Single line on a 2 pole breaker

Came across a 2 pole 40 amp breaker that only was loaded on half the breaker. Whats the verdict on this. Thanks for any help with this.

What device is it going too?

The panel wasn’t labeled

There is not to many single phase 40 amp applications out there. Possibly a motor, wild card heater.
Definetly have a sparky look at it.

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Ok thank you very much

I’m not aware of any violation that prevents the use of a double pole breaker for 120V load as long as the load is not over-fused. The question is what it feeds and the AMP breaker required for the device. This needs to be verified per other posts.


As Simon has stated there is no issue with using only one pole of that 2 pole circuit breaker. The conductor appears to a #8 AWG which would be correct for a 40 amp OCPD. It would be helpful to know what it is feeding.


Thanks Robert. Unfortunately the panel wasn’t labeled properly so I’m not sure of what it was feeding. Everything was electric in the home

Thanks Simon

A 120v 40 amp load would be unusual.


A…a…a…a…high…high…high…speed…speed…speed…massager…massager…massager…? :wink:


With a 40 amp motor? Ouch. LOL

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You should use the process of elimination if possible… see what other 240s you have, eliminate ones that are likely hvac based on the label requirements, then you have water heater, stove, and dryer.

He is only using one leg, so that is only 120 volts. I think the neutral can be seen at the bottom of the pic.

Correct, just to confirm it isn’t supposed to be a 240. As others have said, I never seen a 40 amp single pole.

I have seen similar when they change from an electric range/oven to a gas one. But the breaker should have been changed to 20 amps.

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My train of thought is like Robert since it looks like a #8 wire. I would definetly be looking for what it is feeding.

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Robert, through process of elimination the only thing I can see this being connected to is the water heater but im not 100%

If this was the situation, there should be an unused/abandoned #8 conductor left on that side of the panel.

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