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Old 08-21-2006, 08:30 AM   #1
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Pigtail inside panel box. Code allowed?


I found out the dishwasher install guy do somthing for us last year... instead of installing a new breaker, he combined two circuits into one (lights and plugs) and pigtailing them to one breaker, then install the dishwasher circuit to the deallocated breaker.... knowing that this is wrong and probably tried to save a breaker himself when doing the $100 installation job.. I wish him would have asked me for extra $$ for the new breaker instead of doing what he had done...


anyhow, it comes to a interesting question: does pigtailing allow inside panel box, codewise speaking...?

anyhow, another insight of this, is, many times hiring someone to do somthing is not necessary better than DIY... or many times, hiring someone to do one thing, they screw up some minor thing... like the A/C guy wires cable to cold water supply line... the soft water guy install coded not allowed valve for brenching off to the refrid... the disk washer installation guy did above to the panel... almost there is no one perfect installation base on my experience... All the people I hired are from AD on the papers... and they are in business for a long time... just some thoughts...

Now I need to go to HD to purchase a breaker to fix the disk washer stuff...
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Old 08-21-2006, 09:52 AM   #2
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Pigtail inside panel box. Code allowed?


As far as the code goes, if these wires are not part of a multi wire branch circuit, then it is ok to pigtail them in the panel. At this time they technically become one circuit so all the rules applly as if there were one. For example if one were kitchen recs and the other bedroom recs, then it would not be allowed. etc.

As for the quality of the work, let me ask you a question. If they guy had said that he needs to go to the supply house and get a breaker and said that the install will cost an extra 150 dollars (for a 10 dollar breaker and his time) would you buy that? He was probably afraid that you would not. I am not saying that he is right. He should have given you the options and let you decide. I can just also see his point of view.

As for the other stuff, you get what you pay for. Most people open the yellow pages and call a few numbers and hire the cheepest. Then they complain because the work is not to thier standards. I do not know your hiring practices, so I am not accusing you, but the bottom line is that you will pay more for higher quality work.

As for doing it yourself. I would say that even if you hire it done, you should check on what is being done, and ask questions right away.
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:04 AM   #3
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Pigtail inside panel box. Code allowed?


You probably right about finding a contractor, we usually looks at the yellow page and make a few calls...etc. get some quotes...etc. and base on gut feelings etc. not necessary most cheapest , but gut feeling on how the sales person talke..etc. and the name of their company in the industry etc... for my situation, the two companies I hired for the A/C and soft water .. are the biggest in our community... the dish washer guy is a single ranger... anyhow... I think biggest/cheapest/most expensive...etc. have no guarantee ...

but what you said probably the best is "be there, ask questions..etc. watch the installation process..etc." but due to technical difficulties, this is sometimes not possible, such as I was at work during those installations and that time, I was quite not knowledgable ....at least compare to now...

anyhow... thanks for your feedback...
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:04 AM   #4
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Pigtail inside panel box. Code allowed?


I see pigtailed breakers all the time. Don't a lot of door bell transformers end up pigtailed to the nearest outlet circuit?

As far as hiring out goes I agree 100%. Bottom line is simply this, if cost is cut, corners are usually cut. IF 3 guys say they'll do the job for $300 and one will do it for $175, chances are, he's using scrap materials or cutting some things out completely.... If I had to hire out work I generally get 4 appraisals and pick the one in the middle I was most comfortable with the person I spoke to. I also ask many questions about what's being done and I check it afterwards.
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:05 AM   #5
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Pigtail inside panel box. Code allowed?


Also, I wouldn't think the reason the electrician did what he did was to save HIMSELF a breaker, if he decided to use a new breaker, it wouldn't have effected him at all, you would have paid for it, not him.
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:12 AM   #6
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Pigtail inside panel box. Code allowed?


It probably be because he doesn't have the breaker at hand and try to fix the problem a quick way without going through all the hassel to explain to my wife whom then call me at the office whom then talk to him then he ran to HD then ...etc.

but for knowing what he need to do for a living , he should have 20 breakers at his car/ven before going for a job...

I do think pigtailing at breaker is quite abnormal though (I means those 15amp wires, not door bells etc.)... it definitely looks like patch works... anyhow, how I am sure the dish washer guy did this is because the slot marked disk washer by the builder still empty now... and I did the investigation to discover this... I wouldn't have investigate this as I am about to call for an electrical inspector to inspect my other wire works.. ..

Last edited by KUIPORNG; 08-21-2006 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:38 AM   #7
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Pigtail inside panel box. Code allowed?


First this was an appliance installer not an electrican. Second there are a wide variaty of makes modles and sizes of breakers out there.. It is reasonable to stock some maybe. But to have one of every kind on a truck at all times is not realistic.
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Old 08-22-2006, 03:45 PM   #8
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Pigtail inside panel box. Code allowed?


YOu really never know why people do what they do..but its possible there is a good reason that you just can't think of. Lets say you've got all your kitchen circuits grouped in the panel nicely, but no spot for the new circuit. Lets also say that your panel is very nicely mapped and labeled detailing every circuit. Two choices exist for the installer

1. Install the new breaker at the bottom of the panel in the next open spot and leave all the other circuits in the house in between.
2. Move EVERYTHING down in the panel, throwing off all of the labeling...

If something like that were the case, perhaps it just made more sense to group the two kitchen items together and add the new circuit to the group.
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