Don’t panic if your house has Multiwire Branch Circuits

January 17, 2023 | Buyer Inspections

This article is about the multiwire branch circuit wiring technique in home electrics. It is not common. This panel might appear like that you would find at any home, but there is a key difference that a knowledgeable inspector should recognize and explain.But first, let’s cover some basics to set the stage.Conductor -> Wire -> CableA conductor is the metal that carries electricity. That metal is copper or aluminum. A wire is a bare conductor or a conductor covered with a plastic insulator. So, whether we say conductor or wire, it is the same for practical purposes. Two or more wires covered in a sheathing or jacket is a cable as shown.Home electrical systems are mostly single strand insulated copper wires in 2-, 3-, or 4-wire cables. For this topic, we focus on 3-wire cable.Typical use of 3-wire cable3-wire cables are most often used in one of these ways:In 240 Volt … Continued

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Two Ways To Fix 2-Prong Outlets

April 13, 2020 | Electric Inspections

Homes built through the 1950s had ungrounded (2-prong) receptacles. That was the norm then but is an inconvenience today.Chester County Home Inspections often find outlets with Open Ground faults. That occurs when homeowners install 3-prong receptacles in the place of the 2-pronged ones, leaving the grounding conductor open. That is an Open Ground defect as the tester found in this home.You can replace the 2-prong receptacle with a 3-prong one provided that the branch circuit is protected by GFCI. There are two ways to protect the branch circuit: with a GFCI circuit breaker in the panel to protect the entire branch, or with a GFCI receptacle device to protect a part of the branch. In the latter case, all receptacles in the daisy-chain after the GFCI are protected also (but the ones before are obviously not protected). There is an additional requirement that must be met, though.All ungrounded outlets protected … Continued

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