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Electrical Inspections Contains discussions about electrical systems. This includes receptacles, panels, wiring, etc.

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Old 2/17/07, 5:05 PM
Skip Erwin Skip Erwin is offline
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Default Double Tapping a Circuit Breaker

Is there any circumstance where double tapping a circuit breaker is OK?
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Old 2/17/07, 5:07 PM
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tdietrich1 tdietrich1 is offline
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Default Re: Double Tapping a Circuit Breaker

All I see is a blur, can you fill in the gaps, either with a better photo, or the maker's of the breaker.

tom
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Old 2/17/07, 5:11 PM
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Default Re: Double Tapping a Circuit Breaker

There are some breakers that may be compliantly double tapped. Square D's QO series in the 15, 20, and most 30 amp sizes is one example. As a rule of thumb, a breaker with a captured square washer under the wire binding screw can normally be compliantly double tapped. Your picture, with a lug type hole opening for the conductor, does not appear to be a breaker terminal designed for more than one conductor. A little more information on the manufacturer, model series, and amp rating of the breaker would yeild a more accurate answer for your particular instance.

As an electrician, I normally find that I'm called in to evaluate almost every double tap a home inspector crosses paths with. It might not be such a bad idea to call these out, as they are often the visual evidence of what might be a bigger problem afoot (DIY wiring, and the workmanship issues associated with such wiring).

Last edited by Marc D. Shunk; 2/17/07 at 5:14 PM..
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Old 2/17/07, 7:11 PM
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David P. Valley David P. Valley is offline
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Default Re: Double Tapping a Circuit Breaker

Skip,

You've got an illegal double tap in your pic.


As Mark S. mentioned... Square D is the only manufacturer (that I know of), that manufactures circuit breakers that allow double taps. They manufacture the breaker with two openings under one screw.

This is what the receiving end of the breaker looks like.

See the two receiving holes?

Other than that, it's a red flag when you find two wires under the same screw.

Last edited by dvalley; 2/17/07 at 7:17 PM..
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Old 2/17/07, 7:15 PM
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Default Re: Double Tapping a Circuit Breaker

That (Westinghouse?) breaker in the picture also appears to have an aluminium conductor in with a possible copper conductor. Might just be camera flash, or it could be an old tin plated copper conductor.
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