1/2" Circuit Breaker, & 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:

Panels are tested for a maximum number of 'poles'. For a 125A panel 24 poles would not be uncommon. The panel should be manufactured so 1/2" breakers can not be installed.
A different panel might allow 12 - 1" or 24 - 1/2" breakers (as in a previous post?)
These are "class CTL" (circuit limiting) panels. There may be non-CTL 1/2" breakers that are made for panels before class CTL that will install in your panel (but that would be a code violation and I am sure you wouldnt use them).

Splices in service wires used to be prohibited. The connector block may or may not be used as intended. (For example, maybe it should be secured ot the surface.) *Ask the inspector* about how the work was done. IMHO not refishing the service wires from the meter is at least tacky.
--
bud--


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