Why aren't there very many (any?) two pole dual function breakers?

Is a GFCI + CAFCI breaker less useful for 220 or MWBC? Is it be prohibitively expensive? Or is there no demand because not many want to "go the extra mile"?

Note: I'm not asking about combination AFCI breakers, but dual function breakers (ground fault + arc fault in the same breaker) for 220. All I can find is either ground fault or arc fault.

  • A very good question... but it's also important to note that one must not cross brands on breakers. Or to be more precise, use only breakers either listed in the panel instructions (same brand) or UL-Classified for competitor panels (e.g. Eaton CHQ in a QO panel). And the latter is no help, since there are no 2-pole dual-function UL-Classified breakers. Nov 22, 2021 at 19:48

2 Answers 2


The main reason is NEC doesn't mandate them for 240v setups. 210.12 says (2014 rev quoted, emphasis mine)

210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection. Arc-fault circuit-interrupter protection shall be provided as required in 210.12(A) (B), and (C). The arc-fault circuit interrupter shall be installed in a readily accessible location.
(A) Dwelling Units. All 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets or devices installed in dwelling unit kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by any of the means described in 210.12(A)(1) through (6).

Now, you can find 240v breakers with CAFCI protection. They're pricey, but they are out there. The same can be said for 240v GFCI breakers. The reason there's no dual function breakers likely has to do with them probably costing a great deal by themselves. I mean, a 240v 15A CAFCI is over $100 by itself.

Then there's the need for a GFCI on a 240v line. A subpanel doesn't need one. A dryer or stove doesn't need one. An EV charger will likely have it's own surge protection, which should cover the GFCI portion. There's just not a lot of call for 240v GFCI, and if you do need one, there's no mandate it be AFCI as well.


The use case for a 240V Dual Function breaker is to protect legacy 120V split phase branch circuits that share a neutral (eg 12/3 romex) when upgrading the main panel on an old house.

I have a 70 year old house with some sketchy hacks to the 120V circuits. Not looking to rip all the walls open, but want to upgrade the main panel and make it as safe as possible.

The GFCI requirements is that L1 + L2 + N = 0 Amps. If any of those 3 wires 'leak' to ground both poles should trip. I don't see why that can't be combined with CAFCI technology too.

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