Couple of distribution panel questions

My own home was converted to a legal duplex in 2016. The work involved connection of a service lateral to 2 distribution panels. It was permitted, performed by a large well known contractor, and inspected by a city inspector. At the time I was surprised that they had every breaker out of the existing distribution panel and reassembled the entire thing. I have several questions about the panel.

1: Several breakers are double tapped, one is triple tapped. (3 conductors on one breaker.) If I see this on an inspection do I automatically recommend evaluation by an electrician? (I would imagine that these breakers, Westinghouse, are approved for double tapping?) Do I need to research whether the double conductor and triple conductor are allowed for the breaker?
2: Since the wire insulation only, not the actual wire, is visible for each conductor, am I properly evaluating only the presumed wire guage based on the size of the visible conductor jacket? (Sorry this is a stupid question, I realize it must be.)
3: The electrician capped off the abandoned original service conductors with electrical tape. If I see this on a real inspection, do I recommend evaluation by an electrician?
4: I believe I recall that wire nut connections are allowed inside a distribution panel. Is this correct? Should the triple conductor breaker have instead been a single conductor with a wire nut connection inside the panel?

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Hello! Hope you’re enjoying the forums.

Some breakers allow for multiple taps, however these are rare and I’d say 9 out of 10 times they’re breakers that are not rated for such terminations.

Your best bet for future reference is to look up the manufacturer and see if they allow for such terminations. Square D does as well as Cutler Hammer in some cases. I’m not aware of any that allow for 3 conductors though.

Regarding the insulation and not seeing the wire gauge over time you’ll be able to distinguish between sizes, however you can follow the circuit back to its neutral and see if you can get an idea of the gauge there. Insulation thicknesses vary a bit, so going off this size isn’t going to be 100% accurate.

You can cap off wires in junction boxes if they’re no longer in use. Based on a few things you’ve described in this panel, I’d call out what I see and suggest further repairs and evaluation by a qualified electrical contractor. Not the best of work imho.


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