank".

Thought that was very curious.
I've seen those distros from Whirlwind with 3-single pole breakers instead of a single 3-pole breaker. (For an L21-30 output.) I mean I guess I like it; if two amps are on one leg, and they trip that leg, not having ALL three legs go would be beneficial (kill just those amps instead of all of the rest of the amps in that rack as well!) -- but keeping track of which breaker needs to feed which RackPack seems to me would add an extra layer of complexity, and something else for the union guys to mess up. :)

-Ray



I'm shopping for a distro from a major player (not ampshop)
I don't think I would consider them a "major player," but that's just me...
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Single-pole breakers on multi-pole receptacle on distro
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2017, 05:10:13 pm »


I don't think I would consider them a "major player," but that's just me...

Major if you like late orders, poor workmanship and refunds that never arrive.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Single-pole breakers on multi-pole receptacle on distro
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 05:10:46 pm »


I don't think I would consider them (ampshop) a "major player," but that's just me...
Exactly.
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Ray Aberle

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Re: Single-pole breakers on multi-pole receptacle on distro
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 06:39:05 pm »

Exactly.
And I just realised I read your OP wrong. I read it as
I'm shopping for a distro from a major player (not ampshop (who I consider one of the major players))
... and you meant...

I'm shopping for a distro from a major player (not ampshop (as opposed to shopping with))

Sorry!  :o
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Kelcema Audio
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Jim Turner

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Re: Single-pole breakers on multi-pole receptacle on distro
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 06:59:41 pm »

Major if you like late orders, poor workmanship and refunds that never arrive.

+1
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smile & wave...

Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Single-pole breakers on multi-pole receptacle on distro
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2017, 09:35:41 pm »

The main reason for common trip in a "construction" or building setting is that if you are making changes to the electrical system and you shut off the circuit you are working on, depending on the wiring layout, taking apart a shared neutral could result in the downstream neutral being energized through a load on one of the other legs.  Using a 2 or 3 pole breaker is supposed to result in all circuits using a given neutral being de-energized.

When maintenance is being done on a distro, best practice would be to de-energize the entire distro so the single pole breakers really shouldn't present an issue.
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Steve Swaffer
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