[Answered] What Is A Line Side Tap? 

Planning to get a solar panel is always a good thing. You’re thinking about the environment, generating clean energy, and also, saving up on some electric bills. The latter puts a smile on anyone’s face. 

You can get a huge solar system, or get a solar connection if your area has one. This is where it gets a bit tricky if you don’t know anything about connections and other stuff like line side tap. 

What is a line side tap anyway? It’s a special type of connection that is connected to the line side of your main service disconnect. Mostly it is used in places where the electrical lines carry heavy voltage, like solar plants connected to your home. 

We will need to go deep into it to make it more sensible, so here we go. 

what is a line side tap

Line Side Tap, What, Why And Where | Explained 

So, the line side tap is everything but confusing. The simplest way to explain is that it helps your home or commercial building get uninterrupted solar power as well as the regular electric line at the same time. 

Without a line side tap, there would be a huge anomaly between the two and you might end up with only one connection performing, and the other one failing. 

It is connected to your house’s main conductor so that it can regulate both the solar panels to the charger and appliances and the regular electric line as well. 

There are two types of Line Side Tap connections. 

  1. The Parallel Tap Connection. 
  2. The Split Bolt Connection. 

The Parallel Tap Connection

A Parallel Tap connection is like a terminal block that works as a bridge between the electrical service conductors and solar conductors. As it doesn’t require any splitting, slicing, and rewiring, it is the simplest line side tap you will find. This also benefits a more reliable and efficient connection type. Making it easier to work with and safer to live with. 

The Split Bolt Connection

Split bolt connection on the other hand is complex. But it’s less expensive, which makes it a great option. It requires splicing the main electric line conductor, which takes some knowledge and precision but gets the job done. Due to the splicing, the chance of connection problems, and inconvenience can be a regular thing though, just so you know.

Effectiveness And Efficiency Of Line Side Tap

Line side tap is more reliable and efficient, considering load side tap. As the line side tap connects directly with the main and solar, the load side tap does not. So you don’t need special supervision or trouble disconnecting from a load-side tap.

But it also means it won’t provide a reliable and strong connection like a line side tap. The only place where the line side tap fails is its price, which is pretty expensive. This is due to the equipment and experience needed to put it up.  But once you choose it, there is very little room for errors in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers – FAQs

What is the difference between line side and load side tap?

The main difference between the line side tap and the load side tap is line side is a power input while the load side is an output or usage connection.

Is line side and supply side the same?

Yes. The line side and Supply Side is the same thing with a different name but has the same functionality. 

What is the solar 120% rule?

The solar 120% rule means you can connect solar PV equipment to a 120% electrical box safely. 

What is a Hawaiian tie in?

A subpanel with a higher busbar rating installation on your current electric panel is called a Hawaiian tie-in. You get the 120% rule after you have installed a Hawaiian tie-in. 


Line side tap is one of the most important connections for any home or commercial establishment. It. Not only combines both traditional and solar systems but also is highly reliable and safe. But make sure to take professional help as it is a bit tricky to put up.

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