Flip-flop switch-A/C + elec heat same circuit breakers

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  #1  
Old 06-14-06, 07:14 PM
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Flip-flop switch-A/C + elec heat same circuit breakers

I've just had A/C installed (new, not replacement), and the planned pony box could not be installed into my (old Sylvania) 100A service with all but one CB slot occupied. The installer talked me into double duty the (not often used) basement baseboard heater 220V CBs. The plan I agreed to was to add a "flip-flop switch" external to the service box, to switch duty from winter heating to summer cooling. To my horror, all he did was stuff the A/C supply wires onto the same CBs, so both are powered
So I go to Home Depot, but they have no idea what a "flip-flop switch" is. I can visualize it, but cannot find a reference to it on WEB, or browsing this site. Is this code-allowed? Does such a device exist? Manuf-Part # anyone? Thanx for any help.
 
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Old 06-14-06, 08:24 PM
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Get the guy back and have him install what he promised.
 
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Old 06-14-06, 08:24 PM
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You can use the same ckt for both, This is considerd a non-coincidental load, Meaning neither will be used at the same time.
IE: heat/cool.
The flip/flop switch you site, is simply a three position switch. Middle common, top a load and bottom another load. similar to a manual transfer switch you would find on a generator set. Not realy needed.

I don't like the idea of the double wires on the breakers. These connections, at a minium should be made in a junction box, with only one (1) wire on each terminal of the breaker.
 
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Old 06-15-06, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft
Get the guy back and have him install what he promised.
I agree. The switch you want is called a DPDT. Double pole double throw.
 
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Old 06-15-06, 09:11 AM
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Just to make a quick point, what you have is not unsafe or any kind of imminent fire hazard. It's not a clean installation, but it's nothing to lose sleep over. In the event both heat and a/c were turned on at the same time, the breaker would trip pretty quickly.

I think you should see if there are any "quad" breakers rated for use in your panel. If so, this would allow you to replace the existing 2-pole baseboard heat breaker with a special breaker that has (2) 2-pole breakers which fits into the space of a normal 2-pole breaker.
 
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Old 06-15-06, 05:44 PM
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Good advice-Thanx

Wow - this is a great forum. With quick, sound advice.
Now I'll head out to a specialist electrical supply dealer, with a few options from JB, DPDT to quad-CB (never heard of that, but sounds like the cleanest). Thanx much fellas!
 
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Old 06-15-06, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks
Just to make a quick point, what you have is not unsafe or any kind of imminent fire hazard. It's not a clean installation, but it's nothing to lose sleep over. In the event both heat and a/c were turned on at the same time, the breaker would trip pretty quickly.

I think you should see if there are any "quad" breakers rated for use in your panel. If so, this would allow you to replace the existing 2-pole baseboard heat breaker with a special breaker that has (2) 2-pole breakers which fits into the space of a normal 2-pole breaker.
Be carefull, This breaker will not give you 220 VAC. that you will be looking for. As they will be on the same phase.
 
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Old 06-16-06, 09:21 AM
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Be carefull, This breaker will not give you 220 VAC. that you will be looking for. As they will be on the same phase.
Yes it does. A quad breaker is two tandem breakers with either clips or internal trip mechanism which provides (2) 240V breakers. There are some quads which cannot provide 240V, but most manufacturers have models with common trip.

http://www.doityourself.com/invt/u258205

I don't know if there are any quad breakers listed for use in that old of a panel, however.
 
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