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Broken Double Pole Breaker (or seperated?)


blazenut
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1) Do you guys think that this was a double pole breaker that was "seperated" to function as two seperate single pole breakers? It was installed as two seperate single pole breakers. Is it even possible to do such?

2) What is a ballpark estimate for adding a main disconnect to a panel (or before a panel)?

Thanks guys.

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1) Do you guys think that this was a double pole breaker that was "seperated" to function as two seperate single pole breakers?

I don't know, but it's possible. If you were to pry a Cutler Hammer tie bar off, that's the pattern of breakage that you'd see.

It was installed as two seperate single pole breakers. Is it even possible to do such?

If you took a 2 pole breaker and broke the tie bar off, it would still be a two pole breaker. The common internal trip mechanism would still cause both sides to trip at the same time. To find out for sure, you could open the panel and remove the breakers. If they come out in two sections, they're single-pole breakers. If they come out in one assembly, then it's a two-pole breaker with broken handles and a missing tie bar. You could also try tripping it. In your role as a home inspector, it's probably a bad idea to do any of those things.

2) What is a ballpark estimate for adding a main disconnect to a panel (or before a panel)?

Impossible to say without seeing the job. In my area, without further information, I'd have to give a range between $90 and $4,000.

And for today's spelling hint, the letter "a" appears twice in the word separate. I could *never* remember this one until someone gave me the following helpful mnemonic: There's "a rat" in separate.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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