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  1. #1
    Howard Tennyson's Avatar
    Howard Tennyson Guest

    Default White wires to circuit breakers in service panel

    Greetings to all!

    What is the proper write-up for noting white wires leading to circuit breakers in the service panel? Does it matter what the age of the home is?

    Thanks in advance.

    Howard Tennyson
    Ace Home Inspection,LLC

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  2. #2
    Howard Tennyson's Avatar
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    Default Re: White wires to circuit breakers in service panel

    Here is another example of what I'm talking about....

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: White wires to circuit breakers in service panel

    Incorrect use of industry standard wire color coding. White neutral wiring being used for positive wire. Not marked as such. Safety issue.

    Zibby Swieca
    Professional Inspector TREC LIC # 9645
    Rockway Home Inspection
    www.SanAntonioTexasHomeInspector.com



  4. #4
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: White wires to circuit breakers in service panel

    Those are 220 circuits - no big deal. Double lugged neutrals @ bus in 1st pic are.


  5. #5
    Howard Tennyson's Avatar
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    Default Re: White wires to circuit breakers in service panel

    Thanks..

    This panel was a mess. A pool and spa were installed and whoever did the electrical work wasn't good. I reported the double/triple tapping and an electrician fixed the wiring.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: White wires to circuit breakers in service panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Tennyson View Post
    Greetings to all! What is the proper write-up for noting white wires leading to circuit breakers in the service panel? Does it matter what the age of the home is? Thanks in advance. Howard Tennyson Ace Home Inspection,LLC
    I note that white is reserved for the "neutral" conductor and should be marked with another color, such as black. I do not regard it as a safety hazard.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: White wires to circuit breakers in service panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Stanley View Post
    Those are 220 circuits - no big deal. Double lugged neutrals @ bus in 1st pic are.

    HUH?

    It is no big deal to use them on 240 volt circuits, just on 120 volt circuits?

    What logic did you use to get there? Please explain that one to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Tennyson View Post
    What is the proper write-up for noting white wires leading to circuit breakers in the service panel? Does it matter what the age of the home is?
    Wording to the affect that:

    White conductors are only allowed to be used for grounded conductors (not 'hot' conductors), and, when use for other than grounded conductors (i.e., when used as 'hot' conductors) the white conductors are required to be *PERMANENTLY* re-identified by painting or other approved *PERMANENT* means (i.e., by painting), and must be permanently re-identified with a color other suitable for that use, i.e, "black" or "red" in most cases. This permanent re-identification is to be done at all terminations and at all areas visible and accessible, i.e., if you can see the white wire used as a 'hot' wire and you can access it, then that portion must be permanently re-identified by painting to the appropriate color.

    This is a safety concern.

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: White wires to circuit breakers in service panel

    Howard,

    Also, did you write up the following (shown in your photos):

    - more than one neutral/grounded conductor in a terminal (1st photo)

    - more than one groundING conductor in the large terminal (2nd photo)

    - more than one (three) groundING conductors in each of the smaller terminals (typically, 1 or 2 area allowed in each terminal when used for grounding conductors, a few panels will allow 3 - but not all panels allow 3 grounding conductors in a single terminal) - you would need to read the label on the panel to know if 3 were allowed or not (2nd photo)

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: White wires to circuit breakers in service panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    - you would need to read the label on the panel to know if 3 were allowed or not (2nd photo)
    .
    looks like 4 on the bottom terminal.
    .

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  10. #10
    Howard Tennyson's Avatar
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    Default Re: White wires to circuit breakers in service panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Howard,

    Also, did you write up the following (shown in your photos):

    - more than one neutral/grounded conductor in a terminal (1st photo)

    - more than one groundING conductor in the large terminal (2nd photo)

    - more than one (three) groundING conductors in each of the smaller terminals (typically, 1 or 2 area allowed in each terminal when used for grounding conductors, a few panels will allow 3 - but not all panels allow 3 grounding conductors in a single terminal) - you would need to read the label on the panel to know if 3 were allowed or not (2nd photo)
    Jerry,

    Yes I did report the multiple double and triple tapping of wires. This type of work seems to be prevalent in my area,...especially the white wires running into hot CBs.

    Thanks for your inputs.

    Howard


  11. #11
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    Default Re: White wires to circuit breakers in service panel

    Gunnar, what do you tell that plumber's helper who grabbed the hot white wire about it NOT being a safety hazard!

    (Well, other than, "Hey dummy, don't put your hands on stuff you don't know anything about!")

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
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  12. #12
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: White wires to circuit breakers in service panel

    A plumber should not be in a panel for any reason unless they are a licensed electrician.

    Anybody who depends on a wire color for "safety" is not very smart.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: White wires to circuit breakers in service panel

    Uh, James. it may be a difficult concept but wires have TWO ends.

    You won't see me saying plumber's helpers are smart! Heck you won't even see me saying all plumbers are smart.

    Same with HVAC techs and helpers.

    Same with electricians

    Well, you know the rest of the drill.

    INCLUDING Home Inspectors.


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