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Thread: Double Tap

  1. #1
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    Default Double Tap

    This picture is the main SEC at the exterior of house. I know that it is wrong and that there should not be two sets of wires to the lugs because these lugs were not designed to hold two wires. The smaller yellow wires are feeding a breaker (which is also the service disconnect) for A/C (a/c is within 6 feet of breaker). That two foot section is unprotected except for the main disconnect which is way oversized for that size wire. My question is this, is it really a safety issue that the yellow wire is unprotected for that two feet?

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    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Double Tap

    IF the tap rules were adhered to, that would be allowed, but one critical component of the tap rules is that the feeder taps be properly protected on the load end instead of being required to be properly protected on the line end - and those are not protected on the load end at all (presuming the a/c disconnect is just a disconnect and nut fuss or a breaker, i.e., is either a pull-out or a molded case switch).

    Being as the requirements for the undersized tap has not been met, yes, there is a real potential for a problem with the lack of proper overcurrent protection.

    Then, of course, there is the very visible multiple tapping problem.

    The other very real problem I see, and it is an even greater problem is it is really as I see it, is the lack of an insulated neutral to wherever the bottom feeders are going. I am presuming that the meter is above the main disconnect and that the service entrance conductors are coming from above and are going to the top of the main disconnect in the photo, and that the conductors at the bottom are feeders to a panel located somewhere else - those conductor are required to have an insulated neutral, and not having an insulated neutral is a very real problem ... and correcting that problem means replacing the feeders in that raceway, which looks like it might be a problem to do.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Double Tap

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    This picture is the main SEC at the exterior of house. I know that it is wrong and that there should not be two sets of wires to the lugs because these lugs were not designed to hold two wires. The smaller yellow wires are feeding a breaker (which is also the service disconnect) for A/C (a/c is within 6 feet of breaker). That two foot section is unprotected except for the main disconnect which is way oversized for that size wire. My question is this, is it really a safety issue that the yellow wire is unprotected for that two feet?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    IF the tap rules were adhered to, that would be allowed, but one critical component of the tap rules is that the feeder taps be properly protected on the load end instead of being required to be properly protected on the line end - and those are not protected on the load end at all (presuming the a/c disconnect is just a disconnect and nut fuss or a breaker, i.e., is either a pull-out or a molded case switch).

    Being as the requirements for the undersized tap has not been met, yes, there is a real potential for a problem with the lack of proper overcurrent protection.

    Then, of course, there is the very visible multiple tapping problem.

    The other very real problem I see, and it is an even greater problem is it is really as I see it, is the lack of an insulated neutral to wherever the bottom feeders are going. I am presuming that the meter is above the main disconnect and that the service entrance conductors are coming from above and are going to the top of the main disconnect in the photo, and that the conductors at the bottom are feeders to a panel located somewhere else - those conductor are required to have an insulated neutral, and not having an insulated neutral is a very real problem ... and correcting that problem means replacing the feeders in that raceway, which looks like it might be a problem to do.
    I'm seeing this and reading this in an entirely opposite way the feeder is protected at the load end as indicated by the original poster and the service disconnect is before the tap.

    I'm also reading that the feeder from the double tap is protected via a breaker in the box at the left which is also acting as the A/C disconnect since the A/C is within six feet of the cabinet on the left and within sight of the A/C. I'm seeing the tap going to the cabinet/box on the left. I'm presuming the breaker for the AC that I've read about (and presumed is to the left) is a 240 breaker not a 120/240 breaker and the older three wire feeder tap for a 240V 1-PH only (no 120V supply) is installed.

    I'm seeing part of what appears to be a panel/cabinet to the left adjacent. I suspect/expect the remaining "load" (other than A/C) is also protected on a panel elsewhere (not pictured).

    Can't see enough of the neutral above the ground bond feeding up to know if its insulated or not. I would expect to see a meter socket above.

    The multiple and different conductors in singular terminations as made for the tap can be corrected, but I'm not seeing the other "problems" on the feeder tap issues previously expanded upon.

    Do you have a wider perspective photo?

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 01-11-2010 at 08:35 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Double Tap

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    I'm seeing this and reading this in an entirely opposite way, i.e. SE fed from the bottom (lateral not service drop)

    I would expect to see a meter socket above.

    H.G.,

    That was my first thought too, then I rationed that if the service lateral is coming up from the bottom and going to the main service disconnect *before* going to the meter ... that would be *all wrong*, indicating that it is likely an overhead service coming into the meter above and down into the main service disconnect, which then indicates that is a feeder going out the bottom.

    Any way, that was my reasoning for my presumption.

    Hopefully Tom will clarify what was there.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Double Tap

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    H.G.,

    That was my first thought too, then I rationed that if the service lateral is coming up from the bottom and going to the main service disconnect *before* going to the meter ... that would be *all wrong*, indicating that it is likely an overhead service coming into the meter above and down into the main service disconnect, which then indicates that is a feeder going out the bottom.

    Any way, that was my reasoning for my presumption.

    Hopefully Tom will clarify what was there.
    I was rethinking that as well and was editing to cover either, when I hung up, sorry for the now after your post edit JP. Point being either way, seems from what was presented the AC does have a breaker on the load side acting as the A/C disconnect.

    I too would like more information and pictures.

    P.S. *all wrong* as in free A/C or unfused/unprotected disconnect? Some utilities put a separate meter and addressable control on the A/C if the customer elects to be placed on a special program that cycles it during peak usage times.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Holladay, UT
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    Default Re: Double Tap

    Overhead service coming in from top, feeder coming out bottom to distrbution panel inside. Panel to left is 50 Amp breaker/disconnect to A/C which is also oversized for wire and A/C.

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Double Tap

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Overhead service coming in from top, feeder coming out bottom to distrbution panel inside. Panel to left is 50 Amp breaker/disconnect to A/C which is also oversized for wire and A/C.
    I'd call it out. Too many wasp nests.


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