Tandem breakers in wrong position

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  #1  
Old 05-12-12, 02:12 AM
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Tandem breakers in wrong position

I have a Siemens W3040B1200CU main service panel. The diagram on the inside of the door indicates 10 bottom locations for tandem breakers. There are currently 6 tandem breakers but they are located in the upper positions which are not indicated for tandems. There are double pole breakers for hot water heater, electric stove, hvac air handler and compressor and hot tub in the positions indicated for tandems. Can it stay like this? Is it a safety issue? I am going to need an inspection for my kitchen renovation. Will the inspector flag this?
 

Last edited by pcboss; 05-12-12 at 01:24 PM. Reason: formatting
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Old 05-12-12, 05:28 AM
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If I were the inspector, I would most assuredly flag it if this is even remotely recent. What has happened is that someone has either altered CTL type breakers for installtion where they shouldn't be or they have used Non-CTL type breakers for those locations. What you have is in violation of the U.L. Listing of the panel. The Non-CTL type breakers are for replacement only in pre 1968 panels and shouldn't be used in modern panels. If you remove one of the tandems, there is probably a paper label on the side of the breaker stating that this is a Non-CTL breaker and for replacement use only. Is it safe, possibly it is. Is it a violation, definitely yes.
 
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Old 05-12-12, 06:23 AM
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I agree with CJ, may not be the worse violation out there, but is still one none the less. I would juggle the breakers so that the tandems were in the correct positions while installing the correct CTL rated breakers.

If you need more spaces a subpanel is frequently an option.
 
  #4  
Old 05-12-12, 09:23 AM
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The wires connected to the tandem breakers are too short to reach the bottom positions. Can I extend the wires using wire nuts?
 
  #5  
Old 05-12-12, 09:38 AM
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Usually yes in the United States but usually no in Canada. Your LOCAL code may state differently but that would be unusual.
 
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Old 05-12-12, 09:49 AM
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I'm not in Canada. Just curious, how would the problem be solved if my local code did not permit it?
 
  #7  
Old 05-12-12, 10:06 AM
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The local authority would have to state what was an acceptable method. Non-reversible "barrel crimps" might be allowed or else pulling the too short cable out and installing an external splice box with a cable sufficiently long to reach the new CB location. Thankfully, in all areas that I am familiar with, wire nuts in the panel are acceptable.
 
  #8  
Old 05-12-12, 10:36 AM
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I just looked at the tandems to see if they are non CTL. All 6 appear to be of the same type and the labels on the side say nothing about CTL. The labels on the face of the breakers are unreadable except one where I can read "Class CTL". I thought the CTL tandem breakers could only be inserted in the positions indicated for tandems?
 
  #9  
Old 05-12-12, 11:56 AM
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Read again what CasualJoe wrote:
What has happened is that someone has either altered CTL type breakers...
The CTL circuit breakers have a stop that prevents them from going on a solid "stab" of the bus bar. This is why the bottom positions have a slot in the stabs, to allow the use of the CTL breakers. With most manufacturers it is not that difficult to (unlawfully) remove the stop.
 
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