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Old 12-09-2018, 01:19 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by B-Nabs View Post
I don't have a horse in this race because I don't do residential, and I agree it sounds like a pain to reroute conductors to the sides/bottom if the existing wasn't done that way. However, I do understand the rationale of wanting to have some extra protection around the unfused service conductors. You're not just going to have a little pop if something goes wrong, it could be a big boom.
I completely understand what you are saying, it does make sense.

However, in the real world, there simply aren't issues. Service conductors aren't exploding, people aren't getting hurt. It's a non-issue.

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In my area you almost never see a sideways panel. Common practice here is to install it with the main on the bottom, and the service cable run down the adjacent stud space, then over and into that compartment, so the top of the panel is wide open for incoming branch conductors.
Some would say that the extra 5 foot of service cable inside of the wall (where it can be drilled/screwed into) creates more exposure to damage and faulting than the 12" inside of the panel that you are required to cover separately.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:47 PM   #62
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I completely understand what you are saying, it does make sense.

However, in the real world, there simply aren't issues. Service conductors aren't exploding, people aren't getting hurt. It's a non-issue.

Some would say that the extra 5 foot of service cable inside of the wall (where it can be drilled/screwed into) creates more exposure to damage and faulting than the 12" inside of the panel that you are required to cover separately.
We are just used to doing things differently. My last job was a straight pipe in from the meter socket. Sideways panel complied with maximum breaker height. As a matter of fact, a sideways panel allows all breakers to be more or less at eye height. It can make for a nice job. We almost always surface mount our panels, though. It’s simple for us because it has always been this way.

It’s common for us in finished areas to surface mount the panel and then a shallow cabinet is built around it. This is where telsa’s idea of a full sized pre-hung door isn’t completely insane. Whenever possible, I like to hang a piece of plywood from floor to ceiling. That allows extra room for coax, cat5, routers, security, etc. Done well, it could make for a nice job.

The last job I did with a main floor panel, it was beside the fireplace. The wood butchers built a nice cabinet for the panel on one side and a matching cabinet on the other side for wine and collectibles. It turned out well.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:55 PM   #63
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There are so many differences between how they build in California vs. Oregon vs. Oklahoma vs. NY vs. Etc....

Let alone how the build in Canada.
@99cents I get that is how it has always been done, so it works. The buildings have always been built like they have so it is fairly easy to accommodate for the code requirement.

But here they have always been done differently, so it is extremely difficult to accommodate for the code requirement, if they make the box as yours is. 90-95% of the installations in the Cali, Nevada and Arizona (Very similar building styles) would require serious modifications to the buildings to make that code work.

I fail to see how they couldn't accomplish added safety to the panel and at the same time allow access from the top, bottom, and sides. It is amazing what you can do with some molded plastic and screws.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:03 PM   #64
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Where I am they do it in many different ways. The one way that they don't do here is installing a panel flushing mounted (or semi-flush mounted) in an outside wall with the service riser inside of the wall like I have seen on the west coast. But most of the other methods you will find here. Flush mounted in the wall, surface mounted in the garage, surface mounted in the basement, etc.

I doubt the Canadian thing would happen here, it will most likely just be a small compartment around the main breaker, which will still allow us to come in thru the top.

If we did switch to the Canadian method, I would just install a main disco either next to it or outside.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:43 PM   #65
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Of course one of the other issues for us is that we can't put all the branch circuits through a single opening that I have seen on many installations in the USA; say all 15 branch circuit wires going into a single 2" KO. Our cables must enter the panel with a connector, either individually or sometimes in pairs.

While that is not necessarily part of this conversation, it is another example of how additional labour and material is added to our jobs that is not a requirement in some installations I have seen in the USA. It is time consuming on a straight panel swap, but if you have to do it twice because the cables are too short to go to the sides or bottom it just adds to the situation.

As was mentioned previously, we rarely see recessed panels and I would say we rarely see cable from the meter socket to the panel; almost exclusively PVC conduit. If we wanted to go to a MLO panel for residential, (which would be a huge cost increase compared to a SE panel) we would likely have to go with some sort of C01 type combination meter socket and disconnect... huge bucks in this part of the world.

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Last edited by Navyguy; 12-09-2018 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:58 PM   #66
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Of course one of the other issues for us is that we can't put all the branch circuits through a single opening that I have seen on many installations in the USA; say all 15 branch circuit wires going into a single 2" KO. Our cables must enter the panel with a connector, either individually or sometimes in pairs.

While that is not necessarily part of this conversation, it is another example of how additional labour and material is added to our jobs that is not a requirement in some installations I have seen in the USA.
FWIW, that is not actually allowed anywhere as far as I know.

Some areas might not fail you for it, but the NEC does not allow it and I doubt any jurisdiction amended the code or put it into writing that makes that installation method acceptable.
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:34 PM   #67
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FWIW, that is not actually allowed anywhere as far as I know.

Some areas might not fail you for it, but the NEC does not allow it and I doubt any jurisdiction amended the code or put it into writing that makes that installation method acceptable.
They do it all over here, but it isn't allowed. They finally started cracking down on it. On some of those all in one panels we use here, there is only a few K/O's to use, and on many panels you get like 4-5 1/2" K/O's a 1" and then a concentric to 2".

So for a long time they have let it slip. But last couple I have replaced they are double checking to see what we have done, as they don't want everyone in one K/O any longer. Again on this, just like for the top part being unusable, it is a space issue.
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:40 PM   #68
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They do it all over here, but it isn't allowed. They finally started cracking down on it. On some of those all in one panels we use here, there is only a few K/O's to use, and on many panels you get like 4-5 1/2" K/O's a 1" and then a concentric to 2".

So for a long time they have let it slip. But last couple I have replaced they are double checking to see what we have done, as they don't want everyone in one K/O any longer. Again on this, just like for the top part being unusable, it is a space issue.
Dennis brought up something a while back which makes sense. For all the panels surface-mounted on the outside of houses, it would be pretty bad to have to make so many individual holes in the sheathing in order to bring many cables into the panel vis separate KOs. Having just one large hole is a lot easier to seal and won't turn the house into swiss cheese.
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:47 PM   #69
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Dennis brought up something a while back which makes sense. For all the panels surface-mounted on the outside of houses, it would be pretty bad to have to make so many individual holes in the sheathing in order to bring many cables into the panel vis separate KOs. Having just one large hole is a lot easier to seal and won't turn the house into swiss cheese.
They don't seal a thing here... cut a hole, slap on some silicone, your good to go!

They have a few surface mounted where the cables are coming in from behind, but most are flush mounted. So the cables can come in from the top/bottom.

Most of the surface mounted ones have a maze of conduit coming in from all directions as well as the cables coming in from behind. Makes for really ugly retrofits. You end up with Jboxes and conduit all over the side of peoples homes.
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:50 AM   #70
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Recently finished the code update and it looks like the US will be joining our brothers to the north in placing a shield or cover in panels to cover the lugs of service entrance cables. Might not be a whole isolated compartment like the weirdos to the north and there is no word on if any others cables will be allowed into area as its more to protect from live parts but it looks like 2020 is when it will be introduced
This is already in the 2017 NEC. The lug covers the manufacture provides with every service panel are a code requirement.
2017 Article 408.3(A)(2)
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Old 12-11-2018, 01:25 PM   #71
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This is already in the 2017 NEC. The lug covers the manufacture provides with every service panel are a code requirement.
2017 Article 408.3(A)(2)

Agree but now there is talk of a compartment to totally cover the area like the Canadiens use
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