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Not so fancy double tap?


Robert Jones
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Home built in 1981. Is this a not so fancy way of double tapping the breaker? it appears that the red feed, either broke or was to short at one point. There is a section of the same colored wire toward the back of the cabinet. Or maybe the black wire was added after and was to short, and they spliced the red wire to extend it? Either way it looks doubled to me.

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I don't know what else is going on with circuit load or that red wire at the back, but pig-tailing two conductors with a wire-nut is an acceptable way to connect to a single breaker. It is NOT double-tapped.

agreed... however it looks like one of wires is a larger gauge than others, is that kosher or is it ok as long as the smallest gauge is not overfused??

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I don't know what else is going on with circuit load or that red wire at the back, but pig-tailing two conductors with a wire-nut is an acceptable way to connect to a single breaker. It is NOT double-tapped.

agreed... however it looks like one of wires is a larger gauge than others, is that kosher or is it ok as long as the smallest gauge is not overfused??

I'm fairly sure (99%) that you can mix or combine wire sizes in most wire-nuts although I'm not familiar with what would be allowable with that particular one (odd color). But, yeah, it would otherwise be OK as long as the smaller gauge is not overfused.

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The red wire from the breaker is a smaller guage than one of the black wires it is feeding.

It looks to me like 2 of the wires are 14 gauge, while one is 12 gauge. The dull black insulated one is the only one that appears to be of a larger gauge. Then again, the smaller red and black ones could be 12 gauge stranded. Stranded wires throw me off, so I often have to cheat and find the writing on the insulation.

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The red wire from the breaker is a smaller guage than one of the black wires it is feeding.

It looks to me like 2 of the wires are 14 gauge, while one is 12 gauge. The dull black insulated one is the only one that appears to be of a larger gauge. Then again, the smaller red and black ones could be 12 gauge stranded. Stranded wires throw me off, so I often have to cheat and find the writing on the insulation.

Also, older wires had thicker insulation. I can't tell a thing from the size of the insulated wires in that picture. I'd have to see the actual wire.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Also, older wires had thicker insulation.

Agreed. It makes we wonder how inspectors that won't stick their hand in a panel to touch anything can tell what gauge of wire they are looking at when the actual conductor is not visible at the breaker. It becomes fairly difficult for me to tell at times on older cluttered up panels when there are different ages and types of wires such as stranded and solid wires, insulation of different thickness, etc.

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