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  1. #1
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    Mar 2007
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    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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    Default What is this tap under the breaker?

    What is this tap on the 40A breaker? It looks like it is taped into a space below the terminal screws. Is this something that is legit?

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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Lansdale, PA
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    876

    Default Re: What is this tap under the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    What is this tap on the 40A breaker? It looks like it is taped into a space below the terminal screws. Is this something that is legit?
    I enlarged the photo a bit. It looks like someone stuck wires where they do not belong, but I can't give you a better answer than that.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
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    4,311

    Default Re: What is this tap under the breaker?

    Ken,

    Are the top ( white & black ) wires 8 gauge ? The white wire covering appears burnt / damaged.

    My SWAG is the Bottom wires are correct and the top wires were added and are under sized.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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    574

    Default Re: What is this tap under the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Actually if you enlarge the photo that's a 30 amp CB on the left.
    It is a 30A breaker, but I'm talking about the black wires taped into the bottom of it. (photo)

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
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    2,303

    Default Re: What is this tap under the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    It is a 30A breaker, but I'm talking about the black wires taped into the bottom of it. (photo)
    Ken, it looks like the type of breaker terminals that the screw operates a clamp that holds the wires, the connections at the bottom are probably the correct connections and the ones under the screws are probably incorrect. Can't tell for sure from here!

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: What is this tap under the breaker?

    Ken,

    Can't see much of what is going on there with the 30 amp breker, a full picture and the diagram would be nice, some way to figure out where the wires are coming from and going to!

    As I follow the white insulated it appears to have some black adhesive residue just off the breaker and again above, there also seems to be some red or orange tape up above as well - thinking someone has attempted in the past to "un-identify" the white wire black or red.

    I'm guessing that the 30 amp breaker is for a special purpose alternatively (not buss stabbed) line supplied or remotely controlled/reduced line supply to the load. It appears to be a 240 load (branch circuit or feeder) and that the lower "thicker" insulated wires are the (supply) line side A & B halves of 208/220/240V, that this breaker is not being directly "fed" or supplied via buss stabs but by those conductors you question (such as separate "supply" through non-peak demand meter for electric WH) OR has the ability to be remotely controlled (time cycled down/off) by the POCO during high peak demand periods intermittantly (such as for AC), and that the "thinner" upper white previously marked with black tape or paint and the black insulated are the load side after the switch & protection, and that this branch is either a demand, off-peak meter supplied electric WH OR What I think is MORE LIKELY, that the load is for an AC condensor or HP which is via a special peak demand cycled supply which the POCO can control by intermittantly timing out by sending a signal, during extreme demand peaks and in return some sort of discount is afforded the HO.

    IOW I'm thinking the lower set is line side (IN) of the CB & switch functions, and the upper set (white & black) is the load side (out). Something like I've drawn in the attached.




    Without the breaker identification, being able to see where the lower set wires are coming from, knowing just what is supposed to be powered off of this other main, feeder, or branch; and/or diagram/identification on the breaker itself, hard to know. See a mix of breakers within.

    Is there a second (off-peak) meter or a controller at the AC between the meter and the compressor? A surge protector unit at the compressor?

    Another thought - I think I noticed this particular breaker is in the off position...is there somewhere (tracing those lower thicker conductors) a 250V receptacle that is otherwise unused, possibly outside near a pad or a patio or near garage door - where a generator might be operated and bootleg cord-set plugged into same? Perhaps DIY'd without a proper transfer switch generating 25 or 30 amps backfeeding the buss in a power outage?

    Guessing the panel is 25/30+ y.o.?

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    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 08-28-2013 at 06:40 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
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    544

    Default Re: What is this tap under the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Ken, it looks like the type of breaker terminals that the screw operates a clamp that holds the wires, the connections at the bottom are probably the correct connections and the ones under the screws are probably incorrect. Can't tell for sure from here!

    The short answer is the one I would pick. The long answer is just chasing cottontails.

    Good Job Vern...

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: What is this tap under the breaker?

    None of the above. It is a loop of wire bent in a hairpin and shoved in there. Now prove me wrong with 100 posts or less.

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    544

    Default Re: What is this tap under the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    None of the above. It is a loop of wire bent in a hairpin and shoved in there. Now prove me wrong with 100 posts or less.
    You WIN! Who would have thought the answer, even speculative, would have been more than one or two sentences long.

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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