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  1. #1
    Raghav Singh's Avatar
    Raghav Singh Guest

    Default Double Tapped Breaker

    Hello All
    I hope everyone has been enjoying the holidays so far. I was looking at my main panel here and noticed that the breaker was double tapped (Pic 1). One hot enters the house and the other then goes into this box (pic 2, a small transformer/converter?) Finally the hot along with a neutral neutral enter the house.

    Was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to what is going on here or any advice, or just any input/insight into the situation at all. Thank you for your help, as always . Hope everyone has great weekend.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    It is either a door bell transformer or the transformer for an alarm system.

    The breaker if not rated for two wires is not legal.

    Last edited by Raymond Wand; 11-25-2011 at 02:37 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    Also,that transformer is not allowed to be in the panel.


  4. #4
    Raghav Singh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    Thanks for the answers , the breaker is not rated for two wires and it will have to be re-wired from a new breaker with a longer wire so that I can get the transformer out of the panel. Would it be ok if it was mounted next to the panel or on a masonry ledge below it?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    Best to mount it on the panel.


  6. #6
    Raghav Singh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Best to mount it on the panel.
    Thanks , will do. Appreciate all the help


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    I just reread the thread and excuse the amateur question but Mr. O'keefe said that the transformer should not be in the panel but it was also suggested by Mr. Wand that I mount it on the panel. Does this mean that I can mount it near the panel as long as it is not inside?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    Any I see are always mounted on the exterior of the panel using a knock out plug where a cable would enter the panel.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    Like this one.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    From the date and type of transformer and description, plus the 75 Ohm Coaxial cable or Cat 5 Cable pictured on your other thread (and questions pertaining thereto), I suspect the former occupant at one time (late 90s to early 2000s) used AT&T or similar cable company for telephone service rather than old fashioned land line or VOIP via modem on broadband, and this transformer may be unnecessary but live. You may find a battery back up, mounted somewhere, and communmication cable interface to telephone jack wiring. It should not have been hard wired to the service panel to a raw transformer in a box, but a contained power supply with a cord and plug and installed indoors if that is the case.

    The Red & white insulated on the transformer posts look to be communications wiring. The white has been improperly attached (wire too long looping upon self). Since the screw posts have been damaged from improper tool use I would find the entirety suspect.

    If this were a transformer for furnace controls outdoor temperature sensor, heat pump it wouldn't be outdoors exposed or individually hard wire tapped to the panel.

    Likewise an alarm system transformer wouldn't or rather shouldn't be installed outdoors in an unprotected wet location, directly tapped off the service equipment, esposed "box" able to be accessed by an intruder, bringing LV through the wall into the home not the otherway around. Same for doorbell.

    Doesn't look to be outdoors looks indoors in a garage or basement - so I'm suspicious I've read something into your description (of wires & cables going "into house") but then again you identified other communications cable as NM.

    I'd check your HVAC system or boiler controls and wiring if interface to phone system interface (abandonded or not) doesn't pan out.

    Hire a qualified party to investigate trace it down, and remediate.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 11-25-2011 at 06:06 PM.

  11. #11
    Raghav Singh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Any I see are always mounted on the exterior of the panel using a knock out plug where a cable would enter the panel.
    I see , that makes things much simpler , thanks for clearing up that confusion


  12. #12
    Raghav Singh's Avatar
    Raghav Singh Guest

    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    From the date and type of transformer and description, plus the 75 Ohm Coaxial cable or Cat 5 Cable pictured on your other thread (and questions pertaining thereto), I suspect the former occupant at one time (late 90s to early 2000s) used AT&T or similar cable company for telephone service rather than old fashioned land line or VOIP via modem on broadband, and this transformer may be unnecessary but live. You may find a battery back up, mounted somewhere, and communmication cable interface to telephone jack wiring. It should not have been hard wired to the service panel to a raw transformer in a box, but a contained power supply with a cord and plug and installed indoors if that is the case.

    The Red & white insulated on the transformer posts look to be communications wiring. The white has been improperly attached (wire too long looping upon self). Since the screw posts have been damaged from improper tool use I would find the entirety suspect.

    If this were a transformer for furnace controls outdoor temperature sensor, heat pump it wouldn't be outdoors exposed or individually hard wire tapped to the panel.

    Likewise an alarm system transformer wouldn't or rather shouldn't be installed outdoors in an unprotected wet location, directly tapped off the service equipment, esposed "box" able to be accessed by an intruder, bringing LV through the wall into the home not the otherway around. Same for doorbell.

    Doesn't look to be outdoors looks indoors in a garage or basement - so I'm suspicious I've read something into your description (of wires & cables going "into house") but then again you identified other communications cable as NM.

    I'd check your HVAC system or boiler controls and wiring if interface to phone system interface (abandonded or not) doesn't pan out.

    Hire a qualified party to investigate trace it down, and remediate.
    Thanks for all of the information and suggestions , there is currently an alarm system in this house and that is probably the prime suspect as it was installed about a year ago by the old owners.

    I know my description has been limited and in the other post inaccurate I will do some further analysis and provide accurate info/pics to give a better idea as to what is going on.

    But I won't go further than "looking into" the problem I'll get a professional to do the actual investigation and repair. Thanks again


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    It is very very very very unlikely to be a transformer for any alarm system, burglar or fire.
    Looks more like a doorbell transformer

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Any I see are always mounted on the exterior of the panel using a knock out plug where a cable would enter the panel.
    Sorry, Raymond. That's the old-timer's way. For newer installations, the distribution panel is recessed into the wall. The doorbell ringer transformer is mounted somewhere away from the panel, such as in a hall closet. Avoid putting it in the attic, because of the higher temperatures. A junction box is used to terminate the 120 volt wiring from the panel. The transformer is mounted on either the j-box cover or on the side. The red and white wires are low voltage, so they do not need to be enclosed.
    The transformer is left out in the open so it can stay cool and be accessible.

    Siemens breakers, you are correct, double tap is not allowed. A simple way to have that connection fixed is to have an electrician splice the two wires to a pigtail with a wire nut. The actual current draw from the transformer is minimal.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    But I am not an old timer.

    Back east (the centre of the universe) in new homes the panels are in the basement or garage, and its very common to see the transformer on the exterior of the panel.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    Btw, any intruder already in the house has or will most certainly have set the alarm off (door contacts and motion sensors, glass breakage sensor) and the monitoring centre electronically notified.


  17. #17
    Raghav Singh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    Thanks all. I tested the breaker and the doorbell and fridge are on that breaker.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Double Tapped Breaker

    Where a door bell transformer should not be installed.

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