Double Tapped Breakers: The Dangers and How We Can Fix Them

So you recently took our advice from last week’s blog, and labeled all of your circuit breakers in your main electrical panel. Congrats! This allowed you to not only stay organized for safety and convenience, but it may have led you to examine your panel. Did you find anything odd? Were there visible signs of corrosion or damage from a water leak? Did you see any double tapped breakers from a previous homeowner or amateur electrician? Wait, back up. Don’t know what a double tapped breaker is or how to identify one? You have come to the right place! Let’s begin…


What Are Double Tapped Breakers?

A double tapped breaker is a circuit breaker that has two circuit wires connected to it. This is a no-no! One circuit breaker should only connect to one circuit. For example, your refrigerator should be on its own circuit, and not tied into the same circuit as your guest bedroom. 


Why Are Double Tapped Breakers Dangerous?

Double tapped breakers can cause loose connections, resulting in arcing, overheating, and even a fire. Simple as that.


Why Would Someone Double Tap a Breaker?

An amateur who isn’t a licensed electrician may have done this because there wasn’t any space left in the main electrical panel for additional circuit breakers. Or, the person was lazy and didn’t feel the need to add another circuit breaker in there. Or, they just didn’t know that this is an unacceptable, hazardous thing to do. Either way, there are many reasons why your panel could have double tapped breakers, but don’t worry. We are going to explain now how KB Electric LLC can fix them 🙂


How to Fix a Double Tapped Breaker

  • Installing an additional breaker to handle one of the circuits (if your main electrical panel has enough room and the amperage for another circuit breaker)
  • Installing a tandem breaker (if your main electrical panel isn’t overloaded and can handle the amperage)
  • Installing a sub panel and adding an additional breaker (if your main electrical panel can handle the additional breaker without being overloaded)
  • Service panel upgrade (if you do not have enough amperage to hold an additional circuit breaker on your main electrical panel or on a sub panel, it’s time for a service panel upgrade)


Not sure which option to choose if you have double tapped breakers? Call KB Electric LLC and we can perform an electrical safety inspection and recommend the best solution. (267) 467-3178