Double Tapped Neutrals: Why They Are A No-No And How To Fix Them
When a licensed electrician like KB Electric LLC performs an electrical safety inspection checklist, one of the items to thoroughly inspect is if there are double tapped neutrals present in a customer’s main electric panel. You may be asking yourself, “what the heck is a double tapped neutral? And why should I care?”
Well, to answer this question, let’s define a double tapped neutral, and explain why you should be concerned if there are any lurking in your panel. These things are a major “no-no”, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. The good news is, a licensed electrician can fix double tapped neutrals to prevent anything hazardous from occurring.
What Is a Double Tapped Neutral?
A double tapped neutral is when more than one neutral wire is fed into a single screw (terminal) on the neutral bus bar in the main electric panel. You can see this clearly in the picture below, as there are multiple neutral wires feeding into a single screw in more than one instance in this spaghetti mess of wires.
Why Are Double Tapped Neutrals a “No-No”/Dangerous?
When more than one neutral wire is fed into a single screw/terminal on the neutral bus bar, the connections can become loose. When there are loose connections in your main panel from a double tapped neutral like this, they can cause overheating or arcing, which can then lead to shock, and an electrical fire.
I Have A Double Tapped Neutral In My Panel, Who Should I Call?
First of all, having double tapped neutrals in your main electric panel is more common than you think. This is because it wasn’t clearly spelled out in the NEC (National Electric Code) until 2002. If your main panel hasn’t been touched since your home was built before 2002, you may have double tapped neutrals in your panel.
If you had an amateur fix some things in your panel who didn’t really know what they were doing because he/she isn’t an electrician (like Uncle Fred), it’s also possible that you have double tapped neutrals in your main panel.
Either way, don’t freak out! There is a fix to this! Hire a licensed electrician TODAY to fix double tapped neutrals in your main electric panel.
A licensed electrician will be able to fix your neutral wires if they are double tapped by moving them around and fitting them correctly. If there aren’t enough holes/fittings for the amount of neutral wires, a licensed electrician will install a new neutral bus bar to fit them in correctly.
Call a licensed and insured electrician like one from KB Electric LLC as soon as possible if you have identified a double tapped neutral so that you and your household are safe from any electrical hazards. (267) 467-3178