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Old 09-19-2016, 10:58 AM   #1
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Question Wires for future service expansion.........

Two of the six breaker/disconnects on a 480/277 service entry switchboard are for future expansion. What is the correct way per NEC to terminate the wires from these breakers. Must I run them to a box, identify the source breaker, and just seal them with insulation tape????? We do not want to have to get the POCO out to remove primary power while working in the switchboard to hook up to those breakers in a future expansion. Also is there a special splicing J-Box with A, B, C, N ,G lugs specially for this purpose?????
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:40 PM   #2
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I dead end wires with the same scheme I use to terminate in motor pecker heads. It is 100 perfect safe that way and if any one says anything I can just ask them how they want me to re-terminate all the motors in their facility. That and a LOTO should satisfy all but the most persnickity of backseat electricians.
I can't think of any code issues that would change things just because it's a main breaker. It's nothing I've ever researched though.
If this is for future expansion I'm not sure why you have to have conductors even connected to the breaker. Just leave them out. There's no reason you can't connect to the load side of a breaker without getting the poco involved. Unless it's like a company policy or out some weird local poco thing.... why can't you just run the conductors and hook then up later? I'm not belligerent, I'm genuinely curious.

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Old 09-19-2016, 02:17 PM   #3
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I dead end wires with the same scheme I use to terminate in motor pecker heads. It is 100 perfect safe that way and if any one says anything I can just ask them how they want me to re-terminate all the motors in their facility. That and a LOTO should satisfy all but the most persnickity of backseat electricians.
I can't think of any code issues that would change things just because it's a main breaker. It's nothing I've ever researched though.
If this is for future expansion I'm not sure why you have to have conductors even connected to the breaker. Just leave them out. There's no reason you can't connect to the load side of a breaker without getting the poco involved. Unless it's like a company policy or out some weird local poco thing.... why can't you just run the conductors and hook then up later? I'm not belligerent, I'm genuinely curious.

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The electrical safe work rules are the reason. You can't work in that panel while it is energized and since it is the service panel the only way it can be de-energized is to have the utility company kill the service.
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Old 09-19-2016, 02:27 PM   #4
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I would just run a set of conductors properly sized by amperage out to a jbox and wire nut the conductors off.
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Old 09-19-2016, 04:05 PM   #5
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The electrical safe work rules are the reason. You can't work in that panel while it is energized and since it is the service panel the only way it can be de-energized is to have the utility company kill the service.
" electrical safe work rules" by that phrase do you mean common sense or is there an official program that goes by that name? Closest I found was osha safe work practices.

I don't think anyone would disagree that de energizing is the safest bet. in many cases though it's just not practical. In some cases (life support systems and such) it's just not possible. Things are changing of course but the number of places that would rather shut down their plant then let us wire a breaker with the switch gear on is still a big minority.

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Old 09-19-2016, 05:03 PM   #6
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" electrical safe work rules" by that phrase do you mean common sense or is there an official program that goes by that name? Closest I found was osha safe work practices.

I don't think anyone would disagree that de energizing is the safest bet. in many cases though it's just not practical. In some cases (life support systems and such) it's just not possible. Things are changing of course but the number of places that would rather shut down their plant then let us wire a breaker with the switch gear on is still a big minority.

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OSHA requires the company to have a work safety policy. OSHA's own model policy, which almost every company adopts although there are alternatives, makes it nearly impossible to justify hot work. And wiring inside the energized panel, even to the load side of an open breaker, is hot work.
Then there is the issue of arc flash hazard and the required protection. The potential arc flash energy inside a service panel with no useful OCPD on the service wires themselves is likely high enough to make it either prohibited or awfully difficult (gloves and suit) to work effectively. An arc on the load side of a service disconnect breaker could fairly easily spread to involve the unfused line side wiring.
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Old 09-19-2016, 05:41 PM   #7
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" electrical safe work rules" by that phrase do you mean common sense or is there an official program that goes by that name? Closest I found was osha safe work practices.

I don't think anyone would disagree that de energizing is the safest bet. in many cases though it's just not practical. In some cases (life support systems and such) it's just not possible. Things are changing of course but the number of places that would rather shut down their plant then let us wire a breaker with the switch gear on is still a big minority.

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Both OSHA and 70E say you cannot work on energized equipment except for some very limited exceptions. It is highly unlikely that this would fall under those exceptions.

As far as it not being possible to schedule an outage, what happens when you work it energized and there is an incident that results in an unplanned outage? (and I am talking specifically about things like things like life support equipment)
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Old 09-19-2016, 05:52 PM   #8
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He wouldn't be working on energized parts. He would be in the restricted approach boundary and possible in the prohibited approach boundary. In the prohibited approach boundary he would have to have insulated tools but still would not be on energized parts. It would be a giant pain in the ass but not something that couldn't be done.
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:56 PM   #9
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He wouldn't be working on energized parts. He would be in the restricted approach boundary and possible in the prohibited approach boundary. In the prohibited approach boundary he would have to have insulated tools but still would not be on energized parts. It would be a giant pain in the ass but not something that couldn't be done.
Seems over kill just going by how many guys work 100% in the real world. I know things change with the times but some things are way over the top.
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:32 AM   #10
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I can't imagine how many I-line breakers I have installed hot. Never really even thought twice.
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:59 AM   #11
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i can't imagine how many i-line breakers i have installed hot. Never really even thought twice.
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:43 AM   #12
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Seems over kill just going by how many guys work 100% in the real world. I know things change with the times but some things are way over the top.
It isn't something I would want to do but it is possible. With the proper guarding the risk is relatively low. Nothing prohibits it.

However if you did the calculations in most cases you will find that it may be prohibited due to to much potential arc blast power.

It kinda makes me wish we had the line side guarding like the do in Canada on panels.
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:18 AM   #13
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It kinda makes me wish we had the line side guarding like the do in Canada on panels.
Please never say that again.
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:29 PM   #14
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Sometimes I think that would be nice.
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Old 09-21-2016, 09:54 PM   #15
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Please never say that again.
Apparently you have never fried a fishtape.
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Old 09-22-2016, 03:08 AM   #16
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Apparently you have never fried a fishtape.
If he hasn't I'm sure he has seen it done more than once like the rest of us.
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:45 AM   #17
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If he hasn't I'm sure he has seen it done more than once like the rest of us.
Have you ever been dumb enough to grab the price stuck in the conduit and try to pull it out? I had burn marks for a while from doing that. I dunno why I didn't think it would be hot.

Now they have these fancy insulated fishtailed.
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Old 09-22-2016, 02:15 PM   #18
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Have you ever been dumb enough to grab the price stuck in the conduit and try to pull it out? I had burn marks for a while from doing that. I dunno why I didn't think it would be hot.

Now they have these fancy insulated fishtailed.
I've seen my jman standing in water in a flooded basement shove his fishtape (with cut off end) into a splice in an old 3" iron jbox and the open fuse box behind him flash like a photobulb. I'm lucky in that I have never done it myself but have seen that type thing happen far too often.

Demoing all the unneeded wiring in a large Bell Tel central office mechanical room [walk-in air handler], while my helper was cutting out empty conduits he cut through a 3 phase 480v circuit. There was all kind sof havoc at that point. The breaker that tripped made an old knockout hit the buss and sent it flying across the room. It was a crazy chain reaction that we didn't know all the results of until the following day.

I'm a fiberglass fish guy myself when around live components.
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