Close this search box.


Single Pole vs Double Pole Breaker | Which Has Better Protection?

How Would You Define A Single Pole Breaker?

Usually, a single pole breaker circuit can be defined as a form of breaker that is made of a particular size wire and tends to fit into the only individual opening of electrical panels.

It consists of only one switch that further contains two wires for connectivity. One of the wires is used for the hot bus, and the other is a neutral cable. Here the breakers has a minimum rating of 10 amps to 20 amps for one route that delivers 120v of energy service.

Single pole breakers are usually used for minimum electricity works going around the house, like the lighting of the houses, etc.; in addition, they can also be fixated in a standard outlet that comprises a 2-slot outlet container. This can also be consumed for specific circuits with low voltage to transfer the energy flow to appliances with the small energy required to work.

These appliances require a minimum energy of 120 or 110, but these are not applicable for voltages like hair dryers which consume 220 volts.

Illustration Of Single Pole Breaker WiringSingle Pole Breaker

Double Pole Breaker

These types of circuit breakers need two poles. These pole breaker slots comprise a hot bus and a neutral wire. And the third cable, which a person uses for wiring purposes. It is valued at 20 to 60 amps for lightweight appliances and can handle up to 240 volts.

This circuit breaker used for high-voltage appliances, such as ACs, electric ranges, and many more. This refers to the two-pole breaker producing 240v of control by mixing the particular route circuit breakers in the quantity of two. Both terminals of the double pole circuit breaker are covered and protected by the remaining half-piece of the breaker.

The linking button is of great significance and ensures the whole circuit’s safety. If we take an example as if one piece of the breaker happens to trip, the other side of the pole will also shut down to avoid any mishap and to protect the circuit.

If you ever wonder about or noticed double pole breakers that consist of only one switch. Well, that happens because the conduit link is already present inside the body of the circuit breaker.

Illustration Of Double Pole Breaker WiringDouble Pole Breaker

What is the Variance Between a Single and Double Pole Breaker?

SINGLE POLE BREAKERS VS DOUBLE POLE BREAKERSThe one common thing that differentiates the qualities of a single or double-pole circuit breaker is present in the amperage, voltage, and what is the process of their wirings. If we talk about a single pole breaker, it is capable of providing 120 volts, an amperage between 15 to 20, and consists of one hot wire and a neutral wire. The next question that comes to mind is how they are connected. The answer to this is the hot wire, and the neutral wire are both attached to the single pole breaker. This particular breaker only moves if it feels an overload of energy on the single pole breaker.

On the other hand, when we talk about a double pole breaker, it can provide 240 volts of energy and amperage up to 20 amps to 60 amps and consists of 2 hot wires with the same neutral wire. In this type of breaker, a machine of 240VAC can compress up to 60 amps having two hot wires.

Each of the wires needs another breaker. The circuits of these breakers require more energy as they have double load compared to single pole breaker circuits.

What is the Application Of Single-Pole Circuit Breaker?

For machines and household appliances that do not need that much flow of energy to work, single pole circuit breakers are the best fit for them as they can transfer electricity very lightly. These are specified for the appliances that are non-heating or have low amperage. Most of these are used in the following:

  • Primarily used in usual household appliances.
  • Light items, for example, vacuums or hair dryers, etc.
  • Used for lighting the outdoor lights.

These single pole breakers are equipped with a single hot wire and a neutral wire.

If the circuit elevates the ratings of the breaker during the passage of electricity through these wires, the breaker will get shot by the overloading of power and even may trip. It will break the crucial power source.

Utilization of these breakers occurs to shield the appliances that need 240 volts of power.

What is the Application Of Double-Pole Circuit Breaker?

Double pole circuit breakers are specifically made and equipped to handle the load of heavy appliances or items that need more than 120 volts of power in order to work. These are placed when the requirement of voltage is elevated. Most of the following things these double pole breakers are used in are as follows:

  • Water heaters that need electricity require a double pole breaker.
  • Air conditioners also require volts over 120V, so they use double pole breakers.
  • Electric ranges.
  • Dryers for clothes that require electricity for drying use double pole breakers.

The wiring of the double pole circuit breaker has two hot connections with one single neutral wire in a circuit that consists of the double pole breakers. If one of the connections gets disrupted or short, the other will automatically shut itself down to protect the appliance from getting fired up.


After reading the article, you must have gotten the idea about the single and double pole breaker circuits and what are the things that make them apart from each other. Moreover, the 2-way pole or a 1-way pole is the one that only makes a difference between both and sometimes creates an issue whenever you require to install a circuit that needs a current supply of 240 volts. Breakers are considered a constituent of electrical systems to protect the household wiring from excess current flow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *