• Gabe Semenza

Double-lugging: A hidden concern inside your home's electrical panel

Based on the age of the home, I can regularly predict the type of electrical deficiencies I'll find inside its electrical panel(s). Not always, but commonly.


One of those common deficiencies is double-lugging. Some professionals use the term double-tapping to describe it. Double-lugging occurs when two or more wires are connected to a breaker that is only rated for one wire.


These two photos show you what the deficiency looks like. Note the bottom breaker in each photo. Two wires terminate incorrectly within the breaker's screw/lug. The top breaker in each photo shows correct installation - one wire installed instead of two.


Examples of double-lugging:

The bottom breaker is double-lugged.

Double-lugging can cause breakers/wires to malfunction and even spark.

Unless the breaker is specifically listed to safely handle two wires, I report this finding as "deficient" and recommend further evaluation by a qualified electrician.


Double-lugging can become problematic because multiple wires under one screw/lug do not always have enough contact area against the screw/lug. This can lead to arcing and overheating.


As I've mentioned in a previous post, the electrical system, to me, is one of if not the most important systems in the home. Correcting these types of issues is in my opinion key to maintaining a home that is a safe as it can be.


If you are unsure whether your electrical panels and related breakers and wires are installed correctly and to modern standards, you should call a qualified electrician or me. I perform electrical inspections for $125.


For that low price, I inspect the electrical panels but also all these electrical system components: CLICK HERE.


Thanks for reading -


Gabe Semenza, InterNACHI certified home inspector and radon tester

406-240-7940

gabe@inspectmissoulamt.com


#MissoulaHomeInspectors #Missoula #HomeInspection #ElectricalInspection