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  1. #1

    Default Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    I have seen several homes with a sub-panel double tapped with the main service drop at the lugs. I hate it and write it up every time. Today I inspected a 1975 home that has a sub-panel spliced with the main service drop. Of course it has tons of electrical tape, but 200 amps might be too much for that. I am scratching my head about how to write this up.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    Lawrence,

    Since it is an FPE panel, I would just make a blanket statement that includes text notifying the clients about the reliability issues of an FPE panel as well as concerns about the splices (and any other issues you found) and defer the entire electrical system.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    Thanks for the reply. I have a 12 page Doug Hansen article that I provide every time that I see an FPE panel. We still have some electricians in my area that defend these panels and realtors that think that I am just being picky.


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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    The conductors will only have whatever current is being used. It has nothing to do withe the 200 amp main. Also the splice looks to be ahead of the main, not after so the 200 amp would not protect them either way.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence Thomas View Post
    I have seen several homes with a sub-panel double tapped with the main service drop at the lugs. I hate it and write it up every time. Today I inspected a 1975 home that has a sub-panel spliced with the main service drop. Of course it has tons of electrical tape, but 200 amps might be too much for that. I am scratching my head about how to write this up.
    This is a good example of why not to use the term "sub panel", and instead to use the term "service equipment" and "panel" - think about what those photos are showing ...

    First, there is "service equipment", and "service equipment" is where the main service disconnect is. If panels downstream of the service equipment are thought of as simply 'panels' or 'remote panels', then that reinforces the thinking of "service equipment".

    Q: What does that photo show?

    A: That photo shows a service equipment panel ... why did I say "a" service equipment panel instead of "the" service equipment panel? Because those conductors which are tapped off the service entrance conductors are also "service entrance conductors", and "service entrance conductors" supply "service equipment panels".

    The panel which those tapped off conductors are supplying is also "a" "service equipment panel" ... which means that panel will have ... is required to have ... a main service disconnect in that service equipment panel.

    Both main service disconnects are required to be grouped together - which they are not.

    The issues those tapped off conductors create are much greater than just tapping and related issues.

    "service equipment" - that is the service equipment panel where the main service disconnect is located, and it is supplied by service entrance conductors, and service entrance conductors are protected on the load side, not the line side, and thus are not permitted to re run through the structure (without being encased in minimum 2 inches of concrete).

    There are reasons for the madness (and frustration) on this end to try to get inspectors to think "service equipment" and 'other than service equipment' (i.e., just 'panel' or 'remote panel' as in 'it is remote from the service equipment) ... and those reasons are shown here on a regular basis ...

    ... think of service equipment panels as "service equipment" and then the 'big picture' should come into view.

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

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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    This is a good example of why not to use the term "sub panel", and instead to use the term "service equipment" and "panel" - think about what those photos are showing ...
    Jerry,

    You have been hammering us with "service equipment" for at least 16 or 17 years now. I know I changed over from calling it "main panel" to "service equipment", but am I the only one? That's one guaranteed in how many thousand posts?

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    Note taken Jerry, but I will probably continue to use the terms "Main" and "Sub" panels because that is the jargon that my customers can understand.


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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence Thomas View Post
    Note taken Jerry, but I will probably continue to use the terms "Main" and "Sub" panels because that is the jargon that my customers can understand.
    Lawrence,

    That is the argument usually given for not making the change ... but when you make the change (a presumption, yes) you will find the your customers/clients will also understand what "service equipment" is and that is where the "service disconnect" is ... makes sense ... the "service disconnect" is in the "service equipment panel".

    Gunnar is not the only one who has made the change, and not a single one has said their clients are confused by calling it "service equipment" ... probably because it just makes sense that the service disconnect is in the service equipment panel.

    Do you still use the term "tar paper"? I doubt it.But that's a common term your clients would know.

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

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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    Rather than an either/or debate about the term, why not both, as in "a sub-panel incorrectly wired as a service equipment panel"


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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Norman View Post
    Rather than an either/or debate about the term, why not both, as in "a sub-panel incorrectly wired as a service equipment panel"
    Because, if one is to use the correct terminology, then use the correct terminology and there is no correct terminology "sub panel", if one insists on using the term "sub panel" then one should call it a "sub-fed panel which is fed from (specify what panel it is fed from)" ... of course, though, that defeats the reason given for using the term in the first place.

    Instead of making of ways to try to incorporate wrong terminology, why not just incorporate correct terminology and be done with it?

    I simply cannot understand the resistance to using the proper terms, especially when the reason given is 'the client understands' and those same clients will still "understand" when the proper terms are used.

    Do you say:
    - 'long skinny rod' or 'ground rod'?
    - 'tar paper' or 'felt'/'underlayment'?
    - 'cement' or 'concrete'?
    - the examples are endless, so what is the resistance to calling it "service equipment"?

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

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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Lawrence,

    Since it is an FPE panel, I would just make a blanket statement that includes text notifying the clients about the reliability issues of an FPE panel . . . .
    I'd make a very different statement about just any FPE panel that I would make about one with Stablok CBs that don't have the marking that indicates they were manufactured after they cleaned up their act, thanks to the courageous whistleblowing of Mr. Meacham.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    The conductors will only have whatever current is being used. It has nothing to do withe the 200 amp main. Also the splice looks to be ahead of the main, not after so the 200 amp would not protect them either way.
    Of course, if the other loadcenter was Suitable for Use as Service Equipment and was grouped with the first one (despite not being in the picture) and backfed by a secured 200 amp breaker, do both get a bonding jumper, . . . fuggedaboudid: the scenario's too bloody unlikely.

    Incidentally, with the 2017 NEC unprotected terminals must be barriered; and I don't' think tape will do, even if you're splitting a larger service into two service panels, or feeding an inverter, or . . . .


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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    [QUOTE=Jerry Peck;269105]...... I simply cannot understand the resistance to using the proper terms, especially when the reason given is 'the client understands' and those same clients will still "understand" when the proper terms are used.......

    If the client understand the "correct" term there's no issue about using only the correct term, but I thought the point was that they didn't, in which case I don't get the resistance to the suggestion to expand the description so that it includes both the correct term and the term that folks understand, and bypasses the either/or debate.


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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    This is a good example of why not to use the term "sub panel", and instead to use the term "service equipment" and "panel" - think about what those photos are showing ...

    First, there is "service equipment", and "service equipment" is where the main service disconnect is. If panels downstream of the service equipment are thought of as simply 'panels' or 'remote panels', then that reinforces the thinking of "service equipment".

    Q: What does that photo show?

    A: That photo shows a service equipment panel ... why did I say "a" service equipment panel instead of "the" service equipment panel? Because those conductors which are tapped off the service entrance conductors are also "service entrance conductors", and "service entrance conductors" supply "service equipment panels".

    The panel which those tapped off conductors are supplying is also "a" "service equipment panel" ... which means that panel will have ... is required to have ... a main service disconnect in that service equipment panel.

    Both main service disconnects are required to be grouped together - which they are not.

    The issues those tapped off conductors create are much greater than just tapping and related issues.

    "service equipment" - that is the service equipment panel where the main service disconnect is located, and it is supplied by service entrance conductors, and service entrance conductors are protected on the load side, not the line side, and thus are not permitted to re run through the structure (without being encased in minimum 2 inches of concrete).

    There are reasons for the madness (and frustration) on this end to try to get inspectors to think "service equipment" and 'other than service equipment' (i.e., just 'panel' or 'remote panel' as in 'it is remote from the service equipment) ... and those reasons are shown here on a regular basis ...

    ... think of service equipment panels as "service equipment" and then the 'big picture' should come into view.
    I see the logic in labeling equipment correctly.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Norman View Post
    If the client understand the "correct" term there's no issue about using only the correct term, but I thought the point was that they didn't, ...
    The point is that clients do understand the concept term ... it's the home inspectors who don't understand their clients understand.

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

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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    That service panel is a stateside FPE.
    Gunner referral overrides everything else IMO.
    Consumer Product Safety Commission's toll-free safety hotline at 800-638-CPSC.
    https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/News-R...For-Consumers/

    That is incorrect splicing.

    A mechanical connection is required at the splice. The electrical tape is not a mechanical connection.
    Suspect. Dissimilar metals. Service feed appears to be AL.


    Feed through splices and Overcurrent Device Enclosures.
    312.8 Switch and Overcurrent Device Enclosures with Splices, Taps, and Feed-Through Conductors. The wiring space of enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices shall be permitted for conductors feeding through, spliced, or tapping off to other enclosures, switches, or overcurrent devices where all of the following conditions are met:
    (1) The total of all conductors installed at any cross section of the wiring space does not exceed 40 percent of the cross-sectional area of that space.
    (2) The total area of all conductors, splices, and taps installed at any cross section of the wiring space does not exceed 75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that space.
    (3) A warning label is applied to the enclosure that identifies the closest disconnecting means for any feedthrough conductors.

    If that Enclosure meets all those requirements, than Bob's you uncle.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    While wrong for other reasons, that splice certainly looks to be 312.8 compliant. That is the least of the sissies shown.

    - - - Updated - - -

    While wrong for other reasons, that splice certainly  looks to be 312.8  compliant. That is the least of the issue's shown.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    I would be interested in what these tap conductors were supplying, as this is a typical "line side tap" we did in order to not overload bussing on a inverter backfed from solar panel sytem. Tap conductors were sized in accordance to code and terminate in fusable disconnect. Especially if the job was a stab-lok panel, and there were issues with replacing service ie. location, seperation from existing gas service etc. Chris Albany, Ca


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence Thomas View Post
    I have seen several homes with a sub-panel double tapped with the main service drop at the lugs. I hate it and write it up every time. Today I inspected a 1975 home that has a sub-panel spliced with the main service drop. Of course it has tons of electrical tape, but 200 amps might be too much for that. I am scratching my head about how to write this up.
    This isn't "double tapped", it's just tapped: line-side tapped. There are many cases in which such an approach is compliant and safe. Electrical tape (and dielectric strength in general) is related to voltage, not amperage.

    No opinion on FPE, I don't see them around here (but I wouldn't, necessarily).


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Splices and Double tapped Service Drop

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Winston View Post
    This isn't "double tapped", it's just tapped: line-side tapped. There are many cases in which such an approach is compliant and safe
    What are the tap rules for service entrance conductors?

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

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