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Are both sides of the breaker 30 amp or one each one of them 15 amp ?

240 Volt circuit breaker Question: Are both sides of the breaker 30 amp or one each one of them 15 amp ?
Question: Are both sides of the breaker 30 amp or one each one of them 15 amp ?

Answer: I had that discussion with a guy and did some research on electrician forums... which was a battle over sine waves and ultimately inconclusive.

Then I remembered reading an industry .pdf that said you can make a 240 breaker by combining 2 single-pole breakers, but that code requires you to install a 'common bar' between the breaker so if one trips, then the other breaker also trips...
Then I remembered the oscillating (sine wave) nature of electricity, where AC power reverses the direction of electrons 60 times per second... over and over and over... and how the voltage rises and falls as electrons come to a stop, reverse direction and accelerate the opposite direction... yet the average voltage is always above zero, and the oscillations happen so fast that it is not a noticeable factor for electricity as we humans use it.
Then I remembered that each leg of a 240 volt circuit is out-of-phase with the other leg.... which means the sine wave for one leg is mirror of the other leg... and the load receives more sustained power ...which is why we use 240 volt instead of 120 volts... because it is more efficient. This means each leg is delivering power to the load, and thus is independent of the other leg. Of course that is true because the electrons travel back and forth on the wire... and so one leg is pushing electrons when the other leg is pulling electrons ... this increasing total power, and this can be represented by the formula E = IR, or power (watts) = volts x amp. The formula shows if you have 30 amp, and change the voltage from 120 to 240, then the power (watts) goes up, or the amps (heat loss on wire) decreases.
... the final conclusion... the answer is that both breakers are 30 amp... because both are pushing and pulling electrons down the wire, like pedaling a bicycle with two legs instead of one.
... so yes... the answer is that both breakers are 30 amp.
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