Double-Tapping?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by alt, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. alt

    alt New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Utah
    During the home inspection of our new house (we close next week), the inspector showed us the electric meter and pointed out that it had been double-tapped when the central a/c unit was added (home built 1952, central a/c installed 2001). He said this was not up to code, and could cause arcing and be a fire hazard and should be corrected. I called the local power company (Rocky Mtn. Power) and they said that we would need to get an electrician to come fix it since it was "inside" the house. But the meter is on the outside of the house, and that is where the connection is. I don't know much about electrical wiring or really understand how all this works, but it sounds like something that ought to be taken care of. Any advice? Thanks in advance!
  2. BrianJohn

    BrianJohn DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    VA
    Per some (all that I have ever dealt with) utilities this is inside the house, It is on the customer side of the meter.

    Unless the connections are loose, corroded or are in some other way defective, this should not be an arcing issue. Several other factors come into play these are national Electrical Code issues and UL listing issues; did they mix aluminum and copper conductors, how far is it to the HVAC disconnect is this a fusible disconnect, are the conductor termination connectors rated for a two conductor termination.

    All in all without seeing it it sounds like there may be some issues but MAYBE not a fire hazard. Understand the average home inspector (THAT I HAVE DEALT WITH) has no business citing any electrical issues, in my experience (and as stated on numerous forums) home inspectors are, well LAUGHED AT best.

    This is not to say there is not a place for home inspectors BUT UNLESS HE CAN SITE Code, if you really have ANY electrical concerns you should hire a QUALIFIED electrician.
  3. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,565
    Location:
    North Carolina
    As Brian said there “could†be several code and listing issues and it does need to be assessed by a qualified and or licensed electrical contractor.

    As to the arcing and starting a fire, I think that you said;
    Don’t sound like it has started a fire in the past six years so I would have to ask, “was there something that the inspector saw that was a danger?â€
  4. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    Tell the seller to get an electrician out there to correct the violation listed.


    They will do it. They WANT to sell their house.

    Double tapped breakers are very common in older places that have had unqualified people working on them over the years. SOMETIMES it's an easy fix.
  5. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The original post described double taps off the meter. I think that constitutes two service connections at the same house.

    The disconnecting means for the second circuit must be service-rated and should be part of a group of not more than 6 devices to completely disconnect the service. The overcurrent protection must be part of or immediately adjacent to the disconnecting means.
  6. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    The OP was a homowner who doesn't know a meter from a breaker.

    I assumed that the double taps were off a breaker to the AC.

    I'll buy you a beer if I'm wrong.
  7. alt

    alt New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Utah
    Sorry! I'll try to upload or link a picture of it so you can see what we've got.
  8. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    1,005
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Sounds like a highly illegal double tap at the meter to me too.
    Is the main breaker also at the meter? Could be that as well.
  9. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    In AZ the breakers are generally outside in the same enclosure as the meter. (All in one panel) Thats why I was thinking a breaker was double tapped.
  10. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    1,005
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Well there ya go.
    That makes a difference to us breakers-inside-the-house normal folks. :p

Share This Page