A double pole 20 amp breaker is a common component used in electrical panels. It is designed to protect circuits and prevent electrical fires. But is it really 40 amps?

The straight answer is “no”. This article will explore the misconceptions surrounding double pole breakers and provide a comprehensive explanation of their function and capabilities.

This article will provide you with everything you need to know about double pole breakers and their capacity. So, let’s clear up the confusion and get to the bottom of the matter of double pole 20 amp breakers.

Is A Double Pole 20 Amp Breaker 40 Amps

What Is A Double Pole Amp Breaker?

A double pole breaker is a circuit breaker. It is like adding two single pole circuit breakers to form one double pole circuit breaker where each hot wire is attached to both sides of the breaker.

You can usually find them in the electrical panels of any home system and types of equipment like air conditioners, water heaters, electric ranges, etc.

These double panel pole breakers provide a voltage of 240-volts rated between 20 to 60 amps. They are incorporated with three conductors and are most suitable for systems that release heat.

The double pole breakers have two hot wires and a neutral wire. When the amount of electric flow becomes too high in either of the hot wires, it trips to protect the house and other electrical circuits 

How to Figure Out What Amp of Double Pole Amp Breaker to Use?

To figure out the current rating of a circuit breaker, you have to know four things. Once you know them, you can then move on to find out the rating. 

You will then use the rating to calculate the amperage in a circuit that you can use to determine our breaker. It will be easier for you to choose which double pole amp circuit breaker to use.

The 4 four things that you must know are as follows:

  • The total load or power
  • The type of load
  • The power factor of the load
  • The line voltage

Once you have the values, you will put them in a simple equation used to calculate the current.

The outcome of that equation will be the identifying amperage of the circuit breaker that you need. You need not be an expert to do the calculation, as it is simple. A calculator will suffice!

The equation to calculate the amp is: I=P/(Vx0.8)

Here I is the amp, P is the power, V is the voltage, and 0.8 is the power factor, also known as cos theta. There is a high chance that the result of your equation will be in a fraction.

For example, for a 13.8 amp, you can use a 16-amp pole breaker. You must always use a pole breaker that has more current resistance. You could think of using a 13-amp pole breaker, but that won’t stop the current overflow successfully and lead to a disaster. 

Is a Double Pole 20-Amp Breaker 40 Amp?

A double pole 20-amp breaker is not 40 amp as it is a 20-amp breaker. So, it is only a 20-amp double pole amp breaker and is rated 20 amp. Although, a double pole 40-amp breaker is 40 amp.

There are various types of double pole amp breakers with different amps. They vary in amps starting from 1 amp to above 100 amp. You might wonder how much amp the double pole breaker has.

Depending on the voltage it controls, you can determine the amp. Each amp has a different voltage control. If it is a 20-amp breaker, then the amp is 20, and if it is a 60-amp breaker, then the amp is 60, and so on.

You may want to look at “how many ceiling fans to run on a 20 amp circuit”.

How to Check Amps in a Double Pole Amp Breaker?

There are a few ways to check the amps in a double pole breaker but, the easiest way to do so is by using a current clamp.

As the current flows into the double pole breaker from the hot wires, you have to put the clamp around one of the hot wires to get the reading in the current clamp. Another way is to use the multimeter to get the amp reading.

How to Install a 40-Amp Double Pole Amp Breaker?

First, you need the proper tools to install your double pole breaker. In this case, all you need is a flat head screwdriver or the number 2 screwdriver, a pair of gloves, and a pair of goggles.

You have to be very careful around the exposed panel as it carries high voltage and can get electrocuted. Once you have gathered all the safety equipment, you then need to follow a few

Installing a 40-amp double pole breaker involves the following steps:

  • Turn off power to the panel: Before starting the electrical work, it is important to turn off the power to the electrical panel.
  • Remove the panel cover: Remove the cover of the electrical panel to access the breaker slots.
  • Choose the right slot: Choose a breaker slot that is appropriate for the 40-amp breaker.
  • Install the breaker: Carefully insert the breaker into the slot and push it down until it clicks into place.
  • Connect the wires: Connect the wires to the breaker, making sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and local codes.
  • Test the breaker: After connecting the wires, turn the power back on and test the breaker to make sure it works properly.
  • Replace the panel cover: Finally, replace the panel cover and secure it in place.

If you want to change a circuit breaker from 20 to 30 amp, take a look.


It is important to understand the capacity of double pole breakers before installing them. A double pole 20-amp breaker is not 40 amps, but it is designed to provide protection for two separate 20-amp circuits.

When installing a double pole breaker, it is essential to follow local codes and the manufacturer’s instructions. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a safe and effective electrical system.

Similar Posts