Double Taps did you know?

Do you know when a double tap is not a double tap?
Read: http://activerain.com/blogsview/1403811/double-tapped-breakers 
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December 28 2009 - US
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Profile picture for Pasadenan
Since the breaker lug was designed for two conductors (anyone can tell that by looking at it), and since the breaker is rated to protect the wire size installed, and the breaker assembly was UL tested and listed for the application, I really don't see why anyone would have an issue with the installation.

Now, I didn't see the panel schedule, so there might be a remote possibility of too many outlets on one breaker, or too many kitchen appliances being on the same breaker, or not having the minimum number of code required circuits for the kitchen...  But if the inspector thought that might be the case, the inspector should have checked rather than just writing something down that means almost nothing.

As for it being a Sq-D panel; the  blurry photo you provided looked like it indicates a Sq-D logo on each breaker; thus I would probably assume Sq-D also, unless the enclosure label had some other manufacturer's name.  I think it is helpful for the inspection report to indicate who made the panel, especially if it was Zinsco or Federal Pacific as it will give some clue of the difficulty of getting replacement breakers.  But then, shouldn't the report also include the total number of poles, the interrupt rating, and the date of manufacturer?
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December 28 2009
"too many outlets on one breaker"
There is NO limit for the number of outlets on a circuit in a residential installation if you are using the NEC. The additional wire was for the doorbell transformer. Basically no load.
180VA per outlet would be a good application for a load calculation but not required.
"But then, shouldn't the report also include the total number of poles, the interrupt rating, and the date of manufacturer?"
I do not think that those are necessary. The date may be useful if the panel is obsolete.
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December 28 2009
I should have said no limit on a general lighting circuit.
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December 28 2009
Profile picture for Pasadenan
If you have 15 KA available fault current, and only a 10 KAIC panel installed, you BETTER write it up!  And if your panel is substantially older and doesn't have an interrupt rating, and you have 8 KA available, you probably STILL should write it up as a board with breakers with no tested rating is probably only rated for 5 KA.

And if you have 15 KA available fault current and a board with 22 KAIC breakers, you probably should still indicate that as the home owner will likely buy 10 KAIC breakers from the building supply store if no one bothers to tell them different.
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December 28 2009
Profile picture for Pasadenan
Yes, you are correct that the 180 Volt-Amp minimum load for general use receptacle calculations only applies to Commercial, Institutional and industrial applications and not residential, especially not for the minimum of two required 20 amp small-appliance branch circuits.

But still, one is foolish to place more than 13 receptacles on one circuit, especially where small heaters or computers, or printers, or other large loads may be used.

And if they are not "small appliance" receptacles in the first place, but window air-conditioning receptacles?  Better use the name plate rating on the equipment.  Same applies for the Refrigerator and Freezer.  Sure, the code "lets" you put it on the minimum of two 20 amp small-appliance branch circuits, but no one likes nuisance tripping, especially for their refrigerator.  Sure, you could put in a dedicated 15 amp branch circuit to the Refrigerator instead, but since people choose different locations for the fridge, it doesn't hurt to put in a 20 amp circuit with a few more receptacles on it; but putting 13 receptacles on the same circuit as your fridge is just plain stupid.

And still the required small-appliance branch circuits are not to have other loads on them.  And the required bathroom receptacles at the sinks are not to be on circuits shared with other receptacles except bathroom receptacles at the sinks (due to hair dryer loads...).

And of course you know you need two dedicated branch circuits for the kitchen counter receptacles, due to toasters, toaster ovens, mixers, crock-pots, microwaves, convection cookers, and all kinds of other heating and kitchen appliance loads.  And you know you need a dedicated laundry branch circuit and receptacle.

Rule of thumb for hiring inspectors?  Ask for a copy of a typical report up front.  If the items you want to see in the report are missing, or if it makes no sense, or is not enough detail, or is hard to read, or is all meaningless items, choose someone else.
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December 28 2009
Profile picture for Pasadenan
I would also ask them if they have an infrared camera, and if they use it, and if they know how to use it and what to use it for.  There are many "hidden" conditions that can be seen easily if one knows what they are looking for and knows where to look and has experience using the equipment.

Of course I want to see those pictures in the sample report as well, with appropriate write-up explaining the findings.

(If no infrared camera, do they at least have a moisture probe?  Do they try to look inside walls, above ceilings, and in inaccessible attics and crawl spaces at all?)

Also make sure they test the safety switches on the powered garage door.

And make sure they note how many roofs, the type of underlayment, and if there is roof sheathing, or just nailing strips, and how much life left in the roof, and if a full strip down will be required at the next re-roofing.  (Code changed recently; we were allowed 3 roofs before stripping, now it is only two).

And even though they tell you it is not their responsibility, I want to know about ALL wood to earth contact and all dryrot.

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December 28 2009
 
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