Red & balck @ breaker

Are the red & black connection at the breaker an acceptable electrical connection? This would be the 4th one from the bottom.

And for the sake of me not remebering what is the problem when the nuetral & ground are attached at the same screw on the bar? Does it really make a difference seperating the nuetral & ground on seperte screws?

From what I understand in your question, so I may be wrong.

(1)Red and/or black wire to a circuit breaker is ok. Double-pole breakers are connected with both a red and black wire; single-pole breakers (in most installations) are connected with just the black wire. Red and black both represent a hot leg. Usually you see them connected to a double 220v breaker meaning that the breaker actually connects to both bus bars in the panel. *Looks like you have a double tap breaker in the first picture also.

(2) The doubling up of neutrals (white wires) on a terminal lug (buss) bar has been a violation going back to the Standard 67 of the UL and has been required by many panel manufacturers. Correction is recommended for electrical safety.

If you’re referring to the double-tap at the breaker terminal, no, it’s not okay.

That’s a Cutler-Hammer “CH” breaker. They’re okay for a double-tap, but I don’t personally like the practice.

Our AHJ will not pass that breaker with a double tap.

I need to learn to spell.


Thanks for the response

Then your AHJ needs to bone up a bit on what exactly it is he’s enforcing.

Up in Ontario double taps are not okay unless its a Square D breaker, last time I checked with our Electrical Safety Authority that was the rule, they are the only approved breaker for double taps. But having said that the Electrical Authority inspectors have routinely accepted double tapped Stab-loks where a door bell transformer and 14 ga circuit are used. Contrary to their own rules fwiw.

Definitely false! Some C-H “CH Series” breakers DO legally accept two conductors, as Marc pointed out. There are others as well but QO & CH are very well known for this.


I am only going by what I have been told by our ESA inspector. I realize its possible to put two wires of the same guage under the terminal screw of other breakers but ESA has stated its the only approved breaker (Sq D) they will accept for double lugging fwiw. It is also uncommon at least in my area to see anything but Stab-lok and the occassional Square D panel in newer housing.

Then your inspector is also plainly wrong. I’ve had the Ontario Code on CD for a long time, and I just reviewed it again. There’s nothing of the sort in that document. Cutler-Hammer CH breakers bear the CSA and the cUL mark also.


I had it in writing from the ESA so I can only base my comments on what they wrote in an email. Aren’t all breakers certified by CSA and CUL? Does it say in the Ontario code double taps are permitted or which breakers are certified for double tapping?

Of course not, which is why it’s permitted if the manufacturer permits it.

Would you mind CC’ing that email here:

3/29/06, 5:52 PM

Good point.

The local AHJs enforce local codes (which are not always in accordance with the national codes (which, in themselves, have no force of law).

Not to start an argument, but we have to remember (not being local code enforcers) that the local AHJ code requiremements are, usually, pretty crazy.

They are not (usually) up to date, are more a political document that a technical one and are ‘enforced’ by guys who only spend about 10 - 15 minutes on site. (Not to slam them, they are only allowed that time, being overworked as they are).

This is what home inspectors usually run into. Being in the middle of the local guys, the national codes and the local contractors and realtors. We are confused, but we have to try to explain this messed up system to the client.

What a job.

Chicago, the AHJ. does not permit ‘mini breakers’, but the manufacturer does, as does the NEC.

So, how should we write it.

Does NEC or local AHJ ‘approval’ mean it is safe?

Do these agencies accept the liability if it causes a fire? (Chicago does NOT!)

The duty (legal) is to the client.

What is the best practice?

What a job :mrgreen:

Many experts (all of whom I respect) saying different things.

No wonder the client is confused.

Ray, as I understand ESA response, he only confirms your suggestion that Square D allows two conductors on one terminal, but he doesn’t say that Square D is the **only one **that allows this arrangement.

He said this;

Sparks, that was exactly Yuri’s point.

Rule 6-212 & 12-3034 Says “It is not correct to connect two or more wires to a circuit breaker or fuse.”