Circuit Breaker Poles

By: Dusty Arlia
Published on February 12, 2012
Last Updated on Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 2:12 PM
Total Updates: 7

Circuit breakers come in single-pole and two-pole (or double-pole) breakers. It is called a circuit breaker "pole" because the electricity travels through the hot bus bar, up the circuit breaker "pole" and then out the black or red wire if the circuit breaker is on. If the circuit breaker is off then the electricity flows all the way up to the circuit breaker, but not transferred to the wire for that branch circuit. The origin of the word circuit breaker pole may have come from a physical pole in early circuit breakers and now the word pole is used to logically depict the paths of electrical current.

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