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Microwave circuit breaker also pinned to trip another breaker

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  • #16
    Re: Microwave circuit breaker also pinned to trip another breaker

    Robert, Yes, using 12-3 or 14-3, the black wire is one circuit with a breaker and the red wire is one circuit with a breaker and the nuetral is shared, and as Rick says, the nuetral only carries the difference of the 2 loads, so the nuetral never carries more than the maximum load of the breaker PROVIDING it is wired properly in the panel with the 2 circuits on different phases. If, by accident the 2 wires get put on the same phase, it will overload the nuetral which is not fused and the nuetral can burn up. That was the reason I never liked a shared nuetral circuit, but now with the code change the breakers have to be tied so that adds "some" level of protection. Electricians are savvy enough to be aware of red wires on breakers and to check for opposite phases from those 3 wire circuits. Often time the circuit is intended to be a 240 circuit with a nuetral like for a oven or dryer and is not a shared nuetral circuit. The other slight problem with shared nuetral circuits is that you CANNOT use a GFI breaker on either circuit (at the panel). A shared nuetral circuit that needs to be GFI protected would have to use a GFI outlet at the point or a dead front GFI and the point, but a GFI breaker cannot be used.

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