multi wire circuit


Old 01-13-06, 09:27 AM
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multi wire circuit

i was reading a previous post and have a safety question....i have a multi wire circuit for my kitchen counter outlets,done by an electrician...if i ever have to change a gfci outlet should i kill both breakers on the multiwire circuit...i got confused about 1 neutral in the other post,and now its making me think..i understand by killing 1 breaker the hot wire is dead,but the neutral is still sharing the other hot breaker...
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Old 01-13-06, 09:39 AM
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Yes, you should always kill both breakers when working on a multi-wire circuit. Although not always required by code, I recommend replacing the two single-pole breakers with a double-pole breaker to power the MWC. This way, there is no way to accidentally leave one of the breakers on with an energized shared neutral. A double-pole breaker is required if both hots are connected to the same "yoke", i.e. the top and bottom of a dupex receptacle are powered from different legs of the MWC.
Old 01-13-06, 09:54 AM
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If each of the receptacles in your kitchen is a GFCI receptacle, then you may very well have a multi wire setup at each receptacle. However, if you have two GFCI receptacles and the rest are non-GFCI then you can only have a multi wire setup up to the first GFCI.

In either case, however, you still want to turn off BOTH circuit breakers to work on the circuit.
Old 01-14-06, 10:02 AM
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thanks guys... im glad i asked cause i would have never thought to kill both breakers...i have a;; gfis on my counter top...three set of 2 outlets,for a total of six outlets on 3 seperate circuits....i do remember asking the electrician when he wired that i thought you only need one gfci on each circuit but he put all gfci so it matched....thanks again save me a nasty shock the day i need to replace or work on those multi wire circuit....
Old 01-14-06, 11:52 AM
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A multiwire circuit is required by code to be installed so that the removal of any device will not interrupt the neutral. Basicaly what this means is that the neutral must be pigtailed each place it feeds a device. Once the neutral is divided into a separate wire for each circuit the pigtailing is no longer required. (or necessary)

Check to make sure the neutral isn't hot when removed from a device but it shouldn't be necessary to turn both breakers off providing the circuit is correctly wired unles you need to open up the pigtailed connection for some reason. I don't think using a 2 pole breaker is a good idea either as this can often lead to the same problem as lights and receptacles on the same circuit - you plug in something with a problem and wind up in the dark.

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