Amp load of multi-circuit neutral


Old 02-25-05, 02:12 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Amp load of multi-circuit neutral

I was going through some older posts and come across a thread talking about the return load (balance?) of a neutral in a multi-circuit (2 hots) and whether the hots are from the same side or from each side (A & B) in the panel.

If I understand correctly, given 2 circuits, 20A each which power lights or receptacles (as 120V), the return could potentially be carrying up to 40A if the 2 hots are from the same side instead of apposing phases.

I'm comparing this to how the main breaker panel is wired. A #12/3 wg (might be #10, can't tell) is run from the panel to a jbox which seperates into 2 individual runs of the neutral + 1 of the hots. However, both hots are from the same side (vertical, #1 & #3 in a square D panel).

Doesn't this mean the neutral could have to carry up to 40A ?

Sponsored Links
Old 02-25-05, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Same side of the panel is not the same as same leg of the service. Breakers #1 and #2 are on the same leg. Breakers #1 and #3 are on opposite legs. Next time you're at the home center, look at the panels on display. You'll see these fingers that alternately come off of the two main buses. The finger off one bus serves breakers #1 and #2, and the finger off the second bus serves breakers #3 and #4, and so forth. Without this scheme, double-pole breakers could not hit both buses and thus could not supply 240 volts.

Bottom line--you're good.
Old 02-25-05, 02:31 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanks John... no, I haven't looked at an empty one. But I will the next time I'm in :-) Does make sense with regard to 240V for dryer and A/C.
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: