Two 20A wires to one circuit breaker?


Old 06-13-07, 07:15 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Pleasantville, NY
Posts: 548
Two 20A wires to one circuit breaker?

I am planning to wire outdoor receptacles to 2 parts of my house, both on the same circuit. Each receptacle will be in opposite directions relative to my breaker box. What is the proper way to make this connection? Can I connect both wires directly into the same breaker, or do I slice the wires into a box, then run a single lead from the box to the the breaker?

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Old 06-13-07, 07:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Some breakers allow two wires to be connected, but most do not. The simplest solution would be to put in a third box near the panel where you split the cable. As long as you have that third box, you might as well put a third receptacle in it. You never know when it might be useful.
Old 06-13-07, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NA
Posts: 1,065
I would just like to add that Johns advice is the way to go. Since these new receptacles are going to be outdoors make the receptacle box close to the panel a gfci receptacle and wire the two outdoor receptacles to it's load terminals. The outdoor receptacles can be normal grounded receptacles protected by the gfci that is indoors. Less likely to have false trips from moisture invasion that way. Also the outdoor receptacles boxes will need to have a "in use cover" so that they are protected from the elements when something is plugged into them. You could also use a gfci breaker but personally the gfci receptacle is more useful and less cost.

Old 06-13-07, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 1,338
The way to tell if your breaker is rated for more than one wire is to check the breaker itself.

For example I have 2001 & newer Cutler Hammer type CH and the plastic is embossed with the quantity of wires, AWG, and torque for which various breakers are rated.

Unfortunately they are embossed on the sides so unless you have an identical uninstalled spare, or find another, you may have to pull the breaker off the bus to get a good look.

That's why the previous suggestions may be most useful.

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