Code Q&A

Q. I’m running a 4-wire lighting circuit with a shared neutral. Can I use three single-pole breakers without handle ties?

A. Yes. Individual single-pole breakers can be installed on each ungrounded conductor of a multiwire branch circuit that supplies line-to-neutral loads for lighting or receptacle circuits [240.20(B)(1)]. However, multiwire branch circuits that supply switches, receptacles, or equipment on the same yoke must be provided with a means to disconnect simultaneously all ungrounded conductors that supply those devices or equipment at the point where the branch circuit originates [210.4(B) and 210.7(B)]. This can be accomplished by single-pole circuit breakers with handle ties identified for the purpose of a 2- or 3-pole breaker with common internal trip.

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