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#30153 - 10/06/03 06:23 PM 30 amp sp breakers
sparked Offline

Registered: 09/23/03
Posts: 101
Loc: Raleigh
Why are 30 amp single pole breakers sold in home stores? I can't think of any correct use for them, they usually end up replacing a 15A breaker fed with #14 wire . Is there a legal use for them?

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#30154 - 10/06/03 06:45 PM Re: 30 amp sp breakers
Jim M Offline

Registered: 08/10/01
Posts: 453
Loc: Chestertown, MD, USA
I just installed one for a RV receptacle. Other than this one I don't think I've used one in 20 years.

#30155 - 10/06/03 07:08 PM Re: 30 amp sp breakers
Electric Eagle Offline

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
I've had the opportunity to use 30 amp single poles a few times. I think once was for a built in A/C + Heating unit (Think Motel style) and the other time was for a built in heater. So there are legit reasons for them, but I think you're right on when they get used the most. I've had many customers tell me they need me to put in a bigger breaker for them, thinking that's all you have to do.

#30156 - 10/06/03 07:19 PM Re: 30 amp sp breakers
frenchelectrican Offline


Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
the 30 amp sp breaker there are few places i can use is : rv plug , 120v waterheater, somecase large 120v air commpresser unit and few other things requied 30 amp 120v but strictly commercal/ industrail useage item

merci, marc
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

#30157 - 10/06/03 07:43 PM Re: 30 amp sp breakers
caselec Offline

Registered: 04/14/02
Posts: 557
Loc: San Jose, CA
I think the real question should be...Why do they sell any circuit breakers in home improvement stores?
Curt Swartz

#30158 - 10/06/03 08:23 PM Re: 30 amp sp breakers
Bjarney Offline

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
I hate to throw a wrench in the gears, but there’s some oddball stuff out there, like 1-pole 225-amp breakers [also 4-pole versions, too.]

1-pole 400A class-T pullout fuseholder with circuit-breaker dimensions—used in off-grid battery/inverter systems.

{These are not FPE brand, although FPE did make 600-volt industrial molded-case and air-frame circuit breakers. They did not have the widely-publicized “no-trip” problem.}

#30159 - 10/07/03 03:10 AM Re: 30 amp sp breakers
iwire Offline

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
In the State I live (MA) a homeowner is allowed to do their own wiring, they are supposed to pull a permit and get inspections but that's another story.

Plumbing on the other hand in this state has no such leniency, you must be licensed to do plumbing work, go figure.

As a guy that does service calls I like that HD has a lot of electric supplies, some of these stores are open 24 hrs.

We needed thousands of feet or 12 and 14 awg on a Sunday repair call, stops at couple of these stores got us what we needed.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#30160 - 10/07/03 07:14 AM Re: 30 amp sp breakers
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I get through dozens of 30A (or 32A) single-pole breakers as they're very common in Britain.

The big stores are handy for when a regular supplier runs out of something and the job needs to be done in a hurry. My regular wholesaler seems to run out of a certain size cable quite regularly at the moment, so the B&Q store (similar to HD, even down to the orange color scheme) just up the road sometimes comes to the rescue.

#30161 - 10/07/03 08:52 AM Re: 30 amp sp breakers
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City

Recently I just found out about the permit process for electrical and plumbing work in New York City.

You have to be a licenced plumber or electrician in order to get a permit. The NYC Dept. of Buildings will not give permits to Joe Random, even if you know what you're doing.

Electrical work is defined as any work involving wires, repair to the wires or alteration in addition to new work and only is to be done by licenced electricians. This would technically include replacing a broken switch or outlet or hanging a new light fixture.

Ditto plumbing. Technically, changing a washer is OK. But changing a faucet or a part of the pipe is to be done by a licenced plumber. Early this year we put in a new bathroom sink (don't ask why ). That sort of job would technically have to be done by a licenced plumber.

You also have to post a copy of the permit in a visible location if your work requires a permit (eg. renovation, new construction, etc.)

This doesn't stop people from doing their own their own risk -- and you can certainly buy the supplies from anyplace (wire, breakers, plumbing supplies, etc.).

Two stores (a pizzeria and a bakery) up the street from me were recently gutted and renovated.

There were no permits visible. They would normally have to be placed in the window.

An old movie theatre down the street is also being renovated. They've been doing the work for almost two or three years now. No permits are visible. Occasionally you see things being done there late at night or on the weekends.

Frankly, I wonder how licenced contractors stay in business when you've got all of this stuff going on....

Following is my opinion on all this:

Yes, there are capable DIYers and they should be allowed to get permits if they show knowledge of what they are doing.

Maybe DIY installations would be better quality if they know that it has to be inspected.

But then again, the capable DIY will do it properly no matter what, and the cheap-skates will not care becasue they won't pay the permit fee anyway.

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 10-07-2003).]

#30162 - 10/07/03 05:06 PM Re: 30 amp sp breakers
sparked Offline

Registered: 09/23/03
Posts: 101
Loc: Raleigh
So there are legit uses them. Small water heaters, ac units, etc. All the ones I've seen are used when "upgrading" an existing breaker. Thanks for all your replies.

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