Double tap

It seems like this is a problem I see often. There are no more breakers and when the air conditioer is installed it is double tapped improperly to the main breaker.

This panel was improper covered, pointed screw a broken breaker.

My question is on the air conditioner panel. I only see 2 wires and this is a 220 circuit. Besides the obvious double tap is this also improper wired for a 220?

I need to buy some panel screws. It seems like there are a lot of improper screws being inserted and instead of inserting these back in I should put in some proper ones. How much does a box or bag of deadfront blunt ended screws cost?

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is the AC box relying on the 2" nipple as a means of ground?
how is the unit being grounded?

I would not change the panel cover screws!

While you may be doing someone a favor, your opening a can of worms.

Several issues. The ceiling grid blocks proper access. If the conduit is used as a grounding means it has to extend all the way to the AC disconnect. If it uses knockouts in panels that are concentric (factory prepunched for different sizes) all raceway terminations need grounding bushings on them. If there is sealtite going from the disconnect to the unit depending on circuit size it needs a ground wire running through it. If I remember right it is only rated for a 20 amp circuit w/o a ground wire. The double tap is legal if the lugs are rated for 2 wires. The 6 disconnecting means cannot be exceeded. The AC breaker should be ID with service disconnect also. The best thing to do is call it out. Let an electrician sort it out. There is too many issues that should be corrected. I also agree with Whitley, changing screws may open a can of worms. Best use the $2 and buy a can of worms and go FISHING.

It appears to me that the AC breaker is being fed from a double tap on the incoming side of the main panel main breaker, so there is no overcurrent protection whatever for the wires feeding the AC breaker. As a double tap, the different wire sizes would be a problem.

Jim King

Speaking of double taps, check this out… As a rule I call these out as each lug is designed for one conductor only, but this “appears” to have been professionally installed. Any comments from the electricians here?

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I’m not an electricain, but I do not believe the NEC says no double taps…except when performed by a professional electrican.

Double tapped is double tapped no matter who does it…and can be considered unsafe.

This past weekend, I found one the other way–definitely installed by an amateur, but very neat and properly done. However, there was no inspection sticker and I suggested the client check it out and require a permit, an inspection, and an approval. The Electrical Inspecttion Bureau would know of the situation before the house changed hands and would require compliance by the present owner.