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Thread: Is this Right?

  1. #1
    Rick Maday's Avatar
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    Default Is this Right?

    Found the answer.

    Last edited by Rick Maday; 08-28-2008 at 09:32 AM. Reason: Found the answer.
    Certified Master Inspector CMI

  2. #2
    Rick Maday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this Right?

    Comments welcome, but I found my answer, thanks.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is this Right?

    "is that accurate?"

    The rule of thumb ... basically yes it is a good rule of thumb (not always correct but it's a good basis for the most part, but, then, removing the breakers to see what they are rated for is outside of what an HI should be doing).

    The pigtail correction ... yes.

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

  4. #4
    Rick Maday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this Right?

    Jerry,
    Is there a limit to how many pigtails can be in one panel? Or how many pigtails can be to one breaker? ie. 3 circuits to one pigtail.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is this Right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Maday View Post
    Is there a limit to how many pigtails can be in one panel?
    That would depend on the 'fill' of the space in the panel

    Or how many pigtails can be to one breaker? ie. 3 circuits to one pigtail.[/quote]

    Depends on the rating of the wire nut or connector ... and this:

    From the 2008 NEC. (underlining is mine)
    - 312.8 Enclosures for Switches or Overcurrent Devices.
    - - Enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices shall not be used as junction boxes, auxiliary gutters, or raceways for conductors feeding through or tapping off to other switches or overcurrent devices, unless adequate space for this purpose is provided. The conductors shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 40 percent of the cross-sectional area of the space, and the conductors, splices, and taps shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that space.

    3 conductors in one wire nut is easy to have - that's two conductors from wherever to a third conductor which nows goes to the breaker. This is correcting a double tap multiple tap.

    4 conductors also, depends on the rating of the wire nut - this is three conductors from wherever to a fourth conductor which not goes to the breaker. This is correcting a triple tap multiple tap.

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

  6. #6
    Anthony Alderman's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: Is this Right?

    so isn't the pig-tail technically a double tap but in the panel and not on the breaker??


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is this Right?

    so isn't the pig-tail technically a double tap but in the panel and not on the breaker??
    No, a double tap would be more than one wire "tapping" off of a breaker that is not designed for more than one wire.
    Wire nuts are made to connect multiple wires.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  8. #8
    Anthony Alderman's Avatar
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    Question Re: Is this Right?

    So is the problem just the contact pressure under the breaker screw and not the amount of amperage being pulled off the breaker?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is this Right?

    Correct

    No you might have a different problem if you start tripping breakers due to circuit overloading, but the double tapping is a connection problem.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  10. #10
    Anthony Alderman's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Is this Right?

    OH Well...... I've been writing it up wrong..... @#$@ crap.


  11. #11
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this Right?

    So I'm hearing that double taps at breakers that are not properly identified for more than one wire can be allowed even though the manufacturer never tested and approved that breaker for that type of installation and is likely that the manufacturer of those types of breakers sell a breaker to substitute a standard single pole breaker with one that is designed and approved for this application? Just because an electrician has an feels that double taps are fine.

    I don't' have the NEC with me but I really thought that it was clearly written that double taps are only allowed when the breaker is properly marked for this application.

    This reminds me when I lived in Kentucky. Many HVAC guys installed furnaces with air conditioning coils in the crawlspace. Since the crawlspace floor was below grade, it was common for them to drill a hole into the PVC waste pipe and run the 3/4 PVC condensate line to that pipe and seal that connection with a little silicone. I would call it out and a heating guy would come back and say it was fine. Since a LICENSED HVAC technician/installer says it's fine, then it must be?

    The article wants us to report double taps in a wishy washy way, but is that what our profession is about?

    From the article:
    "Double-tapping was observed in the main breaker panel. These breakers may not be rated for double-tapping. Therefore, further evaluation by a licensed electrician is advised."

    What's this "may not be rated"? In this case, I do not like the use of "further evaluation"

    Report it the way you look at it and from your experience.

    For example.

    "Double taps (two wires connected to one breaker) found in service panel. These breaker(s) are not properly identified (per manufacturer) for more than one wire to be connected to each breaker. Even though there are electricians that believe this is an acceptable installation, I would recommend having an electrician make corrections to ensure proper performance. At the time of the inspection, there were no signs of damage to the wires or breaker where double taps were noticed."

    I have a hard time believing that the manufacturer would say "oh yes, in most cases, it's fine to install two wires on any single pole breaker that we make".


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Is this Right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Luce View Post
    So I'm hearing that double taps at breakers that are not properly identified for more than one wire can be allowed even though the manufacturer never tested and approved that breaker for that type of installation and is likely that the manufacturer of those types of breakers sell a breaker to substitute a standard single pole breaker with one that is designed and approved for this application? Just because an electrician has an feels that double taps are fine.

    I don't' have the NEC with me but I really thought that it was clearly written that double taps are only allowed when the breaker is properly marked for this application.
    That may be what you are hearing, but that is not what is being said.

    What is being said is:

    1) The ONLY way to KNOW if the breaker is rated for more than one conductor is to remove it and read what it says, this is frequently on the side of the breaker, hence the need to remove it.

    2) HIs *do not* remove breakers, at least *should not* remove breakers.

    3) HIs, then, have two choice: a) call for correction of multiple tapping each and every time; or, b) learn to recognize the breakers which allow multiple conductors.

    If the HI does 3) ... that leaves a certain 'risk' that the HI might be wrong, but relieves having to *ALWAYS* write multiple tapped breakers up for repair, then have the electrician say 'Doesn't that HI know ANYTHING?'.

    If the HI does 1) ... the HI is putting themselves at great risk for anything which might happen while they are removing and re-installing breakers. This *IS NOT* something I recommend HIs doing. Heck, I did not even do that.

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

  13. #13
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this Right?

    Jerry Peck

    1) The ONLY way to KNOW if the breaker is rated for more than one conductor is to remove it and read what it says, this is frequently on the side of the breaker, hence the need to remove it.
    I agree, do not do this.

    2) HIs *do not* remove breakers, at least *should not* remove breakers.
    Let's stick with the "do not" remove breakers.

    3) HIs, then, have two choice: a) call for correction of multiple tapping each and every time; or, b) learn to recognize the breakers which allow multiple conductors.
    I vote for option B

    If the HI does 3) ... that leaves a certain 'risk' that the HI might be wrong, but relieves having to *ALWAYS* write multiple tapped breakers up for repair, then have the electrician say 'Doesn't that HI know ANYTHING?'.
    Agree

    If the HI does 1) ... the HI is putting themselves at great risk for anything which might happen while they are removing and re-installing breakers. This *IS NOT* something I recommend HIs doing. Heck, I did not even do that.[/quote]

    As written before, do not do this.


    Determining what type of breakers are designed/rated for more than one wire is not difficult. I would recommend a home inspector learn which breakers they are and if that home inspector comes across one that he/she is not sure about, do some research before making the call. Handing the buyers the report at the time of the inspection is not always required.

    I still think the answer to the question in the artical was wishy washy.


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