Two-pole circuit breakers, often called double-pole breakers, are used to supply 240-volt circuits with power. These breakers have a combination handle that enables both legs of the ciruit breaker to trip if either side has a short.
Two-pole circuits breakers are used as a safety device to protect the circuit wiring from drawing too much power. If the breaker senses excessive amperage draw, it shuts the circuits off by tripping the breaker. If too much amperage flows through a wire that is not rated for that amount of current, overheating of the wire is the result. This in turn can lead to an electrical fire in your home.
Circuit breakers can be reset and power can once again flow through the ciruits. However, it is wise to track the problem down to avoid more costly repairs.
Two-pole circuit breakers feed household items like electric dryers, water heaters, well pumps, electric ranges, central air conditioning, electric heating, welders, and subpanels. These devices all require 240-volt power.