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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Posts
    574

    Default No of over current devices and circuits

    Our state standards are probably like most others, A bit ambiguous and unclear.

    The electrical section requires us to observe and indentify the "number of branch circuits and overcurrent devices in the panel enclosure.

    So this is a quiz for you seasoned inspectors.
    The attached photo of a panel with the yellow line enclosing a few of the breakers in this panel. (I didn't include all because it is too large.)


    The question is "What is the number of branch circuits and overcurrent devices" enclosed within the yellow box.

    I come up with 16 over current devices & 17 circuits.

    I am asking this question because I have no clue how to determine the number of overcurrent devices or number of branch circuits.

    1. Are tandem breakers in "one enclosure" considered one overcurrent device?
    2. Is a linked two pole breaker considered one over current device? (what if that linked breaker feeds two single phase circuits?
    3. Is a double tapped breaker considered one or two branch circuits?
    4. Are the two wires on a 220V two pole breaker consider 1 or two branch circuits?

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    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: No of over current devices and circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post

    1. Are tandem breakers in "one enclosure" considered one overcurrent device?
    No, it is 2


    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    3. Is a double tapped breaker considered one or two branch circuits?
    1

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    4. Are the two wires on a 220V two pole breaker consider 1 or two branch circuits?
    1

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Holladay, UT
    Posts
    565

    Default Re: No of over current devices and circuits

    It looks like on the one double tapped breaker, that one wire is to doorbell transformer. Is the doorbell transformer considered a circuit?

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: No of over current devices and circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    It looks like on the one double tapped breaker, that one wire is to doorbell transformer. Is the doorbell transformer considered a circuit?
    One breaker supplies one circuit. The branch circuit and the transformer are one circuit. The transformer could have been tapped in further downstream, which is how we do it now, put it in a closet or other.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: No of over current devices and circuits

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    One breaker supplies one circuit. The branch circuit and the transformer are one circuit. The transformer could have been tapped in further downstream, which is how we do it now, put it in a closet or other.
    Although I have heard they put them in closets (don't know the reason...anybody, anybody..). I think they have the opportunity to get beat up there. I have only seen them in attics, garage, or if done right---next to the panel in a 4x4 box so it easy to find and service if necessary.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Melrose, Massachusetts
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: No of over current devices and circuits

    Hi Ken,

    In your yellow box, I count 16 breakers and 17 circuits unless that double tap is for the doorbell transformer. If a doorbell, I document it, but do not write it up as a defect. It is a very common practice to double tap the doorbell transformer around these parts.
    - I count mini-breaker pairs as 2 breakers and 2 circuits.
    - I count double pole 220v as 2 breakers and 2 circuits.

    I count 220v double pole circuits as 2 because I find this less confusing when counting wires. It also avoids the problem describing two 110v circuits with breakers joined to trip together (see other discussions on disposer and dishwasher on separate circuits in one receptacle). In my report I state how I count, so there is no confusion.

    Hope to see you at an ASHI Chapter meeting in June or conference in Sept!
    Don

    Donald Bissex
    Melrose, Massachusetts
    www.mystichomeinspection.com

  7. #7
    Mbrooke's Avatar
    Mbrooke Guest

    Default Re: No of over current devices and circuits

    I would say 16. A tandem is 2 circuits, a 240volt double pole is 1 circuit and a double tap is one circuit.


    However is one throws in MWBC with handle ties I still think its 2 if Im right.


    Correct me if Im wrong on anything.


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