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Old 01-05-2009, 11:37 PM   #1
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Eliminating Double Taps in Older Sylvania 200A Panel


I have an older (1981) Sylvania 200A panel in which I am sorting out three double taps. I bought the house in August and am just getting it compliant for my own peace of mind.

This panel is loaded with QB / QBH / QBHG breakers which are all discontinued. The QBHG (GFCI) breaker is double tapped. (1) Are QBHG's designed to accept double taps? Probably wishfull thinking as they seem nearly impossible to find / expensive to buy. (1B) If not, does anyone know where I can find them for a reasonable price?

The other two double taps are on QB (15A) breakers, for which I have spares. One of the double taps is the doorbell transformer. The lead on it is pretty short and moving it to another breaker will require a splice / wire nut. (2) Are splices using wire nuts acceptable within a panel in Ontario?

There is a dead wire in the panel which leads to a junction where the old electric water heater was located. It has been disconnected from a 30A GBH breaker. (3) Is it okay to hook this up even though it is not in use? My thought is yes as it is safely terminated within a JB. I'd rather have it hooked up / switched off for possible future use.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 01-05-2009, 11:51 PM   #2
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Eliminating Double Taps in Older Sylvania 200A Panel


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Originally Posted by Reilley View Post
I have an older (1981) Sylvania 200A panel in which I am sorting out three double taps. I bought the house in August and am just getting it compliant for my own peace of mind.

This panel is loaded with QB / QBH / QBHG breakers which are all discontinued. The QBHG (GFCI) breaker is double tapped. (1) Are QBHG's designed to accept double taps? Probably wishfull thinking as they seem nearly impossible to find / expensive to buy. (1B) If not, does anyone know where I can find them for a reasonable price?
Cutler Hammer type BR breakers will replace the Sylvania breakers. You can find these at any home center or electrical supply. And I only know of one breaker that is listed for 2 wires, and that is the Square D Homeline.

Quote:
The other two double taps are on QB (15A) breakers, for which I have spares. One of the double taps is the doorbell transformer. The lead on it is pretty short and moving it to another breaker will require a splice / wire nut. (2) Are splices using wire nuts acceptable within a panel in Ontario?
Likely, yes. But Joed is a Canadian, and would be more suited to answer this question.

Quote:
There is a dead wire in the panel which leads to a junction where the old electric water heater was located. It has been disconnected from a 30A GBH breaker. (3) Is it okay to hook this up even though it is not in use? My thought is yes as it is safely terminated within a JB. I'd rather have it hooked up / switched off for possible future use.
Absolutely


Last edited by InPhase277; 01-05-2009 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:23 PM   #3
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Eliminating Double Taps in Older Sylvania 200A Panel


Thanks for the reply. The info your provided lead me to a vast selection of breakers.

If it's ok to splice within the panel (and from what I've found online, it seems to be an accepted practice. I will call the local building dept. first to confirm though.) here is what I'd like to do:

Splice the doorbell transformer hot with the other hot running to the same breaker and pigtail that splice to that breaker, eliminating the double tap. This is a 15A breaker.

Add a second GFCI breaker to split the outside plug circuit into two eliminating that double tap. The pigtail off the GFCI breaker won't be long enough to reach the neutral block so I will have to splice this. The current GFCI breaker is spliced in this manner.

Add a regular 15A breaker to split the 3rd double tap.

Does anyone see an issue with this plan?

Last edited by Reilley; 01-06-2009 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:33 PM   #4
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Eliminating Double Taps in Older Sylvania 200A Panel


The easiest way to fix the double taps is simply to pigtail the conductors and attach it to the breaker.

It obviously doesn't split the loads up but it corrects the double tap.

The only breakers that allow a double tap have a flat square washer under the screw that pins down both wires equally.




Twin breaker are another option but watch your phasing if you have any MWBC's (3 wire cables feeding two 120v circuits). These 2 circuits must land on opposite legs in MWBC's.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:57 PM   #5
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Eliminating Double Taps in Older Sylvania 200A Panel


Can neutral screws on the block be double tapped?
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:19 AM   #6
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Eliminating Double Taps in Older Sylvania 200A Panel


If your talking about the termination to the neutral bar....NO...only one neutral per termination hole but you can couble the grounds if they are the same in awg size...ie...2 14's or 2 12's. The panel spec sheet should tell you the ground numbers and sizes per termination.
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:27 AM   #7
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Eliminating Double Taps in Older Sylvania 200A Panel


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.... I only know of one breaker that is listed for 2 wires, and that is the Square D Homeline.....
Ummm .... Square D type QO are also listed for two conductors, in sizes up to 30 Amps. The Homeline is limited to that size as well.
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:44 AM   #8
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Eliminating Double Taps in Older Sylvania 200A Panel


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Ummm .... Square D type QO are also listed for two conductors, in sizes up to 30 Amps. The Homeline is limited to that size as well.
Well there ya go. Learn something new everyday. Personally, I don't double tap, I just happened to notice the two little bitty wires drawn on the front of a Homeline breaker.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:18 AM   #9
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Eliminating Double Taps in Older Sylvania 200A Panel


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If your talking about the termination to the neutral bar....NO...only one neutral per termination hole but you can couble the grounds if they are the same in awg size...ie...2 14's or 2 12's. The panel spec sheet should tell you the ground numbers and sizes per termination.
Damn it. I guess I have some more work to do than I originally expected. About 98% of the neutrals on the termination bar are double tapped. Don't know how this passed inspection in 1981. My home inspector didn't catch it either (although I'm fairly certain that I know more than he does by this point).

Oh well, might as well get it all fixed up while I'm in there.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:45 PM   #10
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Eliminating Double Taps in Older Sylvania 200A Panel


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Cutler Hammer type BR breakers will replace the Sylvania breakers.
Can someone verify this for me? I can't seem to find any info online stating the same... I did see this on the Eaton (CH) site: http://www.eatoncanada.ca/lcb/replac...nbreakers.html which shows QBH replacing Sylvania breakers. They look like the Sylvania breakers. If these are the correct type, what are the GFCI ones called?

Just want to be sure before I order them.

Thanks
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:53 PM   #11
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Eliminating Double Taps in Older Sylvania 200A Panel


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Originally Posted by Reilley View Post
Can someone verify this for me? I can't seem to find any info online stating the same... I did see this on the Eaton (CH) site: http://www.eatoncanada.ca/lcb/replac...nbreakers.html which shows QBH replacing Sylvania breakers. They look like the Sylvania breakers. If these are the correct type, what are the GFCI ones called?

Just want to be sure before I order them.

Thanks
I guess since I wrote it, I can't really be the one to give a second confirmation, but just some background. The Sylvania line became Challenger, then it was bought by Westinghouse, then Westinghouse was bought by Cutler Hammer. It's been a long road, but the BR replaces the Sylvania breaker. Someone will be along to confirm this I'm sure.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:30 AM   #12
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Eliminating Double Taps in Older Sylvania 200A Panel


Will the Cutler Hammer #GFCB115 (Type BR) fit? It seems that the GFCB115 is available in different types. Some of the BR breakers seem to be missing the screw/bolt that attaches to the bus. Do these have to be purchased separately?
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:50 PM   #13
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Eliminating Double Taps in Older Sylvania 200A Panel


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..... About 98% of the neutrals on the termination bar are double tapped. Don't know how this passed inspection in 1981. My home inspector didn't catch it either ....
FWIW, in 1981 that was not a violation per se. Only recently has this been addressed by the NEC.
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:12 PM   #14
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Eliminating Double Taps in Older Sylvania 200A Panel


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Originally Posted by Reilley View Post
Will the Cutler Hammer #GFCB115 (Type BR) fit? It seems that the GFCB115 is available in different types. Some of the BR breakers seem to be missing the screw/bolt that attaches to the bus. Do these have to be purchased separately?
Screw/bolt? Are you saying you have a bolt-in type panel? The GFCB115 is for use in a panel where the breakers just "snap" in. That's what your panel should be unless you are in a commercial building.
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Old 01-11-2009, 05:52 PM   #15
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Eliminating Double Taps in Older Sylvania 200A Panel


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Screw/bolt? Are you saying you have a bolt-in type panel? The GFCB115 is for use in a panel where the breakers just "snap" in. That's what your panel should be unless you are in a commercial building.
Here's a picture of the same type of breaker: http://www.ujr.ca/EN/4202000.jpg

and the write up from the same site:

CIRCUIT BREAKER - BOLT-ON
Residential Bolt-on circuit breakers for panels manufactured by C.E.B., Sylvania and Commander. 3/4'' breaker module with bolt on line contact. Handle indicates when breaker is on, off or tripped. 1 Pole

15 amps - Sku 90545-03, Model QBH15, $26.99 each
20 amps - Sku 90545-11, Model QBH20, $26.99 each
30 amps - Sku 90545-29, Model QBH30, $30.99 each

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