In California I have two separate circuits powering a single a single receptacle (such as for a dishwasher and disposal). This is not a MWBC.

Does current code require these circuits to be on shared trip breakers?

What if they are two separate receptacles in the same double gang box?


1 Answer 1


Yes, effectively.

Whether they are an MWBC or two separate circuits with their own neutral, same either way. The fact that they are on the same yoke requires that they have the same shutoff.

210.7 Multiple Branch Circuits.

Where two or more branch circuits supply devices or equipment on the same yoke, a means to simultaneously disconnect the ungrounded conductors supplying those devices shall be provided at the point at which the branch circuits originate.

This concerns maintenance shutoff, not common trip. They don't care if they trip together from an overload, GFCI or AFCI. They care that if you plug a radio into one socket and flip breakers until the radio stops, you have de-energized the entire yoke.

You can accomplish this with listed handle ties, but since those are hard to find, we generally recommend you just use a 2-pole breaker.

However if it is wired as 2 separate circuits on 2 separate cables, and AFCI or GFCI breakers are in use, then you must use two separate breakers with a handle tie.

If, on the other hand, they are separate yokes on the same box, then there's no special requirement. The electrician is expected to check for that. When putting 2 circuits in the same box, do watch your "box fill" (cubic inches) and use a larger box if need be.

  • Does this change if they are separate yokes but in the same box?
    – Matthew
    Aug 23, 2019 at 13:44
  • How does this affect receptacles that are half switched? Typically one terminal is fed by a 20A power circuit and the other by a 15A lighting circuit. Is there a relevant code section for this?
    – Matthew
    Aug 23, 2019 at 21:52
  • 1
    If you have to turn off 2 breakers to de-energize one yoke, they must be tied. This isn't the half of it, imagine a split NEMA 5/6 on the same yoke (that exists), you'd need a 3-tie (which exists). Aug 23, 2019 at 21:55
  • @Harper -- with NEMA 5/6 combos, generally, the 120V receptacle shares its hot with one side of the 240V receptacle, so you only need a 2-pole for both Aug 23, 2019 at 23:56
  • @ThreePhaseEel Yeah, I'm thinking if it doesn't, like if each socket was dedicated to a 12A machine of its respective voltage, so you need to bring H-H + H-N there. Aug 23, 2019 at 23:58

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