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Thread: Double tapped?

  1. #1
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    Default Double tapped?

    I am a little rusty on double tapping. Is that when two conductors are under the same lug on one breaker that is not rated for double tapping?
    double tapped.JPG
    I am sure this guy was trying to break a record.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    It's when two wires are under any lug. As for as being acceptable it depends upon the rating of the equipment. Sometimes you can solve double tapped breakers with tandems but again it depends on what the panel is rated for. Worse case scenario will be the installation of a new panel or subpanel - let the electrician make that decision.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    The only manufacturer I am aware of is Square D, their breakers are approved for double taps, provided of course the wires being placed under the terminal are the same gauge


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    The only manufacturer I am aware of is Square D, their breakers are approved for double taps, provided of course the wires being placed under the terminal are the same gauge
    It is Square D and Cutler Hammer (CH) breakers can be double-tapped. And not the really old breakers from either manufacturer.

    Sometimes an electrician can just splice a pigtail on the two ends to repair. That depends on the loads expected on those 2 circuits.

    If an old 70's panel has one double tap, in my area, it is likely to be a doorbell ringer, low voltage transformer, double-tapped on a 15 amp breaker in the old panel, was permitted, probably is a non-issue in that case.
    But I look to see the transformer close by, not on the end of a long feeder that might have outlets and fixtures added.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 02-04-2015 at 01:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Door bell wire is stranded. Have seen double taps - solid wire and door bell stranded wire - the stranded wire is never under the terminal screw at least in my findings.


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    I am a little rusty on double tapping. Is that when two conductors are under the same lug on one breaker that is not rated for double tapping?
    double tapped.JPG
    I am sure this guy was trying to break a record.
    You needed one of these smiley things Robert.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    I know what you say, Raymond. The AHJ permitted it, but the connection on the doorbell wiring could be poor and then the bell won't ring.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Can you get these connectors state side?

    Marrette 3-Pack Black Plastic Standard Wire Connectors | Lowe's Canada

    I like to use these whenever I can.


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Sometimes an electrician can just splice a pigtail on the two ends to repair. That depends on the loads expected on those 2 circuits.
    There is no difference, load wise, on a breaker which is multiple tapped or which has a single conductor from the breaker to two conductors and in a wirenut.

    The load will be the same and the overcurrent protection will be the same.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    The only manufacturer I am aware of is Square D, their breakers are approved for double taps, provided of course the wires being placed under the terminal are the same gauge
    Square D and Cutler Hammer.
    Ray? You knew that.


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Nope; I don't know everything and don't let on I do. Didn't know about Cutler Hammer being approved and not afraid to admit that.


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    It's when two wires are under any lug. As for as being acceptable it depends upon the rating of the equipment. Sometimes you can solve double tapped breakers with tandems but again it depends on what the panel is rated for. Worse case scenario will be the installation of a new panel or subpanel - let the electrician make that decision.
    If I am not mistaken there are lugs designed for 2 conductors. This depends on the lug. Post #1 http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...main-lugs.html

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    On Square D or Cutler Hammer breakers that allow double tapping, the washer under the nut will have 2 places for the conductor/wires.
    Here is a link by the start tribune.
    Double Tapped Circuit Breakers | The Home Inspector | StarTribune.com
    double tap break wire washer.JPG

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Thanks Robert, for the photo.

    Also referring to your link to HG Watson, I forgot what a boorish dweeb this guy was. I am glad he is gone where ever he went. Talk about a know it all.


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Thanks Robert, for the photo.

    Also referring to your link to HG Watson, I forgot what a boorish dweeb this guy was. I am glad he is gone where ever he went. Talk about a know it all.
    Best regards as always Raymond.
    Its always a pleasure!

    I am not as knowledgeable as other colleagues here but I am trying to be a better inspector.

    As for HG Watson, I can not say I have ever had the pleasure.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    The photo looks like an old Square D panel. I have not seen enough of them to know whether they were rated for two conductors. I do have some old breakers in my garage from a panel that burned up.


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    The photo looks like an old Square D panel. I have not seen enough of them to know whether they were rated for two conductors. I do have some old breakers in my garage from a panel that burned up.
    It's an old Taylor electric panel and Taylor main disconnect fuse switch.
    I recommended replacing/updating the first point of service.


    taylor 125 panel.JPG taylor fuse switch.JPG

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Even for panels that have breakers designed for two wires, it is not allowed by any AHJs around here. So, I occasionally see two circuits connected with a pig tail going off to the breaker to satisfy the local AHJ's requirement of one wire one breaker.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Sometimes an electrician can just splice a pigtail on the two ends to repair. That depends on the loads expected on those 2 circuits.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    There is no difference, load wise, on a breaker which is multiple tapped or which has a single conductor from the breaker to two conductors and in a wirenut.

    The load will be the same and the overcurrent protection will be the same.
    We know that. What are you saying, I don't know that?

    If the loads are excessive on those 2 circuits, then Sparky needs to add a breaker. Then he can't just pigtail it.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    We know that. What are you saying, I don't know that?

    If the loads are excessive on those 2 circuits, then Sparky needs to add a breaker. Then he can't just pigtail it.
    Believe what they are trying to convey is that if a breaker is not designed for two wires then the wires can be pigtailed together and then one wire used for the (single wire) breaker.

    The number of wires(circuits) that are being protected by a breaker has nothing to do with the load that the two circuits produce. The load calculation is a separate determination factor and is factored against the breaker capability/rating.

    It is interesting that the electrician was able to get so many wires in the box with out having it look like a rat nest.


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel
    Sometimes an electrician can just splice a pigtail on the two ends to repair. That depends on the loads expected on those 2 circuits.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    We know that. What are you saying, I don't know that?

    If the loads are excessive on those 2 circuits, then Sparky needs to add a breaker. Then he can't just pigtail it.
    Your previous post stated "That depends on the loads expected on those 2 circuits." as an condition of " ... an electrician can just splice a pigtail on the two ends to repair." - separating a multiple tap to one conductor at the breaker to two conductors does not alter any that exist ... except for correcting the multiple tap.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    I am a little rusty on double tapping. Is that when two conductors are under the same lug on one breaker that is not rated for double tapping?
    double tapped.JPG
    I am sure this guy was trying to break a record.
    He may have succeeded. I would say the good news is that panel is very old, the buyer should be able to negotiate for an upgrade.


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Bennett View Post
    He may have succeeded. I would say the good news is that panel is very old, the buyer should be able to negotiate for an upgrade.
    I concur Gerry.
    But thats the devil in the detail. negotiations. At times, pennys stopping hundreds of thousands from being mortgaged.

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 02-13-2015 at 07:23 AM. Reason: KISS
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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    I concur Gerry.
    But thats the devil in the detail. negotiations. At times, pennys stopping hundreds of thousands from being mortgaged.

    The exact words by the vendor was, "I am not putting another dine into this place and that includes the electrical. " "Only if they allow me to go solar or wind."
    I answered, "what does solar have to do with compliant wiring?"

    The listings agent hustled him out the door until I finished my 3.5 hour inspection routine. Or my 3 art process:-) The last being, Post inspection reviews!
    I'm actually an electrician, so I am the other end of your inspection. Been called for plenty of double taps, but I wouldn't want that one. Usually it's only one or two. I guess you guys have to be careful not to get into the middle of things to much.


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    Cool Re: Double tapped?

    I did a FPE panel in New Hampshire last summer that had 7 triple tapped breakers, 6 double tapped breakers and 2" drywall screws driven into bundles of wire that looked like spaghetti in a colander...you guess it, screws has damaged wire insulation. Had listing RE agent on site at the time look at it...she immediately called her electrician!!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I did a FPE panel in New Hampshire last summer that had 7 triple tapped breakers, 6 double tapped breakers and 2" drywall screws driven into bundles of wire that looked like spaghetti in a colander...you guess it, screws has damaged wire insulation. Had listing RE agent on site at the time look at it...she immediately called her electrician!!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I did a FPE panel in New Hampshire last summer that had 7 triple tapped breakers, 6 double tapped breakers and 2" drywall screws driven into bundles of wire that looked like spaghetti in a colander...you guess it, screws has damaged wire insulation. Had listing RE agent on site at the time look at it...she immediately called her electrician!!!


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    funny when you come to think of it.
    I had to chuckle yesterday.
    As I inspected an older 1950's build I ran across a Square D QO Load Center.
    I dismounted the dead front and low and behold, a double tapping on a compliant breaker.
    I told the client about the thread colleagues.
    Square D double tap breaker.JPG

    I do not run into double tapping breakers often, but when I do its like greeting a solid and trusted old friend. I get a smile, mentally reminisce and move on.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    One thing I did not see addressed was the double-tapping on the neutral terminals. Can't do that either.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    funny when you come to think of it.
    I had to chuckle yesterday.
    As I inspected an older 1950's build I ran across a Square D QO Load Center.
    I dismounted the dead front and low and behold, a double tapping on a compliant breaker.
    I told the client about the thread colleagues.
    Square D double tap breaker.JPG

    I do not run into double tapping breakers often, but when I do its like greeting a solid and trusted old friend. I get a smile, mentally reminisce and move on.
    Robert,

    Those breakers are not "double tapped" ... those breakers have one terminal on one side of the plate and another terminal on the other side of the plate - they just have "one screw" which holds the right and the left terminals closed when that "one screw" is tightened.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Can't do that either.
    Not that I am the word police, and not that I have not typed the same thing myself (I have, many times), but ... ... they "can" do that - we find it all the time ... they are just "not allowed" to do that.

    I try to not say "assume" as that can be changed around ... instead I try to always say "presume" (unless I am saying that someone ELSE "assumed" something ... ... then I say it occasionally).

    I also try to not say that they "can't" do something which I am looking at ... because they "did" do it - I am looking at it.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Robert,

    Those breakers are not "double tapped" ... those breakers have one terminal on one side of the plate and another terminal on the other side of the plate - they just have "one screw" which holds the right and the left terminals closed when that "one screw" is tightened.
    I never said they were wired wrong.
    That was from yesterdays inspection. Square D. breakers that accept 2 conductors under one terminal.

    I do not run into these breakers that accept double wire/conductors under one terminal often.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    I never said they were wired wrong.
    And I didn't say you said they were wired wrong either.

    You stated "I dismounted the dead front and low and behold, a double tapping on a compliant breaker.", and I simply stated that they are not "double tapped" and explained why that term was not applicable.

    I do not run into these breakers that accept double wire/conductors under one terminal often.
    "double wire/conductors under one terminal"

    The point of my post was - those breakers have "two" terminals ... one terminal for each permitted conductors.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    One thing I did not see addressed was the double-tapping on the neutral terminals. Can't do that either.
    Thanks Gunnar.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I also try to not say that they "can't" do something which I am looking at ... because they "did" do it - I am looking at it.
    Egads Jerry!

    Rewrite:
    One thing I did not see addressed was the double-tapping on the neutral terminals. Shouldn't do that either.

    Better?

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    One thing I did not see addressed was the double-tapping on the neutral terminals. Shouldn't do that either.
    I sometimes use common language when the terminology from the codes is more technically correct. Without double checking, I don't believe that "double tapped" or "double lugged" appears in the NEC.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    I sometimes use common language when the terminology from the codes is more technically correct. Without double checking, I don't believe that "double tapped" or "double lugged" appears in the NEC.
    I suspect that most, if not all, of us use common language instead of actual code language.

    My post to Robert was not correcting or pointing out the use of common language should have been code language - it was that the common language of double tapped does not apply to a breaker which as two terminal together like Sq D has.

    My post to Gunnar was, I thought, obviously humorous in and of itself in mentioning the fact that when we say "you can't do that" ... and we are standing there looking at it ... obviously ... they CAN do that ... they DONE DID IT ... but it just ain't right (I am allowed to use "DONE DID IT" and "ain't" here, right? )


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    My post to Gunnar was, I thought, obviously humorous in and of itself in mentioning the fact that when we say "you can't do that" ... and we are standing there looking at it ... obviously ... they CAN do that ... they DONE DID IT ... but it just ain't right (I am allowed to use "DONE DID IT" and "ain't" here, right? )
    I thought your post was humorous and I often think the same thing, even when I'm saying, "They can't do that!" Maybe, it sounds less forceful to say "They shouldn't do that" vs. "can't".

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Can you get these connectors state side?

    Marrette 3-Pack Black Plastic Standard Wire Connectors | Lowe's Canada

    I like to use these whenever I can.
    Yes, though I don't know about the particular brand being NRTL-listed.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Can you get these connectors state side?

    Marrette 3-Pack Black Plastic Standard Wire Connectors | Lowe's Canada

    I like to use these whenever I can.
    Yes, or the equivalent; I don't know about your particular brand being NRTL-listed.


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    I am a little rusty on double tapping. Is that when two conductors are under the same lug on one breaker that is not rated for double tapping?
    double tapped.JPG
    I am sure this guy was trying to break a record.
    As for the neutral or grounding bar, in the U.S., two grounding conductors in one opening tends to be legal; but two neutral/grounded conductors in one hole never is kosher. The breaker terminals have been addressed by others.


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Check the attachment out..

    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Double tapped beer kegs are convenient at parties and legal in most states.

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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Double tapping neutrals is a very common find in panels supposedly installed by licenced electricians. As a matter of fact its so common it tends to be more common then double taps under the terminal screws of the breaker.


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Double tapping neutrals is a very common find in panels supposedly installed by licenced electricians. As a matter of fact its so common it tends to be more common then double taps under the terminal screws of the breaker.
    If these panels were installed under the 2002 or later NEC, the term is "licentious electricians." Possibly just due to ignorance.

    vide NEC Section 408.41, formerly 408.21.

    Note that the exception for circuits with parallel conductors concerns circuits that, to start with, require minimum 1 AWG size conductors.


    If installed under an earlier NEC, here's what Jim Pauley, now I believe president of NFPA but then with Square D, said, in the substantiation of his proposal that brought this section into the 2002 and subsequent NEC (#9-113, Log#3287, should you want to look it up for yourself) : "This revision is needed to coordinate the installation requirements with a long standing product standard requirement. Clause 12.3.10 of UL 67 (Panelboards) . . . The requirement has been enforced in the past by a close review of the manufacturers markings . . . "

    In other words, the instructions in every listed panelboard have said for decades that you can't put anything but a single neutral wire in its hole.


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    In other words, the instructions in every listed panelboard have said for decades that you can't put anything but a single neutral wire in its hole.
    Thats fine but its obvious many an electrician cannot read.

    - - - Updated - - -

    In other words, the instructions in every listed panelboard have said for decades that you can't put anything but a single neutral wire in its hole.
    Thats fine but its obvious many an electrician cannot read.


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    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Double tapping neutrals is a very common find in panels supposedly installed by licenced electricians. As a matter of fact its so common it tends to be more common then double taps under the terminal screws of the breaker.
    Agree.
    Last year I butted heads with a long time electrician who corrected the double lugged neutrals by twisting them together and putting them back under the same lug. When I checked with the local AHJ to confirm that they didn't have a variance, he called the electrician an idiot. Because I'm a helpful kinda guy, I sent the electrician the attached illustration.

    ground-neutral-terminalbars.jpg

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  45. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Massacusetts
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Double tapped?

    I have a different take - Although I understand the need to occationally double tap a breaker like a door bell. I would like to point out that this box may actually be over capacity in wires. Like conduit boxes actually have a maximum capacity - physically this one looks like it is there, but also to shead any heat load that may be occuring

    - espcailly at the sweet 16 party your customer is going to have where the house is at full occupancy every TV , Xbox , hair dryer , oven , cloths dryer , hot tub - the band hooked up to what ever spare circuit they could find or what ever the occasion (of course this is where we find out that Joe the deck builder never did any load calculations and we find out that the deck can not hold 50 of your heavest friends either


  46. #46
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Massacusetts
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Double tapped?

    I have a different take - Although I understand the need to occationally double tap a breaker like a door bell. I would like to point out that this box may actually be over capacity in wires. Like conduit boxes actually have a maximum capacity - physically this one looks like it is there, but also to shead any heat load that may be occuring

    - espcailly at the sweet 16 party your customer is going to have where the house is at full occupancy every TV , Xbox , hair dryer , oven , cloths dryer , hot tub - the band hooked up to what ever spare circuit they could find or what ever the occasion (of course this is where we find out that Joe the deck builder never did any load calculations and we find out that the deck can not hold 50 of your heavest friends either


  47. #47
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Doane View Post
    I have a different take - Although I understand the need to occationally double tap a breaker like a door bell. I would like to point out that this box may actually be over capacity in wires.
    Over loading a circuit is definitely a consideration with double tapped breakers. It's the reason most often stated by most of the AHJs around here why they don't allow two wires on a Square D breaker that is designed to accept two wires. Yet, I occasionally see two circuits under a wire nut with the pig tail going to a breaker to satisfy the one wire per breaker requirement.

    Most of the time, it's very difficult for us to determine if a circuit is over loaded. A few weeks ago, a renter disclosed that whenever his wife was running a kitchen counter appliance while he was running a tool in the garage, the breaker (with only one wire to it) would trip. I wrote it up.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  48. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Double tapped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Doane View Post
    I have a different take - Although I understand the need to occationally double tap a breaker like a door bell.
    There is NEVER a need to multiple tap a breaker for ANYTHING.

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

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