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Some (not all) Square D breakers are designed to accept two wires. They’re easy to spot; the terminal has a saddle with two channels that are obviously intended to hold two wires. Remember that, while the saddle-type of breaker is designed to hold two wires, the wires must be between #10 and #14 AWG. Also remember that all breaker lugs are supposed to be tightened to a specified torque. Most breakers require about 25 in-lbs (more or less depending on wire size). But the two-wire Square D breakers require 36 in-lbs. This is quite tight.

Some Cutler Hammer breakers (not all) allow two wires to be attached to their terminals. The wires must be between #10 and #14 AWG, and the screws must be tightened to 30 in-lbs. These are much harder to identify than the Square D breakers are. They’re the type CH breakers (not all type CH breakers, just some of them) and they’ll say so on the small paper label just above the lug screw, but it’s very tiny and hard to read. Another way to tell is to look for a chart, cast into the breaker’s plastic body, that lists how many wires of what size can be connected to it. If the breaker’s installed in a panel, you can look underneath the lowest breaker on the right side to try to see this chart.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Nolan Kienitz


Do you have any links or JPGs that you can post that would show the various breakers?

Well, here's a picture of the Cutler Hammer lug.

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif CH_Terminal.jpg

86.73 KB

Here's a picture of the Cutler Hammer breaker's molded case with the instructions cast into it.

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif BreakerCH.jpg

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I presume that you know what a Square D lug looks like, they're very recognizable.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Chad Fabry

Jim wrote an awesome article about the topic. Write him a note and ask him for a copy..write it on a twenty and he'll probably send it you.

If anyone out there is interested in bribing me, they need only write their request on a piece of paper, then wrap it around a mint condition, 85mm, f1.8 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar lens and send it to me.

This will work for homeowner how-to questions, child-rearing questions and sex advice. Electrical questions are free.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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