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#1675 - 05/20/01 04:52 PM Expecting 120 volts and finding 240 volts
Chris Rudolph Offline
Member

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 160
Loc: Winter Park,Fl USA
I am concerned about opening a switch or receptacle box in a residence and finding a multiwire circuit,2 ungrounded(hot) and a shared neutral with the hot conductors measuring 240 volts between them.I believe this is allowed per the NEC to share the neutral and feed the circuits from both sides of the panel in order to reduce the neutral current thus allowing for only one neutral conductor.
This appears to me to be a saftey issue and maybe there should be a notice posted on the box stating that 240 volts is present.
What is the opinion of the group?

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#1676 - 05/20/01 05:05 PM Re: Expecting 120 volts and finding 240 volts
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
Hi Chris,
this would be a 'multiwire branch circuit'.In a dwelling, the only change would be 210-4(b), which would require a double pole circuit breaker. the rationale, i imagine, is for the protection of the homeowner DIYer,as the normal 120v receptacle would be taken at face value.


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#1677 - 05/20/01 05:56 PM Re: Expecting 120 volts and finding 240 volts
doc Offline
Member

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 119
Loc: Texas
well in my opinion I do not think they should be allowed at allfor my part they are very dangerous esp when trying to tie into and existing grounded conductor and you find out it is a neutral,and yes I agree with you about the warning.
On another forum in 1 week there was 2 different people asking about the outlets not working on bottom but was fine on the top and another had replaced some outlets and had problems
both casses were multi wire circuits that were not installed with the breakers tied together and the other guy thought they were 120 oulets and had no idea to cut the brass link
_________________________
MAY THE SUN SHINE ON YOUR FACE IN THE MORNING AND YOU AWAKE WITH A SMILE

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#1678 - 05/21/01 04:02 AM Re: Expecting 120 volts and finding 240 volts
Redsy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2138
Loc: Bucks County PA
2 separate duplex receptacles in the same box do not seem to require a 2-pole breaker. Only if 2 halves on a single yoke are split. There are advantages to multi-wire ckts. though. Less voltage drop, less material cost, less box fill. Obviously, safety comes first, but this is sometimes a competitive game. Always be aware.(EASIER SAID THAN DONE)

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#1679 - 05/21/01 12:16 PM Re: Expecting 120 volts and finding 240 volts
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
Redsy;
only if on the same yolk!
thanks for the reminder..

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#1680 - 05/21/01 02:05 PM Re: Expecting 120 volts and finding 240 volts
Chris Rudolph Offline
Member

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 160
Loc: Winter Park,Fl USA
Sparky,Doc and Redsy,
Thanks for the reply.

Chris Rudolph's Power Factor

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#1681 - 05/21/01 02:07 PM Re: Expecting 120 volts and finding 240 volts
Tom Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
Chris,

This is not much of a safety issue or it would likely have been changed in the code by now.

First off, only qualified persons should be working on an electrical system. Henry Homeowner isn't qualified & this trade is not a hobby.

If you are a qualified person, you should know all about multi-wire circuits & you shouldn't be working on them hot with the possible exception of taking a measurement.

What box would you require the 240 volt sign on? If it is a warning sign put on the panelboard, this might not be a bad idea, perhaps you could submit a proposal for the 2005 code cycle.

Tom
_________________________
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#1682 - 05/21/01 02:48 PM Re: Expecting 120 volts and finding 240 volts
Chris Rudolph Offline
Member

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 160
Loc: Winter Park,Fl USA
Tom,
Thanks for the reply.I was thinking about a stick on label in side a single or more ganged box just hoping that Henry homeowner would give pause and immediately replace the cover plate.It would also serve as a reminder to us folks that have senior moments now and then.
Chris

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