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  1. #1
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    This is a 50 amp breaker for a range top. There are 3 neutral pigtailed together and spliced to a # 6 neutral. Is this "acceptable"

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    Matthew,

    I think you already know this one.

    No double (or triple) lugging on breaker terminals, except as allowed by the manufacturer (I don't know of any manufacturer that allows triple). Also, what is the amperage rating of those bundled conductors? I certainly don't know. It should be the same sized wire that is a part of the cable that enters the top of the panel.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    Billy Bob has installed a 50 amp GFcI for his bro's hot tub.
    He wouldn't buy a GFCI breaker for the cooktop or would he?

    We don't know why he clipped the neutral for the feeder off too short in the first place. Maybe he used that chunk to connect the breaker to the neutral bus? Anyway, he then had to make up a triple jumper, because the tub controls wouldn't work without.the neutral and they needed that thing to heat up now!!.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    Paralleled conductors smaller 1/0 are not code compliant.


  5. #5
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    Thanks. It is a GFCI.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    That's not a pigtail its an improper (parallel conductors) splice taking the too-short grounded conductor terminal for the 120/240 Feeder from the GFCI breaker. Obviously the center terminal is not rated for three small conductors.The too small (multiple) parallel conductors need to be removed and replaced with the proper temperature and gauge size singular identified grounded conductor to extend to the center terminal of the breaker to the splice point at the top. While doing so it should be routed on the left along with the ungrounded (hot) conductors. Multiwire circuits and feeders should have their conductors grouped and follow consistant path to the breaker.The larger below the center tap is the factory neutral which is properly landed on the neutral bus.Appears to have a bare ground so a-ok as long as it is landing on the grounding buss for the 4-wire 120/240 50A feeder.


  7. #7
    cuba_pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    ...The too small (multiple) parallel conductors need to be removed and replaced with the proper temperature and gauge size singular identified grounded conductor to extend to the center terminal of the breaker to the splice point at the top...The larger below the center tap is the factory neutral which is properly landed on the neutral bus.
    HG...why couldn't the load neutral be bonded to the grounded conductor block and leave the bond between that block and the breaker in place? It appears that it would reach...

    Would that be a violation? I haven't scanned the code for extending/making non-continuous the grounded conductor for this particular type of branch.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by cuba_pete View Post
    HG...why couldn't the load neutral be bonded to the grounded conductor block and leave the bond between that block and the breaker in place? It appears that it would reach...

    Would that be a violation? I haven't scanned the code for extending/making non-continuous the grounded conductor for this particular type of branch.
    It is a GFCI breaker.


  9. #9
    cuba_pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Richter View Post
    It is a GFCI breaker.
    It would be electrically the same to run the load neutral to the neutral bus bar and then connect a bond from the neutral bus bar to the GFCI breaker.

    I don't know, however, if there is a rule that would prohibit a non-continuous bond from the load to the load to the breaker. I have never installed a 240 GFCI. It seems weird to go all round-robin with the neutral.

    (Nevermind the triple-parallelling and too many wires for the terminal lug! That's obvious to me.)


  10. #10
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by cuba_pete View Post
    It would be electrically the same to run the load neutral to the neutral bus bar and then connect a bond from the neutral bus bar to the GFCI breaker.

    I don't know, however, if there is a rule that would prohibit a non-continuous bond from the load to the load to the breaker. I have never installed a 240 GFCI. It seems weird to go all round-robin with the neutral.

    (Nevermind the triple-parallelling and too many wires for the terminal lug! That's obvious to me.)
    If you ground the load neutral of a GFCI device you create a ground fault and the device will trip.


  11. #11
    Lou Romano's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by cuba_pete View Post
    It would be electrically the same to run the load neutral to the neutral bus bar and then connect a bond from the neutral bus bar to the GFCI breaker.

    I don't know, however, if there is a rule that would prohibit a non-continuous bond from the load to the load to the breaker. I have never installed a 240 GFCI. It seems weird to go all round-robin with the neutral.

    (Nevermind the triple-parallelling and too many wires for the terminal lug! That's obvious to me.)
    If you connected it as you say here the GFCI could not read the load on the neutral. It may trip immediately or it may not depending on other factors, but either way GFCI protection would be lost.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by cuba_pete View Post
    It would be electrically the same to run the load neutral to the neutral bus bar and then connect a bond from the neutral bus bar to the GFCI breaker.

    I don't know, however, if there is a rule that would prohibit a non-continuous bond from the load to the load to the breaker. I have never installed a 240 GFCI. It seems weird to go all round-robin with the neutral.

    (Nevermind the triple-parallelling and too many wires for the terminal lug! That's obvious to me.)
    This is not a 240V GF/circuit breaker, it is a 120/240 V GFCI.

    It not a straight 240V 2-P Breaker or circuit (H-H-G) - it is a 120/240V feeder (or MWBC) 4-wire (H-H-N-G) configuration.

    The "slant" makes all the difference in combination breakers GFPE, GFCI, or Arc-fault. (</= 50 amps for res. 120/240 1~service.

    The grounded conductor and the hots must go through the GF circuitry device for monitoring unbalanced current and for the internal TEST functions to operate properly so as to correctly protect the load side of the installation.


  13. #13
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    A 120/240 volt GFCI breaker will still operate and provide GFCI protection on straight 240 volt loads as long as the CB neutral is connected to the neutral bus.


  14. #14
    Gerry Bennett's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    Two questions. Why are they using a GFI breaker for a stove, or cooktop, and it's hard to tell but the wires look a little small. Should be #6 for a fifty amp breaker.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    A 120/240 volt GFCI breaker will still operate and provide GFCI protection on straight 240 volt loads as long as the CB neutral is connected to the neutral bus.
    The OP has pictured a 4-wire circuit incorrectly and illegally spliced with parallel conductor less than or equal to 50A, 120/240 GFCI 2-P breaker.

    The circuit is not 3-wire configuration. What point are you trying to make?

    A straight 240 load from 120/240 residential service does not have a neutral, though it may have a grounded conductor and a grounding conductor. A "straight" 240 load, purely resisitive in nature, would have no unbalanced current.

    I'd like to see a range TOP that utilizes 50 amps. (dual fuel is gas over electric, not vice versa). A range includes surface cooking and oven. A cook top and an oven, so we're already dealing with incorrect identification. I do doubt the identification as to purpose (i.e. dedicated solely to range "top").

    As far as why one may choose to gfci protect an electric range or cooktop, well...perhaps one has a pot filler adjacent or over same. May not be REQUIRED, but very-well may be DESIRED. Of course if higher-end home employing staff for food preparation - may be required as well by other than the building codes (workplace safety).


  16. #16
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    All Robert was saying is that the GFI breaker would still function if the load was 240 volts only and told how the pigtail needed to be connected.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    All Robert was saying is that the GFI breaker would still function if the load was 240 volts only and told how the pigtail needed to be connected.

    Since the pictured is not a service panel, and the circuit is a 3-wire plus ground configuration, I'm still not grasping the point, intended use or not, if there is a load-side circuit or feeder neutral (3-wire plus ground 120/240 config) the load side neutral must be attached to the load side neutral terminal of the QF250, regardless.

    That would not be a safe nor legal connection in the OP's panel and circuit installation, and the QF250 would not function correctly, after a manditory post-installation test cycle, under load.

    If there IS a load side neutral it MUST be installed to the load neutral terminal on the CB, and NEVER directly to the panel neutral.

    The permissive language for the wiring diagram from Siemens is ONLY for when there IS no load side neutral (240v 2-wire plus ground) AND there is no tap load side.


  18. #18
    cuba_pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 neutral wires in one breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    It not a straight 240V 2-P Breaker or circuit (H-H-G) - it is a 120/240V feeder (or MWBC) 4-wire (H-H-N-G) configuration. The grounded conductor and the hots must go through the GF circuitry device...
    Got it...thanks. I didn't have my friend Kirchoff here nudging me into actually analyzing the circuit...


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