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  1. #1
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    Question Can you use 14/3 for 2 Circuits?

    I am wondering if you can share the Wht / neutral & the bare copper / grd using the Blk for one circuit and the red for a second circuit? Or does code require you have 2 14/2's from the E Panel to each circuit not sharing the neutral & Grd?

    A friend got some 14/3 for a project and ran it not knowing it was a 14/3 and he does not want to pull out it and rerun the wire with 2 - 14/2's. He asked if he could just continue the second circuit with the Red and share the Wht & Grd and meet any code requirements.

    Told him I was not sure but would ask and see what I could find out.

    Any information would be great to know.

    Thanks,
    MMeehan

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can you use 14/3 for 2 Circuits?

    Yes, it is called a multi wire branch circuit. The black and red need to be on breakers that are on different legs and the two breakers need to be tied together but you should not use a double breaker..
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
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    Question Re: Can you use 14/3 for 2 Circuits?

    Quote Originally Posted by deadshort View Post
    Jesus...... Did you people bail out of school in kindergarten?

    Yes, be okay.
    Not everyone has gone thru an electrical appenticeship and maybe on to Journeyman and then "Master" in your trade. So no I did not go to "school" and learn this work, I picked up some of the basics being I am a Licensed Fire Alarm Technician which is not the same and I normally only work on "low Voltage" type Systems. But because I know just enough to add a plug or change a light switch friends ask me because I can get the information they are looking for.

    I guess I am not to be asking questions being I am not an "Electrician" but these days no many can afford one so they are trying to do it themselves. And I also thought Forums like this was where you could ask any question and get some help and information... whether the very basic or the very complex question. I was always told no question is the wrong question to ask if you don't know the answer to it... I guess I should not be asking for help... But again this is a forum and I thought the reason for these was to get HELP...


    Jack

    Are you suggesting you need to have a dual breaker without them tied together w/ the bar across them? Is there a reason why? I have seen in the commercial setting some Electricians running mulitple circuits in the same conduit say a black, red, blue and other hot colors and then only one or two whites and greens yet never see any breakers tied together or a double breaker is that to let any future Electrician know that they are sharing a Neutral & Grd?

    Thanks,
    MMeehan

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Can you use 14/3 for 2 Circuits?

    Let me know when you get to Level III - Had mine for 4 years and been Licensed for 15 but these days that aren't much... But I need it to install and do service on them and that helps with my paycheck. Enough for me but nothing like the IBEW LV Guys looking for 28.00 to 35.00 but I guess that is why there are 230 on the "book" and I am working...

    MMeehan

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can you use 14/3 for 2 Circuits?

    MMeehan --- don't pay too much attention to deadshort --- sometimes he gets grumpy -- he barks like a junk yard dog but he's really an old softy.

    I can't speak as to the requirements of the NEC but up here we are required to have double pole common trip breakers for shared neutral ( or MWBC ) circuits.
    It's a good idea to use them for safety even if it isn't a code requirement.

    This raises a question of the requirement of AFCI and/or GFCI. You may find it cheaper to have seperate cable runs for the 2 different circuits instead of shared neutral ---- the AFCI and GFCI double pole breakers ain't cheap compared to single pole breakers.

    Just a thought.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  6. #6
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    Sep 2008
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    Default Re: Can you use 14/3 for 2 Circuits?

    Thanks these circuits are for general shop lighting and a couple of plugs for plug in transformers. He just wanted to be sure they were okay.

    The AFCI and the GFCI are for places like bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms. But I will mention it in case he has to change something around it would be best to run a 14/2 from the E panel to these kind of locations...

    Appreciate the info,

    MMeehan

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can you use 14/3 for 2 Circuits?

    You do not use a double poll breaker, you use two single pole breakers with a mechanical clip so if one is turned off the other is also. That prevents some one from getting electrocuted if they are working on only one circuit. The breakers are normally installed one above the other so they are each on a different leg. If you check voltage between black or red to neutral you get 120 volts if you check voltage between red and black you would read 240 volts. The mechanical clip makes you turn both breakers off when servicing so you can't get feed back from the other circuit. Hope that clears it up a little.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can you use 14/3 for 2 Circuits?

    As long as you use double pole breakers there shouldn't be a problem .
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can you use 14/3 for 2 Circuits?

    The breakers are normally installed one above the other so they are each on a different leg.
    Jack -- double pole breakers are on seperate legs -- are they not?
    Just like the main panel breaker.
    Breakers don't have to be on the other side of the panel ( or top and bottom if mounted sideways ) to be on seperate legs.
    Last edited by canuk; 07-18-2010 at 11:59 PM.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can you use 14/3 for 2 Circuits?

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Jack -- double pole breakers are on seperate legs -- are they not?
    Just like the main panel breaker.
    Breakers don't have to be on the other side of the panel ( or top and bottom if mounted sideways ) to be on seperate legs.
    You are correct.
    I was always taught to use two single pole breakers with a clip for a MWBC rather than a double pole breaker.Not exactly sure why, I never looked into it. I think it was to make it obvious that it was a MWBC rather than a 240 service line.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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