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240 Volt Circuits and Switches


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Electrical Wiring for 240 Volt Circuits and Switches: Each individual pole of a switch or circuit breaker are rated for the stated amperage, the rating is not a combined total of the number of poles.


Understanding 240 Volt Circuits and Switches

Electrical Question: I purchased a 30Amp, double-pole single-throw switch for a 240Volt circuit dedicated to a steam humidifier for a home ventilation system.

  • The circuit includes 45 feet of 12/3 copper wire and a 15A double circuit breaker.
  • The humidifier which is an April Aire 800, will use 12.7A peak, 11.5A nominal.
  • I’m assuming the switch will be sufficient but is it rated at 30A per line, or is 30A the sum of the maximum amperage for both lines?
  • The switch manufacturer’s web site offered no information.

Thank you.

This electrical wiring question came from: Steve, a Homeowner from Damascus, Maryland.

Additional Comments: Impressive.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Steve.

Preparations for Wiring a 240 Volt Circuit

  • Application: Wiring a 240 Volt Switch.
  • Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrician.
  • Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
  • Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
  • Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
  • Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring should be done with a permit and be inspected.

Electrical Wiring for 240 Volt Circuits and Switches

  • Steve, for your humidifier and ventilation system application you could use a 20 amp two-pole switch because the amperage is within the operating amperage range.
  • Each individual pole of a switch or circuit breaker are rated for the stated amperage, the rating is not a combined total of the number of poles.

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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.
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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

One Response to “240 Volt Circuits and Switches”
  1. rhany siriban says:

    what are the electrical accessories?


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