How to Wire a Shunt Trip Breaker (5-Step Guide)

Today I am going to teach you how to wire a shunt trip breaker.

Shunt trip breakers protect your home by manually switching off the power. These devices can become your manual safety stop buttons, smoke detectors, or even fire alarms and by the end of this guide, you should be able to wire one yourself.

Unfortunately, many people don’t take the time to learn this small fix themselves and spend hundreds on electricians for such a small install.

In general, wiring a shunt trip breaker is pretty straightforward:

  • Study and understand the shunt trip breaker wiring diagram.
  • Attach the shunt trip accessory to your breaker.
  • Link it to your panel board using it as the main circuit breaker.
  • Start connecting the shunt trip circuit breaker to the safety control.
  • Inspect and test the setup.

Read further as I explain the detailed step-by-step process.

What You Need

  • Shunt trip attachment made to fit the model of your current circuit breaker.
  • If your present breaker is unsuitable with any shunt trip accessories, you should invest in a new one.
  • If you want to attach a kill-switch button, use an emergency stop switch.
  • Various sizes and points of screwdrivers, as needed for your electrical system.
  • A Shunt trip wiring diagram will aid you with your wiring.
  • Gloves with insulation and eye protection

5-Step Guide on How to Wire a Shunt Trip Breaker

Before starting the installation, make sure you have everything you need close at hand. Also, put safety first at all times!

Step 1: Studying the Wiring Diagram

Before connecting it to your safety control system or switch, you must first study the wiring schematic for your shunt trip breaker. This is an essential installation component, so you must complete it and handle it with care.

Look at this clear wiring diagram:

Always remember that different systems can involve a variety of designs. Before beginning, consult the charts that came with the switch, emergency control system, or shunt trip. It’s best to search for professional advice if you are uncertain. (1)

Step 2: Attach the Shunt Trip Accessory to the Circuit Breaker

attach shunt trip accessory to circuit breaker

Connect your breaker’s shunt trip attachment. This process is relatively easy to follow.

  1. Use a tiny flathead screw to release the circuit breaker.
  2. Feed the wires into the holes close to the shunt trip after placing the insulator in the appropriate location.
  3. Put the cover back on the circuit breaker and secure the shunt trip in place.

There are many installation procedures for various models. It is preferable to consult the instruction handbook that came with your circuit breaker.

Step 3: Link the Shunt Trip Circuit Breaker to the Panel Board

After connecting it to your circuit breaker, you must then connect the shunt trip attachment to your electrical panel as the main power switch. Make sure you power off your system before installing this device.

shunt trip circuit breaker

It’s important to consult a qualified electrician if you are unsure about preventing any accidents.

When you are ready, use your flathead screwdriver to access the panel board and connect your shunt trip circuit breaker to the main power source. Before moving on to the next step, reconnect the supply and mainline wires to the circuit breaker.

Step 4: Connect the Shunt Trip Circuit Breaker to the Safety Control

Using the example mentioned above, link one of the shunt trip’s wires to the neutral connection and the other to the kill switch. Link a wire to the kill switch’s opposite terminal through the supply connector.

You now have a kill switch that you can use to trip the main breaker for your electrical system.

Pro Tip: Position the kill switch in a convenient location, close to an emergency exit, so you can quickly use it if a problem arises.

Step 5: Inspect and Test the Setup

After installation, activate the power source or reconnect it to the main breaker panel. Start testing your installation by turning on the shunt trip circuit breaker.

Hit the kill switch to test your setup. The shunt trip circuit breaker should trip immediately when you press the kill switch. If it hasn’t been tripped, your configuration has a problem.

A Few Things to Remember

When installing a shunt trip breaker, there are a few things that you should consider. Here are some of them below:

  • All circuit breakers do not accept shunt trip accessories. In fact, specific breakers can need particular shunt trip accessory versions. Some breakers include an integrated shunt trip accessory that just has to be wired and connected to your circuit to function.
  • Some circuit breakers are designed from the factory only to have shunt trip accessories attached. Therefore, I strongly advise that you verify the brand and model of breaker you currently own before buying a shunt trip attachment. You will then be mindful of your choices before installation. (2)
  • A shunt trip circuit breaker wiring diagram is still required if your system is compatible to guarantee proper installation. Do not simply grab any chart from the internet. For instance, a Square D shunt trip breaker wiring diagram is required if your circuit breaker carries the Square D brand.


Why Should You Install a Shunt Trip Breaker?

It is always the best choice to safeguard your home from disasters. A shunt trip breaker enables you to trip the breaker manually at any time or automatically during a surge, minimizing injury and equipment damage in emergencies.

How Does a Shunt Trip Breaker Function?

When power is given to the shunt trip pins, a circuit breaker’s additional shunt trip device breaks the power supply mechanically. The shunt trip requires an additional power source because the breaker does not power it.

When Should You Install a Shunt Trip Breaker?

The shunt trip breaker is typically found in business kitchens, elevators, and offices since it is necessary. This device is used in commercial kitchens in accordance with ANSI/ASME CSD-1, whereas elevators and escalators adhere to ASME A17.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) emergency control system –
(2) factory –

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About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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