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  1. #1
    Eldon (Scooter) Holliday's Avatar
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    Default Double Tap for Surge Protector

    I called out this double tap of a GE breaker on dryer circuit. Electrical contractor replied that this is conneced to a surge protector and "it is a common and accepted practice to install surge protection leads on a breaker terminal with existing lines". I have no information confirming make or model of surge protector. Would appreciate thoughts or comments on suitability of this installation.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldon (Scooter) Holliday View Post
    I called out this double tap of a GE breaker on dryer circuit. Electrical contractor replied that this is conneced to a surge protector and

    "it is a common and accepted practice to install surge protection leads on a breaker terminal with existing lines".

    I have no information confirming make or model of surge protector. Would appreciate thoughts or comments on suitability of this installation.
    .
    Scooter,

    What he said is correct ( but they are pig tailed on the line ) not put under the Breaker Screw unless the breaker is designed to accept Two Wires.

    This link explains How To Fix Double Tap | Reuben's Home Inspection Blog
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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  3. #3
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldon (Scooter) Holliday View Post
    I called out this double tap of a GE breaker on dryer circuit. Electrical contractor replied that this is conneced to a surge protector and "it is a common and accepted practice to install surge protection leads on a breaker terminal with existing lines". I have no information confirming make or model of surge protector. Would appreciate thoughts or comments on suitability of this installation.
    I vote for putting it on it's own breaker or installing one that does not need a breaker.

    http://www.geindustrial.com/publibra...ET-734|generic


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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldon (Scooter) Holliday View Post
    Electrical contractor replied that this is conneced to a surge protector and "it is a common and accepted practice to install surge protection leads on a breaker terminal with existing lines".
    He would be correct if he had left two words out, but with those two words he is incorrect:
    "it is a common practice to install surge protection leads on a breaker terminal with existing lines"

    It IS "common" practice, but it is not "accepted" practice when you use the term "accepted" correctly as meaning "acceptable", i.e., meaning that it is correct as it is not correct.

    Now, if the electrician had removed those breakers and looked on the side of them (which is where it would usually be located) and the breakers were marked or labeled for two conductors in that terminal, then it would be allowed.

    I would not even want a surge protector to be connected by a wire nut as the high surge it is trying to protect from my make that connection worthless - just my opinion, however, I suspect that reading the installation instructions of the surge protector would reveal that it too wants a direction connection to the bus bar.

    And I would not want it through a breaker, but a sub-feed tap as you would NOT want the breaker to trip off during a surge, or after a surge and then the surge protector is no longer connected to anything.

    Just some food for thought.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    I would write that up as well. I say, job well done. Don't loss any sleep over it. Great photo. Did the electrician put their reply on company letter head with licensed #?


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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Not Correct - Lots of "common practices" are not correct. Most residential and commercial breakers are designed to allow one conductor per terminal. External tap connections are an acceptable solution of done properly. Two critical factors in any electrical connections are mechanical fastening (physical) and electric load (amperage).


  7. #7
    Lou Romano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Besides being double tapped at the breaker the wiring is only rated 20-amps and it is tapped off of a 30-amp breaker.

    btw, some breakers are designed for two wires. Square-D is and GE might be! I am not sure about GE and have questioned it before. Looking at the design of the terminal it appears to be. It is a clamp that compresses the wiring, not a screw that would only contact one section of the wiring.

    Anybody out there know of a link to the specs of this type of breaker?


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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    GE lists ALL their breakers for a single wire connection.

    Currently manufactured breakers that allow 2 wires to be terminated at the breaker are Square D QO type and Cutler Hammer CH type.


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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    GE lists ALL their breakers for a single wire connection.

    Currently manufactured breakers that allow 2 wires to be terminated at the breaker are Square D QO type and Cutler Hammer CH type.
    Square D Homeline also. As far as the Square D it is for the 15-30 amp only. Breakers larger than that are for one only.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  10. #10
    Lou Romano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    I would NOT pigtail the wiring from a surge suppressor! I would find another way to make the space such as adding twin breakers if possible or pigtailing other low amperage circuits to make space.

    I know I am going to catch a ton of flack over the following statement but...

    In all honesty and IMHO way too much fuss is made over double tapping breakers with small loads in a residential environment. I can tell you that in 35 years I have been a service electrician I have changed out more burnt up panels than you can count and not once, not ever, have I seen a breaker burnt up at the point where the two wires were attached in a double tap!

    I not talking about double tapping a breaker with too much amperage being drawn I am talking about double tapping in an application where a pigtail would be allowable. However even when a double tap is made that overloads and overheats the breaker the damage is not seen at the point where the double tap is made it is seen at the point where the breaker attaches to the busbar and that would happen even if the wire was pigtailed.

    I know it's not legal and I abide by what is legal, so I don't make double taps on breakers. But to see you HI's make such a fuss over it and write it up like it is going to burn the house down bothers me a bit. I can't tell you how many times I have been called by a customer in a panic because they have been led to believe that this a major ordeal. Not that it can't be but more often than not it is a minor repair! Call it out by all means, but unless you already see some damage done do so in a simple statement such as; Double tapping was noted on one or more circuit breakers. Advise having a licensed electrician evaluate. Or something to that effect that covers you and makes the client aware that it needs attention but doesn't make them panic.

    Go ahead chew me a new one!


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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Romano View Post
    do so in a simple statement such as; Double tapping was noted on one or more circuit breakers. Advise having a licensed electrician evaluate.
    Lou,

    There is nothing for the electrician to "evaluate" - there is a multiple tapped breaker - correct the darn thing.

    The easiest way to make an acceptable correction for a multiple tapped breaker is to connect another wire to the multiple tapped wires and then connect that one wire to the breaker which is rated for one wire.

    There is nothing wrong with that correction for a multiple tapped breaker.

    Now, if the problem really is that the breaker is tripping ... and it incidentally is also multiple tapped, then the real problem is not the multiple tapping but the fact that there is too much load on that breaker - in that case - yes, "in that case" you are not really correcting the multiple tapping, you re reducing the load on the breaker, and doing so be separating the multiple tapped wires to separate breakers solves the problem with too much load on the breaker ... and ... the multiple tapping no longer exists either.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  12. #12
    Lou Romano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Jerry, I don't think you read my post right!


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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Romano View Post
    Jerry, I don't think you read my post right!

    I can only read what you write, and I read what you wrote.

    At least I think I did ... show me where I read it wrong.

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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldon (Scooter) Holliday View Post
    I called out this double tap of a GE breaker on dryer circuit. Electrical contractor replied that this is conneced to a surge protector and "it is a common and accepted practice to install surge protection leads on a breaker terminal with existing lines". I have no information confirming make or model of surge protector. Would appreciate thoughts or comments on suitability of this installation.
    The surge protector should be visible and identifiable. Would have a big problem if I couldn't see the UL labeling.

    I have seen many small residential and slightly larger commercial units surge protectors. All that I have seen specify connection to stand-alone breakers, most specifying that the breakers be the first ones out of the box (nearest the main breaker).

    I read the electricians comment as "... I'm too cheap to install with a breaker as they cost extra, and I didn't read the manufacturers installation instructions...".

    Rich


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Goeken View Post
    I read the electricians comment as "... I'm too cheap to install with a breaker as they cost extra, and I didn't read the manufacturers installation instructions...".Rich
    And where exactly did you read this? I never said that! What I said was I would NOT pigtail to a breaker for a surge suppressor! I would find another way to free up the space. Of course if there IS enough space to add a breaker I would certainly do so.

    I try my best to elaborate and explain things so that anyone can understand but if your mind hasn't been open in decades I can't help you!

    You prefer the short version? Ok, here it is! If you find double taps in a panel call it out but stop making so much fuss over them that your client believes that they will burn down the house or that the entire service panel will have to be replaced!


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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Romano View Post

    You prefer the short version?

    Ok, here it is! If you find double taps in a panel call it out but stop making so much fuss over them that your client believes that they will burn down the house or that the entire service panel will have to be replaced!
    .
    But that's Your Job Lou.
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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Romano View Post
    You prefer the short version? Ok, here it is! If you find double taps in a panel call it out but stop making so much fuss over them that your client believes that they will burn down the house or that the entire service panel will have to be replaced!
    Here's the shorter version: WHEN you find multiple taps in a panel, you no longer have to wonder what stupid arse electrician ... especially if you are in Miami ... thinks that is okay.

    Lou, you want to talk that way here, be prepared to be talked about in that same way. You probably kept me busy when I was down there, and you are now probably keeping the other inspectors I know busy - THANK YOU!

    We have some electricians here who actually agree that things like that are not to be allowed ... one would think that ALL electricians would feel that way.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Again Jerry, you haven't read my original post right! Go back and reread post #10 with an open mind that has not already prejudged what is said! I clearly stated that I don't do that and that it is not legal and recommended you call it out. But I also went into detail about how it is not really as big of a deal as a lot of HI's make it out to be, and why, and my experience and findings over the years.

    If you or Rich think you read somewhere in my post that I condone it, or practice it, then either I didn't express myself clearly enough or you misinterpreted me.

    Either way, I can take it as good as I can dish it out. So if you and any others are not interested in hearing about my personal experiences with a given topic just say so. I'll keep the personal stuff to myself. We look at the same picture from different angles and I just thought my perspective might be useful to some.

    Have a nice night

    Last edited by Lou Romano; 06-21-2011 at 05:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Romano View Post
    Again Jerry, you haven't read my original post right!
    Lou,

    I did read it correctly.

    NOW THOUGH ... we are talking about your recent trash talking here ... or does it bother you when you are talked to in the same way you talk to others?

    Oh my, what have I done ... cut too deep with responding in like kind?

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Trash talk? WTF are you talking about Jerry? I may speak "matter of fact" and maybe even be a bit condescending at times, but I speak and type what I think and I don't hold back. So if that's what you call trash talk then hey, I'm guilty. If you don't like the way I think and how I present myself then either don't pay attention to me or tell me to f off, but don't give me this childish routine!


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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Romano View Post
    If you don't like the way I think and how I present myself then either don't pay attention to me or tell me to f off, but don't give me this childish routine!
    Nah, we're used to a holes talking like you do here, we don't like it, and it degrades your credibility ... wait ... you do that in the misinformation you post ... ...

    Lou, you can carry on your denials by yourself in your own little sandbox, I've got to get the cat litter scoop as the cats were in the sandbox last night ... careful where you step.

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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Romano View Post
    And where exactly did you read this? I never said that! What I said was I would NOT pigtail to a breaker for a surge suppressor! I would find another way to free up the space. Of course if there IS enough space to add a breaker I would certainly do so.

    I try my best to elaborate and explain things so that anyone can understand but if your mind hasn't been open in decades I can't help you!

    You prefer the short version? Ok, here it is! If you find double taps in a panel call it out but stop making so much fuss over them that your client believes that they will burn down the house or that the entire service panel will have to be replaced!

    Lou,

    This is also a short version. Can you read? Do you think before writing trash. Let me help you.

    Here is what you said in your first message:

    'I called out this double tap of a GE breaker on dryer circuit. Electrical contractor replied that this is conneced to a surge protector and "it is a common and accepted practice to install surge protection leads on a breaker terminal with existing lines". I have no information confirming make or model of surge protector....'.

    Here is what I said addressing your concerns:

    (1) "The surge protector should be visible and identifiable. Would have a big problem if I couldn't see the UL labeling.

    (2) I have seen many small residential and slightly larger commercial units surge protectors. All that I have seen specify connection to stand-alone breakers, most specifying that the breakers be the first ones out of the box (nearest the main breaker).

    (3) I read the electricians comment as "... I'm too cheap to install with a breaker as they cost extra, and I didn't read the manufacturers installation instructions..."."

    Now let's go to the tape....

    (The text in RED)
    This is a big issue and was glossed over in following comments. Comments such as it is a residential service and we allow leeway in applying the codes (implied by electrical contractors comment) are not acceptable. The breaker needs to be identified in order to determine if the installation is acceptable, or the manufacturers installation requirements to see if a conflict exists. My personal comment is this type of an installation is not acceptable. Perhaps the service panel should be replaced.

    (Text in blue) This was a red flag to me. Why didn't you get any information the surge protector. The electrician was there he could have given you the information---no rooting around looking.

    Now for the short version.

    Where did I say YOU did the work? I said the "electricians comment"..... nothing accusing you of anything. The comment "I read that as..." is a universal comment leading into an interpretation of what was said---nothing there
    accusing you of anything.

    Please read and understand before putting foot in mouth.

    Rich






  23. #23
    Lou Romano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Rich,

    You're not quoting me here you are quoting the OP and someone else?! None of what you just said has anything to do with my posts. You have me confused with someone else, so I suggest you take a step back and verify this for yourself.

    Have a nice day!


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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    I don't think either Lou's post #7 or # 10 had any attitiude or trash talk content at all...quite the contrary he was imformative. It's the inspectors who took it over the top.

    IMO this forum could use some more input from the assorted professionals that our work involves...but they certainly aren't going to stay long if we beat them up for providing real world honest opinions based on years of experience.


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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    IMO this forum could use some more input from the assorted professionals that our work involves...but they certainly aren't going to stay long if we beat them up for providing real world honest opinions based on years of experience.
    I agree as long as those professionals provide correct information,.

    If they try to convince us of 'how they always did it' and that makes it right, instead of providing correct information, then what good is all that noise which is passed across the forum?

    We have some good and knowledgeable electricians here, and I am sure that Lou will be a good contributor, but if he does not provide good information and cannot stand the heat of being corrected, then it is his choice.

    Even Watson will provide some good information in his posts, he just makes it real difficult to find it, and sometimes the effort it takes to look through the other stuff is not worth undertaking.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Romano View Post
    Rich,

    You're not quoting me here you are quoting the OP and someone else?! None of what you just said has anything to do with my posts. You have me confused with someone else, so I suggest you take a step back and verify this for yourself.

    Have a nice day!
    Sorry Lou,

    I apologize for losing track of what was said. When you jumped all over me in message #23 I thought (erroneously) you were the OP in message #1. So, all the "You"s in my post #22 in the the beginning paragraphs belong to the first poster (Eldon), including why didn't he ask as the electrical contractor apparently was there....

    However, the last two paragraphs still do pertain to you (Lou).

    Have a nice day,

    Rich


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Rich: I accept your apology and offer one of my own for jumping on you and another for hijacking the thread. When I see or hear the word electrician I assume it is directed at me and I answer ...what? Not sure what you mean by the "last 2 paragraphs pertain to me"?

    Jerry: I still don't see where I have offered any "misinformation"?

    Robert: Thank you for standing up for me! I hope it doesn't "degrade your credibility"

    Lets move on!

    Last edited by Lou Romano; 06-25-2011 at 03:41 PM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldon (Scooter) Holliday View Post
    I called out this double tap of a GE breaker on dryer circuit. Electrical contractor replied that this is conneced to a surge protector and "it is a common and accepted practice to install surge protection leads on a breaker terminal with existing lines". I have no information confirming make or model of surge protector. Would appreciate thoughts or comments on suitability of this installation.
    Do not believe what an electrical contractor tells you unless he has the specification data to show what type of SPD it is (there are 4 types) and the manufacturer's installation requirements to support the UL or listed application. The installation shown in your pic is incorrect to start with due to shunting the split phase load unless there is a third pigtail from the SPD connecting to ground. I can understand the confusion that exists between all the replys I have read on this forum and can imagine what SPD type was installed to compensate for protecting a dryer.

    Terminology and descriptive context is additionally needed before I would comment on this discussion without knowing the SPD type and what the manufacturer's spec sheet delegates for the installation of the device.

    FYI, a surge arrestor in utility parlance is a secondary source point of Service Entry 1000v surge rated L-N wired device, whereas SPD Types 1 thru 3 (Surge Protective Devices) are generally L-N, L-G, & N-G Point-of-use 330v wired devices. Note that the SPD shunting connection at the breaker terminal in parallel with a load conductor (pic) relinquishes most manufacturer's breaker function connection warranty from insurance claims.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Everyone please read the instructions that come with your surge suppressor.


    All new surge suppressor's will come with directions on folding paper indicating the proper way to wire it into a breaker panel, which is to put it on its own 15 amp 20 amp two pole breaker, And never double tap it onto a breaker unless it is a QO style 15-20 A breaker.


    If your instructions don't tell you where in the panel your breaker should be located, I recommend always installing it on the top of either side row if the service entry cables come in from the top of the box and vice versa if the wires come in from the bottom.


    Ken1inspect



    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    Scooter,

    What he said is correct ( but they are pig tailed on the line ) not put under the Breaker Screw unless the breaker is designed to accept Two Wires.

    This link explains How To Fix Double Tap | Reuben's Home Inspection Blog
    .



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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    You mean I can't do this?

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    Default Re: Double Tap for Surge Protector

    Actually, we mean you're not allowed to do that ... even though I see you can do it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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