30 amp breakers are used to protect the circuit and appliances from overload, power surge, and electrical hazards.
Different appliances require a different amp of breakers for protection. And the higher the device or equipment, the higher the protective device it needs.
Circuit breakers come in different ratting and amperage such as 3A, 5A, 15A, 20A, 25A, 30A, 40 A 50 A and others.
In this article, we will discuss a 30-amp breaker, its uses, installation guides, and many more. Keep on reading.
What is a 30 Amp Circuit Breaker?
A 30 Amp circuit breaker is just like other type of breakers say 20 or 25 Amp, however, it can handle a higher amount of current about 7200 watts than the above devices.
The 30 amp rating allows the breaker to handle a large load without overloading or breaking itself.
If you were to overload a 20 Amp 120-volt circuit, it will only handle 2,400 watts, but with a 30 Amp receptacle, it can even handle a water heater pump that requires 6000 watts.
why install a 30 AMP Circuit Protector?
A 30 Amp circuit breaker is necessary if you are running a power hunger appliance such as a dryer, air conditioner, or microwave that requires a greater capacity than what is available on a 20-Amp circuit.
With a 30 Amp breaker, you can connect up to 30 Amps on a single circuit without having to upgrade to a larger breaker.
How many outlets can a 30 amp circuit hold?
The maximum outlet a 30 amp breaker can comfortably hold is 16 outlets. Normally, a single device draws a maximum power of 180 watts (1.5 amp), while a 30-amp circuit carries a maximum load of 7200 watts before tripping.
Since the National Electric Code (NEC) recommends 80% or less load for breakers and circuits, the 80% of 30 amp should be 24.
To calculate the exact number of outlets, a 30 amp breaker can carry, divide 24 by 1.5, you get 16.
Use of 30 amp circuit breaker
A 30 Amp circuit protector typically works on 240 Volt circuits. This can be as an extension cord, a plug, an in-wall outlet, or a whole-house circuit.
It is also useful when running a large load, such as a washing machine, dryer, water heater, air conditioner, cooker unit and others.
When running these large appliances, the breaker will ensure that there is adequate voltage to support the load.
How to install a 30 amp receptacle
Installing or replacing an old circuit protector is purely the work of a licensed electrician. But a DIYer with wiring experience can also do that.
Before you start, make sure that the circuit breaker and the electrical panel are from the same manufacturer.
On no account should you install a Square D breaker from Schneider Electric into an Eaton breaker box.
Also, make sure that the amperage rating of the breaker matches with the wire gauge and the powered appliance.
For example, a 20-amp 240-volt circuit works with 12-gauge wire, a 30-amp circuit goes with 10-gauge wire; a 40-amp circuit works with 8-gauge wire; a 50-amp circuit goes with 6-gauge wire and so on.
Required tools and materials
- Wire stripper
- 30-amp, 240-volt double-pole breaker.
Switch off the power
Locate your breaker panel and power off the control switch. Remove the cover plate from the breaker and test with your multi-meter tester to make sure there is no light.
You can test for electricity by placing one of your testers probe to the screw of one breaker and placing the other probe on any metal part of the panel. Make sure the tester doesn’t light up.
Strip the circuit wires with your wire stripper
Draw the wires into the breaker box and strip the lengths that can enter the screw terminals.
Connect live wires
Connect each of the hot wires to one terminal of the new breaker. Depending on the old wiring system, there might be a black and red wire, two black wires, or a black and white wire marked with black tape to show it is a hot wire.
Insert each wire into one screw terminal and tighten it with your screwdriver.
Install the circuit breaker
Install the stab lok into the panel and make sure it fits in properly.
Connect the earth and neutral cable
Connect the earth wire to the earth bar, and the neutral to the neutral bar, respectively, and complete the installation.
Difference between single pole and double pole circuit breaker
The difference between a single pole and a double pole breaker lies in their wiring system.
A single pole breaker comes with two wire terminals, one for hot wire and the other for neutral wire.
Meanwhile, a double pole breaker comes with two terminals for hot wires and a single terminal for a neutral wire.
Secondly, a single pole breaker supports only 120 volts and 12 to 20 amps, while double poles support 240 volts with an electric current ranging from 20 to 60 amps.
How to identify a 30 Amp circuit interrupter
All circuit breakers, by law, supposed to have a classification plate. The plate will specify the amp rating, manufacturer, and type of breaker.
The Amp rating is the maximum current the breaker can interrupt safely. The breaker type can either be a single pole, two poles, or others.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you use a 30 amp circuit breaker for?
A 30 amp circuit protector is used to protect power hunger appliances like water heaters, cooker units, dryers, and others from overload and short circuits.
What size of wire do I need for a 30 amp circuit breaker?
A 30 amp 240-volt circuit breaker needs 10 gauges of wire to work perfectly.