Tap on Main Panel ???

I was taught that you never tap into the main conductors. Today had a 1989 rancher that has a 32x40 pole barn. Shouldnt there be a breaker in this situation ? Any suggested verbiage is welcome.

Thanks ,
John G. Jones

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Its wrong because the tap is the wrong gauge wire. And yes the tap should have its own fuse/breaker.

Most likely there is no room in the panel for this circuit so whoever installed it did it this way.

Double tapped main feeds considered improper. Recommend repair by a licensed electrician.

Keep it simple and let the electrician figure out how to make it right.


I had an inspection where the owner tapped 8AWG wire onto the main lugs:shock: LOL,… yeah they need a breaker.

Its very common to see this sort of double tap, at least in my area.
I recently inspected a house that an ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) inspection had been done. Guess what I found when I pulled the main panel cover? You guessed right a double tap on the mains! The vendor was flabbergasted having just paid ESA for a certificate of inspection saying all was okay. Obviously the ESA inspector did not take the cover off. My client was happy too.

I have been told that the ESa inspector has to put on so much saftey equipment now before opening a panel that they no longer can do a proper inspection .
I will try and get more information this week end and let you know what I find out

Most likely there is no room in the panel for this circuit so whoever installed it did it this way.

That is the funny part. there is atleast 10 slots not used in this 200 amp panel.

thanks for the quick replys, time to finish and send report


Don’t forget to explain to your client that this is hazardous because 1) the terminals are not rated for this use and my arc if the connection is not good 2) the smaller gauge wires can draw too much current and overheat without tripping the breaker and 3) there is no overcurrent protection for the wires in the event of a direct short.

I think in the verbiage I would keep it flowing and simple.

" Improper tap to the service conductors resulting in a unprotected feeder conductor to the barn and potentially hazardous connection at the termination lugs that were not designed for this type of installation."