Double Tapping on main breaker

Need help

Recent inspection in Florida found what appears to be “Double Tapping” on the Main Breaker. Suggested a licensed electrician evaluate. Electrician advised local power company installed a surge protector and piggybacked the wire under main breaker lug. There is also an erroneous loose wire hanging out in close proximity. I would appreciate your thoughts. Is this acceptable???

Not acceptable. Is the surge protector 240 volts, if so there should be a conductor on the other “phase” as well. That could be the unconnected conductor.

THANKS Robert!
Do I see cu & al tapped together?

There is no other phase. It is single-phase. Single means one.

That’s why it’s in quotes…

AL strand. 2 circuit cables.
Look for more in your phones.

One circuit cable/wire not terminating.
Both look 14 awg.
14 awg circuit terminating on 240 volt OCPD.

Who were you quoting? I spend a lot of time trying to explain how electrical systems work to inspectors. A comment I hear often is “An electrician said …”

I read a lot of inspection reports. It is scary to see some of the things Inspectors say about electrical systems. They will never understand advanced concepts if they don’t understand the basics.

It is important for home inspectors to understand that residential electrical systems are almost exclusively single phase. We just had this discussion again in Home & Commercial Inspectors Electrical Group on Facebook. Too many inspectors think that homes have two-phase systems.

Thank you George. The reason I posted this photo here is to learn from those that have dealt with these things extensively. The question I’m trying to get answered is whether the “Double Tapping” i reported is correct. My mistake here was I should have followed the wiring more closely. The home was occupied by a non-licensed handyman. More evidence of this around the house. It did not surprise me to find the Double Tapping.

The seller hired an electrician to evaluate my finding. The electrician reported the wiring acceptable. My issue is the arcing possibility and the breaker not being rated for multiple wires. This Finding is on the home inspection and 4 point inspection.

That’s so funny because I just got back from an inspection about an hour ago and the buyer (who thought he knew electrical systems) insisted that the home had a 2-phase system because the service equipment had 2 ungrounded bus bars. I tried to explain to no avail.

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Local inspectors often allow surge suppressors to be tapped off the main. Double-taps on breakers present a relatively low hazard potential.

Regardless of whether it is acceptable to the electrician or the local building inspector, it isn’t acceptable to Citizens. There’s no need to have an electrician evaluate it. I doubt that many electricians know the Citizens requirements. I happen to know the Citizens requirements because I publish Four-Point, Wind Mitigation, Electrical, and other Citizens reports. I’ve been involved with Citizens since before they had a Four-Point report.

Thank you for the information. I knew your name looked familiar. I recently purchased the windsurance Wind mitigation form from you.

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If you ever need help with anything related to electrical, feel free to call me.

I’m not an expert in Four-Points but I have a good understanding of the Citizen requirements in general and the electrical requirements in particular. The Citizens requirements exceed most building codes.

Possible Suggested report writing along the following lines: Observed: double tapped breaker including copper and aluminum under same lug and loose unterminated wire in box. [Also list a sampling of the DIY items you said you saw that didnt meet typical standards.] Recommend: Licensed Electrician or Electrical Contractor review ALL and repair/replace as they may deem needed.

This puts the responsibility on the experts. General Home Inspectors should understand basic electrical but you have reasonable request for an Electrician to review IMO and let the responsibility shift to them. If there is ever a fire that starts at that spot due to varying expansion rates of two different sized wires and materials, you dont want that to be something you missed.

BTW, sometimes it is best to have Buyer get the Electrician versus the Seller as I have seen Sellers say the Items was checked by Electrcian which turned out to be an Uncle/Brother/Dad whose license experied a decade ago.

Peace Steve

Thankyou for the reply. I do appreciate the input of fellow inspectors

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‘Tap’ of service entrance conductor(s) not allowed.

Other than that there is nothing that you can prove, such as a fire hazard, a safety hazard.

Keep it simple folk.

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I’ve seen this before also. Where is the surge suppressor supposed to be wired to? It’s own 15amp breaker? Just trying to figure it out for future reference.

I don’t know if it’s a Florida thing but I’m constantly having to tell sellers that their “Electricians” did it wrong, and to fix it. Too many uncles and handy men doing unlicensed work because the sellers are cheap. Only been doing this a little over a year and I’m over them lol.

This was something that I did not know. I mistakenly thought that the two lines into most residential homes were 2 phase since there were two wires. I don’t reference it one way or the other though, but it is good to have that misunderstanding corrected.

Since the two phasors do not define a unique direction of rotation for a revolving magnetic field, a split single-phase is not a two-phase system.

NEC 230.82 and 285 outline provisions for equipment connected to the supply-side of service disconnecting mains. NEC 110.14 deals with connections.

A true 2 phase system (obsolete) has a phase angle of 90°, a typically 3Ø system has a phase angle of 120°. A “split phase” system has neither.