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Refrigerator and Kitchen GFI circuit breakers tied together? Why?

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  • Refrigerator and Kitchen GFI circuit breakers tied together? Why?

    Can I remove the tie piece?
    I thought only 220 Volt circuit breakers were tied together.
    Any others?

    Most of the circuits listed in the 200-amp outdoor breaker panel have faded.
    Some are not readable at all.

    Thank you.
    I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
    It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
    "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

  • #2
    Re: Refrigerator and Kitchen GFI circuit breakers tied together? Why?

    They might be part of a multi-wire branch circuit.
    Unless you know for sure leave the tie in place. Why does it concern you in the first place?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Refrigerator and Kitchen GFI circuit breakers tied together? Why?

      Originally posted by Speedy Petey View Post
      They might be part of a multi-wire branch circuit.
      Unless you know for sure leave the tie in place. Why does it concern you in the first place?
      Yes. Wanted to ask you all before I did anything.
      I don't understand. If something trips the GFI circuit, the refrigerator also goes off and food may spoil before it is discovered.
      Ill try to find an explanation and schematic of a multi-wire branch circuit.
      Thank you.
      I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
      It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
      "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Refrigerator and Kitchen GFI circuit breakers tied together? Why?

        Is this a GFI breaker?

        A MWBC is one where two hots share one neutral.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Refrigerator and Kitchen GFI circuit breakers tied together? Why?

          Originally posted by Speedy Petey View Post
          Is this a GFI breaker?
          A MWBC is one where two hots share one neutral.
          Thank you.
          Just two separate 20-amp (I assume) breakers witheir handles tied.
          Outlet GFI.
          What is bothersome is a lot ofood could be ruined.
          I would make the refrigerator a dedicated circuit and have less essential circuits share a tie.
          I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
          It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
          "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

          Comment


          • #6
            WAIT! One breaker overloaded will NOTurn other off?

            Is the tied handle just so that both breakers are manually turned off, for example: if one is working on one circuit, the other "half" is not left live?

            If the island outlet circuit breaker trips from overload, its handle will NOT open the refrigerator circuit breaker?

            Thank you.
            I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
            It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
            "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: WAIT! One breaker overloaded will NOTurn other off?

              Without knowing what exactly is on them circuits, I would assume that there are two circuits going to one plug. One example would be the dishwasher and disposal. If you were to shut one circuit off to work inside that box, you still have one live circuit in the box that can shock you.


              What I would suggest is this. Go out and purchase a circuit breaker identifier. and a GFI plug tester
              Search Results for circuit breaker finder at The Home Depot


              Search Results for GFI tester at The Home Depot



              Go and identify EVERYTHING. Every plug in every room. Use a pair or cell phones or walkie talkies to aid in communication. Have a helper sitting at the circuit breaker panel trip and resetting the breakers as he uses the receiver to identify what you have the transmitter plugged into. When the noise stops on the TX, you found the breaker. Have your helper write down where the plug is and what breaker it is on a separate piece of paper. Once its all done, use the key to relabel the panel properly so it makes sense. Once this is done, how the house is wired will possibly make alot more sense, and will aid in further troubleshooting and upgrades.

              Also, the refrigerator should not be on a GFI circuit. It can be on the same circuit as a GFI, but the refer plug needs to be before the GFI to avoid problems with food going bad.
              Last edited by masterbeavis; 02-23-2012, 01:51 AM.
              We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: WAIT! One breaker overloaded will NOTurn other off?

                Originally posted by masterbeavis View Post
                ... Go and identify EVERYTHING. Every plug in every room....
                Already starting to do this.
                With no one to help, I used a radio with cordless phone on speaker.

                The refrigerator is likely on a non GFI circuit apparently shared with a kitchen GFI circuit and their two circuit breaker handles tied. One breaker labled "Refrig". Other "Kit GFI"
                I'd like to find a way of tripping the GFI breaker to see if it also turns the refrigerator OFF.
                Now must return to shoveling snow.
                I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Refrigerator and Kitchen GFI circuit breakers tied together? Why?

                  Here's the deal. Often times to save wire and money they will use a "shared neutral" circuit. Both circuits share the neutral wire. One circuit is dedicated to the fridge the other to the outlet which has a GFI outlet attached. By the older code the 2 CB's did not have to be tied together. In the last code book I think it was, they now say you have to tie the breakers together on shared neutral circuits. This is what you have and that is why they are tied. By the old code you can remove the tie by the new code you need it. I suppose you can remove it and replace it if you go to sell the house to comply at that point. What happens is, when they are not tied and someone working in the panel they can move either of the CB's to the same phase which will in turn overload the neutral. Also as someone pointed out if you have to work in the box where the 2 circuits split if you turn either breaker off (if not tied) then there is still a hot circuit in the box. Someone that knows what they are doing will recognize this however. If this job was not done under the new code you can probably remove the tie and put it back if you sell. That's the story.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Refrigerator and Kitchen GFI circuit breakers tied together? Why?

                    I totally forgot about overloading the neutral on the same phase, silly me.
                    We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

                    Comment

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