Fuse bypass

I haven’t seen this before. Double tapping to bypass the fuses. Would like some input on this. Thanks.

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It’s incorrect, a safety hazard, and a fire hazard.

Typically happens when the fuse blows and the homeowner doesn’t have any replacement fuses.

Can I assume that it’s an A/C disconnect box? If so… is there an OCPD/breaker in the panel for it? If there is, the only thing that is wrong is double tapping of the wires under the lugs. Unless the wires in that BX and jumpers are undersized to the breaker. The jumpers will be replaced based upon the fact that you should call out the double taps. Another concern is the BX run…sealtite is considered the norm for outdoor applications in this instance.


The conductors leaving the bottom of the disconnect appear to be NM Cable (Romex) in Flexible Metallic Conduit (FMC). Notice the bare ground, which would eliminate the possibility of AC cable, and the paper filler that was once used around the conductors within NM cable. FMC was at one time permitted as a wet location wiring method if the conduit was installed so that it would drain. This is no longer permitted. NM cable or its conductors are not listed for wet locations so they cannot be used to feed the unit.

If this is an AC unit then it might be possible that the unit requires the use of fuses for ground fault and short circuit protection (hence the fused disconnect). It’s hard to say if the conductors are of adequate size without knowing the Minimum Circuit Ampacity (MCA). The information from the nameplate might uncover even more problems.

That will no long serve as the required disconnect until it is either corrected or replaced. It was installed to make sure the tech could ensure the power was off while they were working on the equipment. It cannot do that as currently wired.

There is no longer a disconnect for the unit (as Jim stated). The double taps are the least of my concern.

This is just a hack job that needs correction.

If you remove the double taps…then you are correctly replacing them with the fuses. Correct? Which repairs one concern. The other is the need for seal-tite.


The disconnect at the unit (required) has simply been bypassed or modified and is now incorrect and a potential safety hazard. Simply recommend a replacement disconnect be installed (which should be within sight of the A/C unit).
(Again presuming this services an exterior A/C or heat pump unit) Otherwise a proper junction box should be installed to contain the properly repaired splices.

So if I eliminate the “double taps” by wire-nutting the connections together, all is good. Right?

Jeff, I hope I missed the sarcasm in this. I think you were based on your post above, but wanted to clarify.

The disconnect either needs to be fixed or replaced. It is a safety hazard to anyone working on the unit it was installed for. Also if the unit calls for “Max fuse size” the fuses would be required.

Never mentioned anything about bypassing the fuse blocks.


There is no need to replace the disconnect itself. What’s wrong with installing the proper fuses??


Nothing if the contractor has the correct pull out block on the truck and the tension of the clamps are still good. :slight_smile:

Sorry Jim. You missed it :cool:

My point was directed to the “issue” of the double taps. It is my opinion that the connections are irrelevant, and the bypass of the disconnect is the issue that should be addressed.

My report would not mention the improper connections.

Thanks for the clarification. Your response seemed out of character for you. You were correct that the safety issue would over-ride the wiring in the lugs.

Someone could move the handle to the OFF position and get a nasty surprise.

There is no need to replace the pull out, unless the clips are bad. All you would need to do is remove the wires effectively bypassing the fuses.

You would still have the issue of the wiring in the flex, unless it is UF cable.