Question – Does a 240 Volt Light Fixture Require a 2-Pole Circuit Breaker?
|By Dave Rongey - Summary:
See why installing a 240 volt circuit without a 2-pole circuit breaker poses a hazard.
I have a lighting system which requires a 240v service and it pulls 5.5 amps. I ran 12-2 w/ground with the black and white both acting as the hot wires which the device specs said was o.k. My question is, with not much room in my box for breakers, do I have to have a 2-pole breaker (if so what amperage 15-20-30?) or can I just connect both hots to a larger single-pole breaker i.e. 30amp. If I do need a 2-pole breaker, how many lighting systems can I run off of it as not to overload my 12-2 wire but ultimately save space in the box?
Because the circuit is 240 volts we must make sure that both lines go off at the same time. This prevents the possibility of only one 120vÂ line being energized. This would not only be a hazard for someone who may need to work on the fixtures, but may be a problem for the fixture also.
As for the quantity of fixtures, the #12 wire will limit you to no more than 3 fixtures rated at 5.5 amps each.
Make sure you color the white wire of the 12/2 Romex with either Black or Red tape, in the breaker box and at each fixture, and be sure to bond your ground wire at the breaker box and each fixture.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.
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