4 leads?

This is feeding a 220 outlet for a window A/C unit. The wires are too small for the breaker, 12awg, twisted. This does not appear or is actual incorrect? Thanks

It not right but it should work alright, I would not call it out because the codes in my area are a joke. Your mileage my vary.

If you don’t call this out, you shouldn’t be a home inspector.

It’s not right. Either they paralleled 2 cables to the unit, or they are supplying two loads or receps off the one breaker. In any case, it is in violation.

I am calling it out. I know about the wrong size wire for the breaker, 10awg should be used. The single strands how would you expalin?

Did you turn the breaker off or was it off when you arrived?


Breaker was off when we arrived.

What do you mean the single strands??? It’s two wires under a screw, plain and simple.

I would write it up as a double lug.


And what else is it feeding? You have 2 circuits. A 4 wire 220 AC rec. will have 2 hot, 1 neutral, 1 ground. Not 4 hot.


Besides being double lugged the NEC 310.4 says that conductors smaller than 1/0 shall not be paralleled.

The reason why I would not call it out is because the code official in my area would say that it is okay because the wires are twisted together at the terminal thus not making it two separate wires under one lug. I have been done this road before with my heating and cooling company. Come to Jefferson City and you will see things are different.
You need to get to know your local officials, not fight against them. That is why we are reading so many problems with inspectors and code officials. Some inspectors are overstepping their bounds. Inspectors need to use their head when calling something out. If it is not going to hurt the the client in anyway, why call it out?
You passing judgment on an inspectors ability, when you do not understand what is going on is getting really old, Jeff. I have seen you belittle another inspector on this board after his first post, a couple years back. You told this new inspector that he should not be an inspector because he did not spell a few words right. You need to think before you post.

I stand by my comment. It’s not our job to coddle an “AHJ” who feels they can make up their own standards. If the AHJ disagrees with your opinion, that’s his option. But to say it’s ok, just because you can’t “change things” is absurd.

If you don’t like my posts, you have the option of ignoring them, but when you suggest that it may be ok to overlook this type of installation, I will certainly post my opinion.

You need to read my first post again.
I am not for knocking heads against local authorities. The inspector will always lose. We should not call out code. That is why our SOP is written that way. It is reckless to tell inspectors to do so.
And saying somebody should not be a home inspector because he does follow the SOP or because a newbie has some misspelling in his first post is wrong.

I’m sorry if you were offended when I was critical of a post made by another inspector.

Nor am I, but that has nothing to do with making the right call.

Regardless of codes, improper conditions/installations should always be pointed out to the client. Do you not agree? Otherwise, what is the point of having a home inspection?

“Improper conditions” usually have the support of a building code or manufacturers requirements.

How is this install harmful to the client? Using two wires twisted together instead of one larger one?
The point of a home inspection is to have things pointed out that can cause harm to the client such as conditions that will affect them financially or effect their safety. Pointing out things that are trivial does not make you a good inspector, or in your case if an inspector does not point them out he is not a home inspector.

Where do you draw the line? How do you determine what is harmful, and what is not? What factual information do you use to support your opinion?

Let me explain this for those of you who do not have electrical experience. It is common in industrial sites to run multiple lines because of the wire size for very high voltage would need to be very large. They run two or three smaller wires instead of one large one. The current is going to pull from the wires basically evenly from each wire, dividing up the load on each wire. Yes, there are expectations. Any questions?

By following our SOP an inspector determines what is harmful or not. The inspector has a choice of calling something out or not, usually from his own experience.
Knowing the tradesmen around you will benefit you in making those decisions. You do not have to agree with these tradesmen on everything, you just need to understand where they are coming from. I know in some big cities it is hard to do this but if you are in a rural area like me this is beneficial.
You need to see different points of view of everybody involved in the transaction. Would you like an inspector to write up something trivial about your home that you are selling?
In this case, an electrical basics book should be a good reference guide.

Gary- It is an improper condition and I would recommend a licensed electrician evaluate and repair. The circuit breakers are double lugged, and twisted solid conductors are not tested for by panel manufacturers and therefore not permitted- let alone in circuit breakers. A four wire circuit would have two hot, neutral and ground, and the neutral and ground wire would not be serviced by a circuit breaker.