National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


Remodeling a home. Found a j box with a three wires, red, black and white with ground all 12 gauge. The red or traveler was on breaker 32 (20 amps) and the black on breaker 36 (20 amps) all running to outlets. Both breakers are using the same white neutral. Is this to code?

Max Kirk



Hey Max thanks for your question. What you have is a multiwire branch circuit (Branch Circuit, Multiwire) as defined in article 100. Multiwire branch circuits are allowed but there must be a disconnecting means that will disconnect all ungrounded conductors at the origin of the branch circuit as stated in 210.4(B). In your example if they are all supplying only supplying line to neutral loads then either a two pole circuit breaker or two single pole circuit breakers with identified handle ties must be used. To do that the circuit breaker positions would need to be next to each other, not in 32 and 36.

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