Handle ties on circuit breakers

Just need some clarification. Are handle ties required on these circuit breakers? For example, on the bottom left, first 3 breakers. Are these considered 2 ckt’s to receps on same yoke? Just need some insight is all.


Hi Charles,

No handle ties are not required, those breakers are commonly called “mini twins” and each handle is controling a seperate circuit. You would only need ties if they were controlling one appliance as you sometimes see with 2 seperate breakers running each leg of a 240 volt circuit (AC, stoves etc)

I hope this helps


Thanks Gary,

This is what I thought…just needed some clarification…thank again

You may want to mention the recalled AFCI breakers in that panel. . .

Yep, I remember that post on the recalls…Thanks for the heads up Jeff



Nice catch Jeff. I can tell that you are not an alarmast from your comment on the AFCI.

I try not to be. . .

Jeff, that was a recall notice issued over 2 years ago. Do you memorize recall items or compare the breakers you see with a list?

With all the different things we have to bear in mind, how do you remember an item on a recall list from 2 years ago?

I have been dealing with these since their recall. These were installed in thousands of homes in my area, and most of them have not been changed out. That is, except for those homes where I have called them out.

Recently, one builder finally took the high road and replaced the AFCI breakers in over 750 homes, in a tract where I called it out on more than 20 homes.

The replacement breakers have a green test button.

How have the replacements been going. Is SqD living up to the promise to cover the labor?

I was under the impression not all “Blue Button” SQ-D AFCI’s are in the recall, I would have to search for the list I saved that Paul posted though.

Are they?

That, I cannot answer. I really don’t know.

Whew…Back from Atlanta…figured I would chime in…

Be aware that on those tandoms in the panel shown…that none of them go to a multiwire circuit and share a neutral ( grounded ) conductor…as in doing so would put BOTH loads on the same LINE in the panel and compounding the load on the grounded conductor of that circuit.

The only reason I bring this up is your statement on (2) circuits on the same YOKE…would generally constitute someone trying to do a Multiwire circuit in most cases…and tandoms should NOT be used for this application.


Good info - I just saw one of the exact situations you mention .


This unlabeled tandem circuit breaker feeds a three wire w/ground romex cable. Either it is an improper multi-wire circuit or improper 240 v circuit. Don’t know which - don’t care - it needs attention by a licensed electrician.


What is all the dirt/dust on the circuit breakers at the left side of the panel all about?

FYI. Not all the blue button AFCI breakers are recalled. You have to carefuly check the dates.



The dirt and dust is from corrosion at the terminal. Called out as well.

Does anyone know if these faulty AFCI’s made it up to Canada?