Two conductors from single pole breaker?


Old 05-12-12, 09:20 AM
bakrr's Avatar
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Two conductors from single pole breaker?

Hi Folks,

I took a look at my friends panel today, its a 200amp federal pioneer with stab lock breakers and he had a single pole 15 amp breaker with a black/red under the breaker screw (This is not a tandem breaker--there is only one screw on the single breaker for if unclear)

I did some researching and apparently its not uncommon for SquareD or Cutler Hammer to had breakers that are listed as double tap but does anyone know about stab lock?

Any ideas?

Picture example, just example clearly not a federal panel.:
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Old 05-12-12, 10:29 AM
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If it is a "box" or "cage" connector like the circuit breakers shown then it is only one wire. If it is a truss head (very wide head) screw and there are wire grooves then usually (not always) it is acceptable to use one wire on each side of the screw. To be absolutely certain you need to look up the specifications of the particular circuit breaker in the manufacturer's catalog.
Old 05-12-12, 12:00 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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As Furd posted, most cases it is one wire per one screw. This is an easy fix by wirenuting in the panel and adding a pig tail to the breaker. I think this may not be OK in Canada so you might want to double check that.
Old 05-14-12, 12:31 AM
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All FPE breakers I've ever seen have the 'setscrew' style clamp, so only one wire. Also, when you pigtail the conductors, make sure they are from two separate cables, and not sharing a neutral (ie: the red and black from the same Romex). If they are, the neutral is overloaded and can cause a fire. The red and black from the same cable must be on adjoining (non-tandem) breakers.

From what I can find, the CEC section 12-3034 states that enclosures for over current devices, controllers and externally operated switches shall not be used as junction boxes, troughs or raceways for conductors feeding through to other apparatus. It says nothing about conductors for circuits that terminate in the enclosure. This is just my interpretation, but I don't think it will cause a code flag to pigtail two circuits in the panel.

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