Last week I inspected a 4 year old residence. Upon inspection of the electrical panel I found that the breaker (15 amp) had been double tapped with a door bell transformer and 14 ga. branch circuit. I called it out as requiring improvement. The panel had a ESA sticker on it which more or less stated that the electrical company who did the panel was approved by ESA, but the work by the approved electrician was not inspected but rather ESA audits at random the work.
Subsequently the homeowner and listing agent checked with the electrician he said its no problem. They also checked with the ESA inspector who said it was okay.
As I told my client at the time I suspected the neighbouring homes in the development were all likely double tapped and I see it time and time again. The vendor is willing to fix the problem but by providing alternative proof from higher authority that its okay. I told my client I will check with ESA because I believe ESA is contradicting themselves. ESA states its only a concern if its two branch circuits that are double tapped. Well… if a door bell and the second line under the terminal is not a single circuit. One is feeding the door bell and the other line is feeding off to something else. In all likely hood the door bell transformer will not overload the circuit. I also told my client that ESA has final say as they are the authority having jurisdiction and that I would ask my colleagues via this forum. I have also sent an email to ESA asking the same question as below. Also note below is an earlier inquiry about double tap and ESA reply. They seem to be contradicting themselves and this breaker is not a Square D. I think I am right but I can also understand ESA having final say, but don’t like the fact they are contradicting their own rules!
I am answering your question by splitting it into two questions.
- Does the code prevent terminating two conductors to a single branch circuit breaker?
The code does not prevent connecting two conductors to a single branch circuit breaker provided that the breaker is approved for that purpose. As you suggest, the Square D 15 - 30 amp single pole Type QO breaker is approved for the termination of two conductors.
- Does the code prevent using a branch circuit panelboard enclosure as a junction box or a raceway?
The code states that the enclosure shall be permitted to be used as a junction box if wiring is being added to an enclosure forming part of an existing installation and the conductors, splices and taps do not fill the wiring space at any cross-section to more than 75% of the cross-sectional area of the space.
Ontario Electrical Safety Code Rules 2-034, 12-3034.
Electrical Safety Authority
ESA encourages the use of Licensed Electrical Contractors.
All electrical work requires a Certificate of Inspection from the Electrical Safety Authority.
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 8:31 AM
Subject: ESA email contact form
Client name: Raymond Wand
Client e-mail: email@example.com
Client phone: 519-942-9496
comments: Two weeks ago I sent a question in via this contact form. I never did receive a response to question lett alone an receipt that this contact form was receive.
My original question was regarding double taps in residential electrical panels, whether they are permitted or not. The ESCode states they are not, but I have been seeing many double taps and there has been a ESA sticker on the panel. I am also aware that Square D breakers allow two wires, but what is ESA opinion?