Four Wire Mess?

Originally Posted By: ecrofutt
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Every cable entering the box was a four wire cable, black, red, white, & ground.

Whites and grounds went to two bus bars mixed at random.

Black wires went to one 15 or 20 Amp single pole Breaker. Red wires went to another 15 or 20 amp single pole breaker. No locks between breaker handles.

Two double pole breakers at bottom appear to be properly wired, except for the white wire on the right side one.

Not a single outlet in the house showed as grounded with my cheap tester.

GFCI were in place in bathrooms and exterior but still showed as ungrounded. They did trip properly using the test buttons on the outlets.

Erby Crofutt
B4U Close Home Inspections
Georgetown, Kentucky

Originally Posted By: jwilliams4
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Back when I was inspecting electrical systems I occassionaly found

four wire cables exiting the main panel as you described with no locks

on the two breakers. Further down the line I found the cable in a

junction box - the black wire connected to one 120v outlet system,

the red wire to another. Both systems used a common neutral and

a common ground. Wiring was done by a “qualified electrician”

“not just an inspection, but an education”

Originally Posted By: cbuell
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I would love to here more from the “electrical gods” on this. I was told by the city of Seattle that handle ties are only required on shared neutral multi-wire circuits that service hardwired appliances such as dishwasher/disposal and that the critical issue is that the circuits be on different bus-bars----as those pictured appear to be. The white wire on the bottom right breaker most likely just needs to be re-identified as a hot conductor. The reason for the receptacles showing as ungrounded is most likely an issue at each receptacle or with the testing device as grounding of the circuits is apparent in the panel. I still think handle ties on all shared neutral, multi-wire circuits is a good idea.

Originally Posted By: Greg Fretwell
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I am not sure why the outlets showed “no ground” but this is made up as the service disconnect panel with the Main Bonding Jumper in place so both ground bars are interchangeable. The code does not require handle ties on multi-wire circuits unless they end up on the same device (yoke).

I agree it is a good idean and you might want to note the presence of these circuits on your report so the customer knows what he has.


Originally Posted By: jtedesco
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For dwelling units only, where a multiwire branch circuit supplies more than one device or equipment on the same yoke, a means is required to be provided to disconnect simultaneously all ungrounded conductors supplying those devices or equipment at the point where the branch circuit originates.

In other locations we are permitted to use individual single-pole circuit breakers, with or without identified handle ties, as the protection for each ungrounded "HOT" conductor of multiwire branch circuits that serve only single-phase line-to-neutral loads.

The safetst way will be to use a 2 or 3 pole breaker to open the entire circuit.

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant