Double Pole Breakers: 5 Key Takeaways

If you’re an electrician, you probably know about single and double pole breakers. If you don’t know much about the way electricity works in your home or business, though, you may understand very little about them. You might not recognize either a single or double pole breaker if you saw one. 

A superb 50 amp double pole breaker won’t cost you very much, but before getting one, let’s make sure you understand some of the basics about this electrical component. In this article, we’ll discuss double pole breakers in a way that even the uninitiated can understand.    

Double Pole Breakers Are Circuit Breakers

Double pole breakers are a kind of circuit breaker. A circuit breaker is a type of automatic device that halts the flow of current to an electrical circuit. They are there for safety purposes. 

A double pole breaker looks like a small black box that fits in the palm of your hand. You can easily get one at Home Depot, Lowes, or a locally-owned hardware store. 

Double Pole Breakers Have Two Hot Wires

With double pole breakers, you have two wires that an electrician would describe as “hot.” That means it’s a wire that carries the electricity from the breaker panel into the device it’s powering. 

There are also pole breakers that have a single hot wire. With conventional breakers, you can look at the wires and see what they depend on their color. The hot wires will be black, while the neutral wires will be white. 

Double Pole Breakers Are There in Case There’s a Short Circuit

With double pole breakers, you have a pair of hot wires, and either of them can cause a short circuit if they overload. That means the electricity they’re being asked to conduct becomes too much. 

If a short circuit is detected by either of the hot wires, both of the breakers trip at the same time. If you have one of these breakers, you can use it to serve two 120-volt circuits. You might also assign one the task of serving a single 240-volt circuit. They are designed to handle either task with equal ease. 

You Can Install Them in Your House or Place of Business

You can also install both double and single pole breakers in your home or place of business, and it is legal and perfectly acceptable to do so. When deciding which one you want, look at your circuit board. If it is configured for a tandem circuit breaker, use a double-pole one. Otherwise, a single pole breaker is preferable. 

They Have Many Uses

You can use these breakers with lights, fans, and anything else you’d install around the house or workplace that runs on electricity. Make sure when you’re shopping for them that you get one from a brand that has an excellent industry reputation. You can sometimes find cheaper ones, but it is better to pay a bit more to get one you know will stand up to regular use.

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