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  1. #1
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    Default Branch circuits tied

    Wondered why these branch circuits are tied. They are labeled as lights/outlets.

    Sub(marine) panel is messed up, think there is room to add a neutral bar?

    Thanks,

    Russ

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    Any other photos?

    Such as straight on showing full view of the panels (one photo for each, or even one showing full view of both)

    As to why the neutrals and grounds are in the same terminal bar in the remote panel is anyone's guess, most likely guess would be "they just didn't know any better".

    Are you sure the left panel is a service equipment panel? (would help if you had a full frontal view of the entire panel, top to bottom)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    Yes Jerry, it is. I am assuming I should request the tie bars be removed?

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    Those are MWBC (shared neutrals) and are required by code to have double pole breakers/handle ties.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    I suspected that. At my training class about 3 months ago, The instructor for NYS continuing education for home inspectors said that was not correct, (tied together) he acted like he never heard of it before when a student brought up the subject.

    This is the first time I have ever seen it. Of course I have seen many shared neutrals though.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    That instructor needs to get some continuing ed also if they can't even recognize a MWBC and the requirements for a common disconnect.

    - - - Updated - - -

    That instructor needs to get some continuing ed also if they can't even recognize a MWBC and the requirements for a common disconnect.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    There is no requirement that I recall which requires them to be separated - i.e., one could have two 120 volt circuits on a double pole breaker, each circuit with its own neutral (not a shared neutral/not a MWBC).

    Might be inconvenient at times when the breaker trips due to a problem on one circuit and shuts the other circuit off ... but I don't recall anything with prohibits that.

    There are additional problems shown (at least looks like they are there) in the new photo - see my enlargement of the photo:
    - 1) looks like more than one neutral/grounded conductor are twisted together and are terminated into one terminal
    - 2) looks the same as 1) above except that they twisted grounding conductors together
    - 3) - ellipse encloses three things - top - center - and bottom of the ellipse
    - - - - top - same as 2) above
    - - - - center - same as 1) above
    - - - - bottom - neutral and grounds together in same terminal

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    So do you write them up, MWBC that are not tied?

    Now that I think about it, I believe I have seen single pole breakers used as mwbc, with no tie bar. I now know that they are to be double pole breakers and tied for mwbc.

    I just read this chat discussion that was very informative.

    12/3 Wire With Ground - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    Older editions only called for a handle tie or two pole breaker if both hots landed on the same yoke. The neutral did require splicing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Older editions only called for a handle tie or two pole breaker if both hots landed on the same yoke. The neutral did require splicing.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    I would not necessarily specify corrections (unless you have a masters license or an electrical engineer) and only point out that it does not meet current code , and or did not meet code at the time of construction or raises a safety issue. This is more of a legal thing where you might not be qualified (under the law) to specify. You can recommend that a qualified electrician (or other trades person) give a more detailed evaluation and recommend corrective action.

    Like I said this is Legal Beagle stuff which you need to learn to keep you out of trouble. As for the expansion panel , well let's just say the main panel has more issues - "Why would you not use a single lug for each wire - it is more work to twist and try to get them into the same hole) . I think this might be one of those jobs where you see enough wrong to suggest that a more detailed look from a qualified electrician be sought - this will help cover your grass too


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    I always recommend handle ties on MWBC even if installed prior to the requirement in 2008. Simple fix and a good idea.

    I am not a fan of MWBC but since they are allowed they should have a handle tie in my opinion.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I always recommend handle ties on MWBC even if installed prior to the requirement in 2008. Simple fix and a good idea.

    I am not a fan of MWBC but since they are allowed they should have a handle tie in my opinion.

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hester View Post
    I always recommend handle ties on MWBC even if installed prior to the requirement in 2008. Simple fix and a good idea.

    I am not a fan of MWBC but since they are allowed they should have a handle tie in my opinion.

    - - - Updated - - -
    It is easier for you to offer your opinion, Don, as a HI, than for me as an electrician--not that I demur entirely. I agree with you, certainly. And being a teaching type, I like to explain to the HO or purchaser why it became the law. Incidentally, at least one jurisdiction in which I work and consult, Prince George's County, MD, still is on the 2002 NEC.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hester View Post
    I always recommend handle ties on MWBC even if installed prior to the requirement in 2008. Simple fix and a good idea.
    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    It is easier for you to offer your opinion, Don, as a HI, than for me as an electrician ...
    David,

    I suspect that what you are meaning is that it is just as easy for you, and probably actually easier for you being an electrician, to "recommend" handle ties on MWBC ... regardless of what code was in effect at the time of installation (if any code was in effect at that time).

    What I suspect you are referring to as being harder for you is stating or implying that handle ties were required - when you know they were not required ... then again, as an HI, Don would not be "requiring" anything ... all HI's can do it "recommend" things, they have no enforcement power.

    Whereas, as an electrician, if you stated or implied that something was required when it was not, and the customer later learned from someone else that it was not "required", it would make you look bad, like you didn't know what you were doing, and only said that to sell more work. I fully understand where you are coming from on that aspect - but that has no bearing on "recommending" something which is safer, and which is now recognized as being safer and is therefore now required.

    I believe it just comes down to terminology - "recommend" versus "require".

    I "recommend" that people follow the speed limits, but police officers, sheriffs officers, highway patrol officers/trooper, etc. ... they can "require" it ... or issue tickets to people who refuse to do so ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    David,

    As with anything there is code minimum, what you really should have to do and then there is what exceeds the code but is a good idea. Even as an electrician I would think that if you define it in that way there is no issue.

    No different than stating that though the home was built before GFCI's even existed it is still a good idea to install them where required currently.

    No one may be required to do anything, but it is good information and like you I explain why I think it is a good idea to do so.

    I also get to opine why I do like them (MWBC) in the first place

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    (underlining is mine in the two quotes below)
    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hester View Post
    I am not a fan of MWBC but since they are allowed they should have a handle tie in my opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hester View Post
    I also get to opine why I do like them (MWBC) in the first place
    Don,

    I am now thoroughly confused ... do you ... or do you not ... like MWBC?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    David,

    I suspect that what you are meaning is that it is just as easy for you, and probably actually easier for you being an electrician, to "recommend" handle ties on MWBC ... regardless of what code was in effect at the time of installation (if any code was in effect at that time).

    What I suspect you are referring to as being harder for you is stating or implying that handle ties were required - when you know they were not required ... then again, as an HI, Don would not be "requiring" anything ... all HI's can do it "recommend" things, they have no enforcement power.

    Whereas, as an electrician, if you stated or implied that something was required when it was not, and the customer later learned from someone else that it was not "required", it would make you look bad, like you didn't know what you were doing, and only said that to sell more work. I fully understand where you are coming from on that aspect - but that has no bearing on "recommending" something which is safer, and which is now recognized as being safer and is therefore now required.
    It is very important to me to differentiate between that which was installed legally (at the time) and that which could not have been. How outdated or shortsighted the adopted version of the code may be is quite a separate matter. My thinking is that if I find illegality (=indifference or even mere well-meaning, innocent ignorance) at one spot on a circuit, there's a very good chance that there also are mistakes elsewhere on the circuit. And they might be more dangerous.

    Sure, I don't like to look like a boob, however often I do so. But that's not the only reason I find it particularly important to make this distinction between illegalities and wiring I personally disapprove.

    I do find it much easier for a realtor or a HI (I do realize these are two different beasts) than an electrician to say a fuse box or an FPE panel is unacceptable, or to use language awfully close to this.

    A fair part of the time I'm hired to evaluate wiring, rather than being invited to look and bid.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    It is very important to me to differentiate between that which was installed legally (at the time) and that which could not have been.
    Understood, but - there was not discussion of "requiring" anything, only "recommendations", and you said ... rather, you "implied" that you would not be able to make recommendations which were not supportable by code at the time of installation - and recommendations can be, and should be, made whenever the person is sufficiently knowledgeable to understand that there is a better/safer way something should be done or is now done.

    Again, you are the one who brought in "not being able to require" while implying (participating in a discussion of) "making recommendations".

    I am just clarifying that there is a BIG DIFFERENCE between "recommending" and "requiring" ... HI's "make recommendations", they don't "require" anything ... other than that they get paid for their inspections and recommendations.

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

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Understood, but - there was not discussion of "requiring" anything, only "recommendations", and you said ... rather, you "implied" that you would not be able to make recommendations which were not supportable by code at the time of installation - and recommendations can be, and should be, made whenever the person is sufficiently knowledgeable to understand that there is a better/safer way something should be done or is now done.

    Again, you are the one who brought in "not being able to require" while implying (participating in a discussion of) "making recommendations".

    I am just clarifying that there is a BIG DIFFERENCE between "recommending" and "requiring" ... HI's "make recommendations", they don't "require" anything ... other than that they get paid for their inspections and recommendations.
    Implication not intended. Done.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Branch circuits tied

    Jerry, Oops "Do not like MWBC"

    - - - Updated - - -

    Jerry, Oops "Do not like MWBC"

    - - - Updated - - -

    Jerry, Oops "Do not like MWBC"

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

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