Double Tap???

First time I’ve seen this so I thought I’d ask the pros. This is a shot of a 14-3 line coming into the panel. The confusing thing to me is that both the red and black wires terminate into the same breaker. Can anyone explain???


Is it feeding a 240 volt circuit?


That is a improper double tap and needs correcting as the breaker is not rated for 2 conductors. It is also pretty stupid given the spare capacity within the panel. I suspect that they have done that for switched lighting outlets and regular outlets using the same neutral.



Not so fast, that Square D breaker looks to me like it IS rated for two conductors.

The connection is pretty sloppy, but I might call it good.

Greg, it isn’t for a 240v circuit…at least I hope not, it’s only 14g wire, also it’s on the same breaker, way wrong for 240v.

Gerry, I figured it was wrong but needed a little confirmation.

Thanks for the responses!!


You slipped in there Jeff when I was responding to the others…

Jeff, can you explain why a 14-3 wire would be wired to the same breaker?

That’s what is confusing me still.

Thanks for any explanations given.


If the red and black wires share a neutral it would be wrong. If they have different neutrals it would most likely be OK.

No, I can’t, and that may still be an issue. Possibly an attempt at a multi-wire circuit, which would now likely be ungrounded. Did you see where the third wire terminated?

However, Square D was one of the first to design a breaker that allowed for two conductors. Your picture appears to me, to be one of those breakers.

It’s hard to say if they share a neutral or not. I guess without tracing the wires to the outlet or switch they service this could remain a mystery.

Sometimes eletrical is the toughest part of an inspection with all the different rules to follow.

Anyway, an electrician has been contacted about a few other issues and the client plans on having him address this as well.

If this is really coming from the same cable I would be curious what is on the other end but it is not necessisarily a hazard. The neutral is still protected by the single 15a breaker. This gets troubling when it is fed by 2 breakers and they are both on the same phase.

Unless I am missing something both of these wires would have to be on the same phase. No?

Hi Jeff,

I guess you and me are disagreeing a lot this week :wink:

Maybe I need glasses, OK I need glasses but that breaker does not look like the one that is rated for 2 conductors.



Picture courtesy Rob Oconnor

How boring would it be if everybody always agreed? :wink:

It looks to me like it’s this style of breaker (although much older) which is also rated for two conductors. . .


Yep…rated for (2) but still did not know the proper way to actually put the wires in the breaker…lol…their is a GROOVE designed to secure the conductor…the middle one in that picture is P*ss poor workmanship…or simply lazy.

That’s why I have a picture of it :smiley:

OK Jeff I give in you win, I’ll get the glasses, I could not make out that retaining piece it looked like the conductors to me. :mrgreen:



That type of QO breaker does most certainly accept two conductors.
Since this is only one breaker there is no way the neutral can overload as Greg correctly stated.
Not the best workmanship, yes. Illegal, no.

Dave, what does the gauge of the wire have to do with voltage? 240v means nothing without knowing amperage.
What wire would you use for a 15 amp, 240v circuit?

And that is why you are the “POPE-STER”…the SHINDIZZLE MASTER my ZINSCO Finding Brother…:slight_smile: