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Old 06-16-2010, 11:16 PM   #1
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Breakers that could take 2 wires under one screw


I heard that their are some circuit breakeres that could take 2 wires under one screw. Not sure if i heard right or wrong.

How can you tell if the circuit breaker can take 2 wires under a screw? Would those breakers be some push in style breakers or screws? What would be printed on the breaker saying its capable of taking 2 wires under a screw?

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Old 06-16-2010, 11:18 PM   #2
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Breakers that could take 2 wires under one screw


Who is the Mfg of your breaker panel ?

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Old 06-16-2010, 11:24 PM   #3
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Breakers that could take 2 wires under one screw


The manufacture of my panel is "Commander"
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:28 PM   #4
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Breakers that could take 2 wires under one screw


Never heard of Commander, good luck.

Current NEC says one wire per screw......Unless you are referring to Tandem breakers that have TWO screws and can take two wires....I think this is what you heard.
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:33 PM   #5
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Breakers that could take 2 wires under one screw


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Originally Posted by LyonsElecSupply View Post
Current NEC says one wire per screw......Unless you are referring to Tandem breakers that have TWO screws and can take two wires....I think this is what you heard.
got a code citation for that? Last I knew, code states that you can only put what the device is rated for. If the breaker is rated for 2 wires, there is nothing to prevent such to my knowledge.

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latinomusician The manufacture of my panel is "Commander"
what country are you in? I am not familiar with the brand. When searching for the name, I see references to Canada. If you are in Canada, the rules would be based on Canadian codes. There are a couple knowledgeable guy from Canada that post here so hang on for them to catch this and respond.
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:40 PM   #6
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Breakers that could take 2 wires under one screw


My mistake. Its a rule of thumb around here i guess. But you are right about rating. NEC does say that any breaker rated for more than one termination SHALL BE IDENTIFIED AS SUCH.

I would just wirenut the two together with a pigtail myself...
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:59 PM   #7
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Breakers that could take 2 wires under one screw


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what country are you in? I am not familiar with the brand. When searching for the name, I see references to Canada. If you are in Canada, the rules would be based on Canadian codes. There are a couple knowledgeable guy from Canada that post here so hang on for them to catch this and respond.
Yea, im from ontario canada. With the little information i got from you guys, it looks like my breaker can't handle 2 wires under the screws. Thanks for your help anyway.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:55 AM   #8
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Breakers that could take 2 wires under one screw


Some breakers are designed to accept 2 wires under 1 screw (double-tapping). The manufacture Square-D is such.

Actually, I think the ONLY manufacture that designs their breakers to be double-tapped is Square-D so that makes it pretty easy if your panel ain't Square-D. Square-D breakers have 2 openings for wires.

Last edited by Piedmont; 06-17-2010 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:00 AM   #9
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Breakers that could take 2 wires under one screw


Also insert the wire end that is straight for the last 1/2 inch. Screw down the fastening but not far enough to keep the wire from wiggling a bit. If there are no grooves or fins or pressure plates to keep the wire from slipping out from under the screw even partially, then the terminal cannot take two wires under that screw.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:32 AM   #10
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Breakers that could take 2 wires under one screw


Ive got a breaker on my air handler that has two wires from it. Its as large as a main breaker and has really large plates holding the wires in. It looks like it should take two wires..... Of course, the people that put them that way are the same people that ran romex across my roof to the heat pump and rotted the insulation off so....

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Old 06-17-2010, 09:33 AM   #11
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Breakers that could take 2 wires under one screw


commander is cutler-hammer
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:35 AM   #12
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Breakers that could take 2 wires under one screw


It is against code in Ontario to double tap. Maybe what you are thinking of is a mini breaker. Takes up one spot on the panel but has two taps (and two toggles). I've seen plenty of those, but not sure if Commander makes them.

Just on a different note...why is it when you go to the box stores you have to walk all the way to the electrical aisle to see the chart for the breakers, then walk back to the cashier to get it? Can they not put a chart up front?
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:20 AM   #13
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Breakers that could take 2 wires under one screw


im gonna look at some cutler-hammer breakers then.

Just one more question. Im not gonna double tap the breakers, but curious. Why can't you double tap the breakers?? What can go wrong if i double tap the breaker going with safety?
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Old 06-17-2010, 02:35 PM   #14
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Breakers that could take 2 wires under one screw


I believe the issue is a mechanical one. If you have two wires in the breaker it's less likely that the screw gets a good grip on the wire. If the wires are stacked then the screw won't go down far enough, then if the wires move they'll become loose. Remember, it's ok to have two "circuits" feed into one breaker by having the two runs and a pigtail under a wirenut and then having the pigtail go into the breaker -- so it's not likely an electrical issue.
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Old 06-17-2010, 03:12 PM   #15
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Breakers that could take 2 wires under one screw


OMG, not a double tap! What would the home inspectors say?

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