Were these really electricians?

Ever here an expression pertaining to a blind squirrel finding a nut? :mrgreen:

Honestly, I’m not surprised. Your a knowledgeable person and a damn good inspector. [/kissa*$]

If you won I’ll buy half of that ticket! :mrgreen:

Ok…time for my comments…:wink:

1.) The subpanel ( remote distribution panel ) in the detached garage just may be legal and compliant IF their is no potential between the two structures…but we have talked about that before so I wont digress unless you want me to. ( been told I am too long winded )

2.) It would be beyond your scope to try to determine the potential between these two structures unless it was obvious like a telephone line, switched light, concrete re-bar walkway, or similar connection between the two structures…then the 3 wire option is POOF…would need to be 4 conductors.

3.) As for the open ground…I guess it really depends on if the system even has a ground to begin with. If they used 3 prong plugs in the house and it is not protected by GFCI ahead of it then it is a problem…if the house is just old and has no grounding ( EGC-Bonding Conductor ) in place then an open ground really means nothing to the EC as it is still legal to have 2 wire receptacles in dwellings depending on the period.

4.) I would have “RECOMMENDED” GFCI’s in those areas to safeguard life and limb so to speak but again it may not have been required at the time of construction…BUT most certainly as a safety aspect you should always recommend them…safety first…money second.

5.) AS for the double tapped circuit breaker…the comment they made that it is done all the time is probably correct…does not make it right but his statement is correct in that it is done all the time…improperly done but still done…unless of course it is a Cutler Hammer CH or Square D QO and Homeline breaker which do allow double taps…but I highly doubt it…

Remember just because an electrician says they do something all the time does not mean it is done RIGHT all the time…they just dont know any better in many cases…this does not make them a bad electrician…just one that is not up to date on code changes and so on…which is where education comes in…we all should strive to LEARN…everyday…

Edited: Thanks TOM…I never double tap anyway even if the breaker DID allow it…and yes we are GEEKS !

A double tap breaker is with two wires in direct contact with each other, CH and S-D have separate sections on the pressure plate to allow for copper wires, so it’s not technically double tapping.

BTW, good post Paul however you omitted HomeLine allows for two copper conductors too.


make it 4 Tom.

I have never heard of an inspector being sued for recommending and upgrade, but I have heard of them being sued for failing to recommend one.

Homeline’s I am familiar with do not allow double taped breakers, I have one sitting in front of me as we speak and makes no reference to allowing multiple conductors to the termination point. Where as the QO model I also have in front of me does make reference to it…thus listed for it.

CH’s breaker allows for it via a wedge design…which clamps down and pushes each conductor to a beveled side…while the QO version uses individual holding points on each side of the termination screw.

I have one right now, my 5 year old uses it to play with, and when looking at it straight on, with the amperage and name upright, look to the right. Molded into the plastic is photos of two conductor usage.


(image of single conductor attached) with "#14 - #8 AWG Al/Cu
(image of two conductors attached) with "#14 - #10 AWG Cu

Then look at the mounting point, it has to spaces for wires.


P.S. What freaking electrical geeks have breakers laying around, my 5 year old wants to be a plumber - electrician.

lol…mine does not say that on my homeline I have…just the QO version. Maybe I have an old one…my son puts it under his pillow wanting to be like DAD…( NOT…just kidding…he wants to be an rocket scientist instead )

Picture fella…Picture…I need a picture…lol

Oh wait…you are right…2006 and later homelines do have the ability for (2) conductors…I have the one sitting here I seminar with…an older model I believe 2004 or something…good to see Square D is moving their features DOWN to the lower line products now days…:wink:

OK…now when is Eaton going to move that down to their BR series now…I will have to ask them as you KNOW they can’t be left behind…lol