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not sure what to say - one hot going in, two going


CheckItOut
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It is really no different than splicing in a junction box somewhere else in the circuit. The whole circuit is still protected by the overcurrent device. As long it is rated for the wire size the worst thing you might get is nuisance tripping. This is a common way to prevent double tapping of the breaker (or fix a double tapped breaker).

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Originally posted by CheckItOut

Saw in a sub panel today: hot wire from breaker leading to a wire nut. Then two wires going from wire nut then exiting panel. This is like double-lugging a breaker, only sneakier. Any suggestions on what to say? Overloaded, spliced circuit? I also found about a half-dozen splices with wire nuts in there.

It's fine.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I was taught and also viewed on line, at what I thought was an authoritative site, that splices were only allowed in panels to lengthen conductors. (as is often required when old service panels are updated)

But, as I can see from this current thread, I was steered wrong.

As a follow up to reading this thread, I googled "splices in service panels" to see what other info was out there, and discovered that the general consensus was that splices are o.k., as long as they are kept to a reasonable number and are not overcrowding the panel - plus, as mentioned in this thread, have the proper wire gauge to breaker size fit.

Actually one of the other inspector's forums debated this, and what I took away was that this condition is somewhat open for subjective (good common sense) code interpretation.

I'm glad I took a moment to review some of the recent TIJ posts that I missed.

Question - Is it recommended that we report observed splices and the possibility of nuisance tripping - or that these circuits be further evaluated to determine what the likelihood of nuisance tripping will be?

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Originally posted by dtontarski

I was taught and also viewed on line, at what I thought was an authoritative site, that splices were only allowed in panels to lengthen conductors. (as is often required when old service panels are updated)

But, as I can see from this current thread, I was steered wrong.

The great thing about the NEC is that you don't really need to rely on what we say here. You can always look it up. The answers are almost always in there.

As a follow up to reading this thread, I googled "splices in service panels" to see what other info was out there, and discovered that the general consensus was that splices are o.k., as long as they are kept to a reasonable number and are not overcrowding the panel - plus, as mentioned in this thread, have the proper wire gauge to breaker size fit.

Actually one of the other inspector's forums debated this, and what I took away was that this condition is somewhat open for subjective (good common sense) code interpretation.

If you took that away, you should give it back. There is absolutely nothing in the NEC that would even suggest that a splice in an electrical enclosure is improper. What you were probably reading about was section 312.8 where it places some limitations on using panel enclosures "as junction boxes, auxiliary gutters, or raceways for conductors feeding through or tapping off to other switches or overcurrent devices, unless adequate space for this purpose is provided." It then goes on to define what adequate space is. It only applies to stuff that's feeding through the panel, not stuff that's originating in the panel.

I'm glad I took a moment to review some of the recent TIJ posts that I missed.

Question - Is it recommended that we report observed splices and the possibility of nuisance tripping - or that these circuits be further evaluated to determine what the likelihood of nuisance tripping will be?

Nuisance tripping would be tripping for no good reason and would imply that the breaker is defective. Do you mean to simply say tripping? If so, then no. The presence of splices in a panel enclosure really isn't indicative of much of anything. If the splices are made in a workmanlike manner and the wire sizes look ok, I wouldn't mention it at all.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

As a follow up to reading this thread, I googled "splices in service panels" to see what other info was out there, and discovered that the general consensus was that splices are o.k., as long as they are kept to a reasonable number and are not overcrowding the panel - plus, as mentioned in this thread, have the proper wire gauge to breaker size fit.

Actually one of the other inspector's forums debated this, and what I took away was that this condition is somewhat open for subjective (good common sense) code interpretation.

If you took that away, you should give it back. There is absolutely nothing in the NEC that would even suggest that a splice in an electrical enclosure is improper. What you were probably reading about was section 312.8 where it places some limitations on using panel enclosures "as junction boxes, auxiliary gutters, or raceways for conductors feeding through or tapping off to other switches or overcurrent devices, unless adequate space for this purpose is provided." It then goes on to define what adequate space is. It only applies to stuff that's feeding through the panel, not stuff that's originating in the panel.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

That was something that Jerry Peck was constantly harping on, back in the day. Nobody seemed able to make him understand the rules for overcrowding in panels and pass-through raceways. S'funny, I'm an idiot when it comes to electrical stuff but it seemed clear enough even to me.

Listen to Jim, he's got it right.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I've got it about splices now - yes it was a thread that Jerry Peck was involved with and his opinion was debated. Thanks clarifying the splice issue for me.

Regarding nuisance tripping -

When I used the term nuisance tripping I was referring to how it was used, without being corrected, earlier in the thread. I interpreted that this would mean that with two wires connected to a single breaker, there would be the possibility that both of these wires were heavily loaded with outlets and the possibility was higher that a heavier demand would be placed on a single breaker protecting all of these outlets - thus tripping it - and this being a nuisance.

I guess I always figured there may be a good reason for nuisance tripping other that the breaker being defective, and that in a case like this (2 runs of outlets connected to one breaker), that perhaps just replacing the breaker (that maybe isn't defective) wouldn't resolve the issue.

Lots of terms and phrases are used here. I'm still in the process of learning how to use these correctly.

Is there such a term as nuisance tripping, or should I remove this from my vocabulary? If there is such a term - what is the correct definition?

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  • 2 months later...

This condition in incorrect. If you have two circuits tapped into one breaker 15 or 20 amp by a wire nut or any other means and there are twenty outlets on total from both lines than this one circuit is overloaded and not safe. It should be corrected.

If a circuit line is shortened in the panel and a wire nut is used to extend it to the breaker that is allowed.

As to nuisance tripping, that potentially is a safety concern since you really can"t identify the cause with out further diagnosing the problem.

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This condition in incorrect. If you have two circuits tapped into one breaker 15 or 20 amp by a wire nut or any other means and there are twenty outlets on total from both lines than this one circuit is overloaded and not safe. It should be corrected.

Please friend, stop now. You're incorrect.

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Hmmm,

Seems to me that, if the circuit were overloaded, the breaker would be expected to trip; unless it were an FPE or Zinsco panel, in which case, one couldn't really count on them tripping and the wire-nutted splice would be the least of the worries.

Mr. Katen has backed his opinion up - can Check it Out back up his? Ironic that the initiator of the thread and this fellow have the same user names. Guess my software couldn't figure that out.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by Check It Out

This condition in incorrect. If you have two circuits tapped into one breaker 15 or 20 amp by a wire nut or any other means and there are twenty outlets on total from both lines than this one circuit is overloaded and not safe. It should be corrected.

Well, that's a good point to remember in buildings that are not dwellings. However, in dwellings, there's no limit to the number of receptacles that you can place on any single breaker regardless of its size.

As to nuisance tripping, that potentially is a safety concern since you really can"t identify the cause with out further diagnosing the problem.

Of course.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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