Circuit Breakers & Residential Service Box Question

Hello,
Just had a new residential service box installed; replaced a 30 year old Federal Pacific one which everyone said was not safe.
New box is a GE Powermark Gold Model TLM 2412 CCU (TLM 24 bc) The box is rated for a 125 amp main breaker, and has spaces for 24 1" breakers.
Curious about this:
According to the GE info on their site, and the paperwork that came with the box, the box does not allow for any 1/2" breakers.
Is this simply a case of some model boxes do, and some don't ?
Or, for technical reasons, they are getting away from using 1/2" breakers anywhere, anymore ? If so, why ?
It always seemed like a viable approach if one needed another circuit or two, assuming the capacity of the box was not exceeded.
Might as well also ask this, please. The Electrician was very hard to talk to, or discuss this with.
The two heavy phase wires from the outside meter were led into the box, where, for convenience, or they were just a bit too short, he spliced in about another 6" or so of wire using a short block with two screws type of connector.
He then just taped over this connector block (which "floats along with these two lead in wires until secured at the main breaker)
Is this use of a connector block like this for this purpose "legal" per the NEC code ?
Is just "taping" over it legal ?
Thanks, B.
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Robert11 wrote: ...

Yes.
...
...
Yes, and yes...
--
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*That is correct.

*It is only viable if the the loadcenter is approved for that purpose and even then there are limitations as to the maximum number of circuits.

*What was the deciding factor in choosing this particular electrician for your electrical work?

*Yes, but it was short sided of him not to allow enough slack so that a splice would be not necessary. I doubt that it was planned that way. Was this installation inspected?
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John Grabowski wrote: ...

I expect given it was a replacement that the new box didn't have same form factor as previous and existing feeds were therefore somewhat short. I doubt it is indicative of any shortcoming on the electrician's part.
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I thought that it was an entire service upgrade. You're right.
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You can buy a tandem circuit breaker. It has two circuits in the same 1" form factor. They are available in 15A and 20A.
BRW
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Yes, you can buy them, but they typically have a mechanical interlock on them so they only fit in the spaces in the breaker box where they are permitted by the manufacturer's design. The OP said he had a 24 space box that didn't accept any tandems.
Yours, Wayne
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Robert11 wrote:

So the original service wires are not long enough to reach the service breaker in the replacement service panel and the electrician spliced the service wires in the panel.
This would have been a violation until the 1999 NEC. Is it really acceptable practice now to splice the service wires instead of repulling the wires from the meter. Is there adequate space in the panel? Is there adequate (code required) bending room? Is it safe to work and run wires around a taped up splice block when you add circuits to the panel? Service wires are treated with extra respect (by most people) for a reason.
And if the block constitutes a splice (not terminals) "all splices and joints and the free end of conductors shall be covered with an insulation equivalent to that of the conductor...." Is the tape thick enough to qualify?
What does the inspector say?
To the OP - if you post the same message on more than one newsgroup kindly learn how to crosspost.
--
bud--

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Hi All,
Just a quick thanks for all the info. Appreciate it very much.
Bob --------------------------------------------

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Hey, you cant be using my online name. I'm OP, not you.
I'm the original OP.
wrote:

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