dual wires on a circuit breaker

pwrupFebruary 8, 2010

Does anyone know if it is code to have 2 wires going to a circuit breaker? I have been told that it is and it is not ok by different electricians. I would like to reference the NEC code section that references what is or is not code. I don't want your opinion, I need hard facts. So can you point me to the section in the code that addresses this?

Thanks,

pwrup

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mike_kaiser_gw

The determining factor is what the manufacturer of the breaker says. Some breakers can accept two wires and others can not. You'd have to go back to the manufacturer to get the specs.

The biggest problem with "double taps" is that people add circuits and because they are out of space in the panel, just stick a wire under whatever breaker happens to be handy. Regardless of what the manufacturer may say, the breaker and wire have to be sized appropriately for the load.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 8:45PM
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groundrod

The answer is not in the NEC. It is determined by whether the breaker is listed for one or two wires. This information should be available on the manufacturers web site. There are at least two that do list their breakers for double tapping as it is called. Square D QO and QOB series along with Cutler Hammer CH and CHB series. I believe both of these listings are for 15 thru 30 amp breakers only. If you have a brand that is not listed for double tapping you can take the two wires and wirenut them together with a third short wire, and then connect the short wire to the breaker.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 8:54PM
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sparky17

Groundrod i don't agree with that.That leads to a messy panel full of marretts,also that would constitute using your panel as a j.b. which is against code,(at least it is here in canada).
A better option if the home owner has the space beside his panel is install a new j.b. like a 4" square box and pull the branch circuits out of the panel and then feed them with one new branch cir inside the new j.b.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 9:18PM
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groundrod

The original poster is not in Canada, so I don't think he will have to worry about what is against code in Canada.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 9:50PM
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bigbird_1

"That leads to a messy panel full of marretts,also that would constitute using your panel as a j.b. which is against code,(at least it is here in canada)."

Never heard before that you can't use a Marrette in a main or sub panel. Can you quote the reference in the CEC to that?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 11:16PM
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groundrod

Yeah, my panel won't be full of marretts anyway because I am going to use wirenuts.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 11:43PM
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hexus

" that would constitute using your panel as a j.b."

so what do you do when you change out the panel, or have to rearrange the entire panel because something was added, or some other unforeseen things happens and the wires are now too short to reach the breaker you want them to? Re-pull all your homeruns?

Though I can't speak for Canada, doing what groundrod said is legal in the states.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 11:49PM
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sparky17

Actually yea if i have to go do a rewire or change a service, when i am done there are no double tagged breakers or marretts in the panel period,and yes i could have up to 2-3 new j.b.s outside of the new panel all now feeding branch circuits that were not long enough to reach the new panel.I can't imagine putting in new service and then haveing marretts left in the panel,wow!
That's how we do it in sask,leads to allot more clean panels to work in after, trust me.

I already see that i have touched on a few nerves here with the"my panel wont have marretts in side cause i use wirenuts"

b.b. i will look for the rule in the cec,also.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 10:06AM
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sparky17

Big bird here is what i found, cec rule 6-212(1) Enclosures for circuit breakers and externaly operated switches(meaning switchgear) shall not be used as junction boxes,troughs,or raceways for conductors feeding thru or tapping off to there apparatus.
Therefore i read that as a panel that houses circuit breakers can not be used as a raceway or be used as a j.b.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 10:24AM
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groundrod

Hey sparkey17 you have not touched a nerve. I was just kidding with you. Your method will leave the inside of the panel that few ever see looking good, while the wall will look like hell.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 10:29AM
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sparky17

Well here the inspector would open up the panel and tell you do do it again,by code this time.So i wouldn't have a choice.
You would only see the branch cirs leaving the panel,the j.b.s would be hidden,usually in the ceiling joists.But still accessible of course.
Must be only a c.e.c thing like you said groundrod.
Big bird im in sask.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 10:46AM
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hexus

for me a personal thing I guess...

Though I absolutely hate a messy looking panel, I would prefer wiring nutting onto wires too short in the panel rather than have junction boxes everywhere.

Putting them up in the attic would eliminate the eye sore, but then the next guy that follows behind me has to spend the time looking for them if they need to get into them for whatever reason, plus spend time up in the attic.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 1:30PM
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bigbird_1

"Big bird here is what i found, cec rule 6-212(1) Enclosures for circuit breakers and externaly operated switches(meaning switchgear) shall not be used as junction boxes,troughs,or raceways for conductors feeding thru or tapping off to there apparatus.
Therefore i read that as a panel that houses circuit breakers can not be used as a raceway or be used as a j.b. "

OK, thanks for the CEC quote on that. I've seen more than a few panels with wire nuts used to extend circuits around the panel if the conductors are too short. As you know, it can often happen if breakers are rearranged later on in the panel. BTW, I'm in MB

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 3:02PM
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Billl

I just had new panel put into my house after a service upgrade and it needed to be moved a couple inches to maintain proper clearance. That is definitely not how my local inspector interprets that rule. He says that refers to lines traveling through the panel, not coming from the panel. eg you can add an extension with a wirenut so you don't have to run a new homerun. You can't use a subpanel as a junction box for a circuit that happens to be passing by.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 4:36PM
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brickeyee

You missed a big piece of the rule.

"...feeding thru or tapping off to there apparatus."

A conducted extended using a wire nut in a panel does not meet either of the stated conditions.

It is not feeding through since it ends in the box, and is not tapping off to other "apparatus."

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 5:07PM
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saltcedar

please see How to Wire a Circuit "In Parallel"

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Wire a Circuit

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 9:05AM
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saltcedar

please ignore

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 9:08AM
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petey_racer

Saltcedar, don't you hate that this site has no edit function. :P

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 3:21PM
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saltcedar

yep!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 12:19AM
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