What Is A Double Tapped Wire In Service Panels?
Double tapped breakers are often found during a professional electrical inspection. The main electrical service panel, or breaker box, of your home is connected to the electrical cabling from the service provider. It houses circuit wires that are routed from the service panel throughout the home. Within the breaker box, the wires connect to a ground fault circuit breaker for safety.
When more than one circuit wire is connected to one breaker, it is a double tapped wire which presents a dangerous fire hazard. There are circuit breakers which are designed for double tapped wiring, but the panel must also be designed for it. The circuit breaker will have wording or a picture indicating it is. It will also have a place for two wires to be connected.
Please don't get into your electrical service panel and pull out a breaker to look, it's dangerous to work with electricity of any type unless you are an electrician.
If you have a double tapped wire in your service panel, it needs to be repaired right away. If it has been this way for some time, you don't have to panic but it should be remedied as soon as possible. You may also need a service panel upgrade if it's been 10 years or so since it was last upgraded.
Get An Electrical Inspection For Your Service Panel
An electrician who offers electrical inspections, like ours at Reliant Electrical in Naperville, will examine and test all the wiring, breakers, and connections throughout your home including the service panel for signs of trouble. They will know if you have any type of dangerous situation going on.
Why Double Tapped Wires Are A Problem
Each circuit breaker is designed for a specific voltage, so problems occur when you connect two wires to a breaker that's designed for one. The resulting dangers are the same as they are when you try to use a heavy appliance on a circuit that's meant for simple things like lights. Double tapped wires can cause:
- Loose wires
- Electrical Resistance (heat instead of power)
- Voltage drops
If you do indeed have a double tapped wire that shouldn't be in the service panel, it had to have been done by someone who lacks the proper electrical experience. Well intentioned repair or not, you always want to be sure that an experienced licensed electrician works on your home.
Repairs are often done that are not safe according to the national and local electrical safety code authorities. These codes are put in place for your protection and for the protection of the community you live in. Remember, house fires spread. No one needs to be responsible for harming someone else when they had good intentions and just wanted to help you.
Instead, call an electrician when your home needs electrical work. If you need repair or an inspection in Naperville, call Reliant Electrical. We'll be glad to take a look for you.