Double tap in elecrical box

Originally Posted By: kluce
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I listened to two guys talking about if a double tap at a breaker that is not designed for two wires is a “Major Defect” or not. I understand both sides but I still think it falls under the major defect category that is defined by the contract the buyer sign from the realtors.


What do you guys think ![icon_question.gif](upload://t2zemjDOQRADd4xSC3xOot86t0m.gif)

Here's a picture I found.


[ Image: http://www.nachi.org/bbsystem/usrimages/more/ujduf.jpg ]


Originally Posted By: jpope
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



It is considered (IMHO) a “major” defect because of the fact that it can (will) lead to a major defect if not corrected (i.e. corrosion, scorching, arcing, etc.)


I found one today too. A bit worse though.

![](upload://7R8xEQHPo3UnEkyHxOGjtv0rkBt.jpeg)


--
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
"At JPI, we'll help you look better"
(661) 212-0738

Originally Posted By: dedwards
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I personally would write it up as a major problem. I use a simple definition for discrepancies. If it isn’t properly done or not safe which in this case it isn’t. No one is going to give a fat rat’s behind if down the road the home experiences a fire and the fire inspector determines that this was the origin of the fire. The first words out of the customer’s mouth is “we had a home inspection, how could they have missed it” and you know as well as I do if you don’t tag it as major the RE is not going to press to have it corrected. I call it like I see and let them put on the gloves and duke it out. The realtors that routinely use me tell me all the time they sleep better at night because I am not flexible about my reports. I did notice that there are also two black wires connected to the neutral bus. I would have written them up too. I don’t have time or the inclination to do circuit mapping (nor is it part of a home inspection). And I always make sure the report states “recommend further evaluation and repairs by a licensed electrician.” In the immortal words of 'Sgt Joe Friday…Just the facts maam…just the facts


Originally Posted By: jpope
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Quote:
I did notice that there are also two black wires connected to the neutral bus. I would have written them up too.


Mine had that also and was written up as such.

![](upload://vkoiQhvIWVuh9KTtLcrIJNdccgZ.jpeg)

Although in this case, I did find where it was wired to.

![](upload://lF3V6SP91iRiw2c4iH3msyKv08p.jpeg)


--
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
"At JPI, we'll help you look better"
(661) 212-0738

Originally Posted By: dbowers
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



It depends on whats double-tapped as to whether its a major defect, minor defect or significant safety issue.


Examples: (1) the wire for the doorbell is double tapped to a 15 amp circuit breaker in the panel. Wrong - yes. Major defect - no. Significant safety issue - no. Minor defect easily corrected.

(2) Someone has double-tapped a single 20 amp / 120v wire under one terminal of a double pole 60 amp / 240v breaker for the outside hot tub. Wrong - hell yes! Major defect & significant safety issue - You bet your A$$

(3) Two 15 amp wires for ceiling fans under one 15 amp / 120v breaker. Wrong - yes. Major defect or significant safety issue - most likely not. Most inspectors would call it a minor defect easily corrected.

Next batter up!!


Originally Posted By: dedwards
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



The best source for answers to these kinds of questions can be found in an absolutely superb book written specifically for home inspectors. It is an ITA publication called “Electrical Inspection of Existing Dwellings” written by the authors of the Code Check series on electrical wiring (Doug Hansen, Redwood Kardon and Mike Casey). If I only owned one tech manual it would be this one. It is covers everything we typically see out in the field, not the usual pretty pictures one finds in text books and wiring manuals/books. It is fully illustrated with the normal horrors we run across. It has numerous pictures also showing the garbage people put into their homes when they try to wire them themselves. One section covers beautifully the FPE and Zinsco panels, etc. I highly recommend this publication. I wish I had bought it years ago. Electrical is probably one of the least understood areas home inspectors routinely inspect. Poor installations are not restricted to just homeowners. I find a l things done by licensed electricians that scare the hell out of me as well. Not as often but often enough.


Originally Posted By: cmccann
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Doug,


I did a search for the book you mentioned, is there anyway you can tell me where to go to get the book?....Thanks


--
NACHI MAB!

Originally Posted By: jwortham
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Chuck,


Go here

http://store.homeinspection.com/script/merchant/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=ITA&Product_Code=B132&Category_Code=BOOKS-E


Originally Posted By: rmoore
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Here’s mine from Friday…


![](upload://Akc13qKXdMXj6Gq16vqLNuvhcI3.jpeg)

#10 off the 50 amp range (feeding the dryer outlet I believe). I'd call this major! Also no clip on the backfed 100-amp main.


--
Richard Moore
Rest Assured Inspection Services
Seattle, WA
www.rainspect.com

Originally Posted By: dedwards
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Chuck,


Jeffery beat me to it. The cover on the latest edition is a little different but it is worth every cent of the asking price. I got mine through the bookstore arm of the professional equipment people and got a dicount only it took them three tries to get me the correct manual. The ITA source is as good source as any because it is one of their manuals. Again, I can’t praise it enough. All three of the authors are Master Electricians and home inspectors so they go at through that perspective.


Originally Posted By: cmccann
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Thanks guys… icon_biggrin.gif



NACHI MAB!

Originally Posted By: roconnor
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I am with Dan on this one that the major/minor defect description depends on the situation.


A #14 Cu wire double-tapped on a 60A breaker (and other cases where the breaker is oversized for the wire, or there is no breaker protection like a double tap on the main lugs) is a major defect because that wire could fry if overloaded.

Two #14 Cu wires double tapped on a 15A breaker is a defect because the wire-to-wire contact can cause deterioration, but IMHO it's not a major defect since the wires match the breaker.

Also consider that some breakers are made for two wires (e.g. SQ-D 15A/20A breakers) without wire-to-wire contact. Since there is no wire-to-wire contact on these breakers it's not a defect, but if it's connected to circuits that are likely to be heavily loaded it may be "poor practice" due to the possibility of nuisance tripping and a potential for a Harry Homeowner "fix" of upsizing the breaker.

Just my 2-nickles


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong

Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Side note:


If you look at a Square D breaker, QO series, did you know that the 'hot' wire, if only one, must be on the left side of the connection (screw)?

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: psabados
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Isn’t that the recommended side for all screw lug design devices. Since you are turning clockwise when tightening less chance of the wire slipping off the terminal. Makes even more sense when using stranded wire.


Paul


Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Paul


I am talking about the breakers. Not devices.

It is required by Square D. That is my point.

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: tallen
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Geeze Paul what’s your problem icon_wink.gif



I have put the past behind me,


where , however, it now sits, making rude remarks.


www.whiteglovehomeinspections.net

30 Oct 2003-- 29 Nov2005

Originally Posted By: psabados
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Mike


Same principal whether its a freakin breaker or receptacle. Right turn for tightening forces the wire to the screw shank less chance of slippage

Duh

Paul


Originally Posted By: rmoore
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Mike Parks wrote:
Side note:

If you look at a Square D breaker, QO series, did you know that the 'hot' wire, if only one, must be on the left side of the connection (screw)?

Mike P.


Mike...I believe you are mis-interpreting the diagram.

![](upload://hGT3JWEVJBHAtIs6wbXR52q6gro.jpeg)
![](upload://kcsR4eI6a95O95BCOSOQZO4mjj3.jpeg)

Yes...the little pictogram of one wire shows the conductor on the left, but they had to put it somewhere. They use the same molded case (and diagram) on the 15 through at least 30 amp single pole breakers. If you went solely by the casing it would also be "OK" to hook up a 30amp breaker with 14AWG conductors. Nowhere that I can find in the Square-D literature does it say that a single conductor has to be on the left. Look at the lug itself. Unlike a regular screw terminal, the conductor never touches the screw...it will be centered in the notches of the pressure plates. I'd hate to see HIs calling in electricians because the conductor is on the "wrong" side of a Square-D breaker, when, IMO, it doesn't matter.


--
Richard Moore
Rest Assured Inspection Services
Seattle, WA
www.rainspect.com

Originally Posted By: rray
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



http://www.nachi.org/bbsystem/usrimages/more/999epwoodshop.jpg ]


Homeowner was a do-it-yourselfer and "built our house from the ground up" (which is why there were so many problems.)

This panel was located in his crawl space wood shop. Turns out that his heavy-duty saw/router was double-tapped with the cooling condenser. Homeowner even stated that if he used the saw and the air conditioning at the same time, the breaker would trip (ya think?). He had tried to find the problem but couldn't and actually disclosed it on the transfer disclosure form. To this lowly home inspector, it was not difficult to find the problem.


Here's what the homeowner had done at the main panel.

[ Image: http://www.nachi.org/bbsystem/usrimages/more/999epmain.jpg ]

Seems the stupid wire was too thick and wouldn't fit under the screw. Easy solution, of course!


Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



"Same principal whether its a freakin breaker or receptacle. Right turn for tightening forces the wire to the screw shank less chance of slippage


Duh"

Maybe that is why they show the wire on the left side?

I think that a picture shows 'more' of what is required rather than something that might be written.

So what you are telling me is that Square D put no thought behind the diagram. I doubt it.

Mike P.