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Old 06-20-2019, 08:47 AM   #21
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If a piece of equipment is sold complete with a matching control box, yes, you are required to use it. A MUA air unit, however, is sold as a stand alone unit as is the exhaust fan. It’s up to the installer to figure out how to control it. MUA usually comes with a current sensing relay and duct sensor thrown in as parts.

If I have to put parts into two separate enclosures, so be it. I’m not paying for certification (not to mention wait time, which makes it impossible on fast track jobs).

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Old 06-20-2019, 08:52 AM   #22
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I am actually pretty neutral on the whole thing.

I get that it is a cash grab of sorts, but on the other hand I get that you don't want a bunch of yahoos jamming controls in a box and saying "good to go" either.

When you start doing this sort of thing, you need to look at box size, cooling, arc flash, LOTO, etc.

I think as a group of pretty smart people we can all build something that works, but I am not convinced that we would take into consideration all the other issues that are required.

Cheers
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:54 AM   #23
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Quote:
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Not a single thing that you mentioned here is different when they are installed in different enclosures vs. the same enclosure. If anything, installing them in different enclosures exposes them to higher risk of potential issues.

Why are you defending this nonsense?

I agree, but you are misapplying that statement.


Like I said, often everything is fine even when they are all in one enclosure. But also, many times when someone builds a control cabinet there are many things that need to be looked at.

I don’t think I can explain it any better than I have. I’m sorry if you don’t understand that.




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Old 06-20-2019, 08:58 AM   #24
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I am actually pretty neutral on the whole thing.

I get that it is a cash grab of sorts, but on the other hand I get that you don't want a bunch of yahoos jamming controls in a box and saying "good to go" either.

When you start doing this sort of thing, you need to look at box size, cooling, arc flash, LOTO, etc.

I think as a group of pretty smart people we can all build something that works, but I am not convinced that we would take into consideration all the other issues that are required.

Cheers
John
There has to be better rules than just number of components in a box. This is HVAC control, nothing special. I broke that rule already. Inspectors wanted to make sure it worked. They didn’t open the box to count components.
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:58 AM   #25
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Like I said, often everything is fine even when they are all in one enclosure. But also, many times when someone builds a control cabinet there are many things that need to be looked at.

I don’t think I can explain it any better than I have. I’m sorry if you don’t understand that.
I understand that you haven't given a single reason why it is ok to put them all in different enclosures but not the same.

You can keep saying "many times when someone builds a control cabinet there are many things that need to be looked at.", but you haven't explained why those same things don't need to be looked at when installing the exact same devices in different enclosures.

Honestly, you're just blindly defending the rule.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:00 AM   #26
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Did anybody mention wire bending space and heat dissipation? Most of the time building a control box will be fine if it is planned out well. However I have seen boxes with one too many starters so that you could not wire or inspect anything. Now throw in a PLC and some timers. Think of a 100 watt light bulb in a 60 watt fixture. It will work and it use to be done all the time.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:13 AM   #27
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Did anybody mention wire bending space and heat dissipation? Most of the time building a control box will be fine if it is planned out well. However I have seen boxes with one too many starters so that you could not wire or inspect anything. Now throw in a PLC and some timers. Think of a 100 watt light bulb in a 60 watt fixture. It will work and it use to be done all the time.
My opinion is that this is a rule that an inspector keeps in his back pocket and uses it at his discretion. Blindly following a rule for a few contactors in a box doesn’t relate to the intention of the rule in the first place.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:29 AM   #28
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There has to be better rules than just number of components in a box. This is HVAC control, nothing special. I broke that rule already. Inspectors wanted to make sure it worked. They didn’t open the box to count components.
I think the "multiple components" idea is not a rule but a trigger to invoke other rules that are not covered by the CEC. I am sure that are lots of rules in panel / control building... I don't know what they are.

It is similar to the discussion in the other thread about the NEBC, nothing in the code says you need all that stuff, but the commercial lighting is a trigger to invoke the NEBC rules as required.

I have broken the rule(s) many times too over the years. If anything I probably over did the install; always thinking how I would feel if I had to come back and work on this thing... but never once did I consider the cooling or arc flash requirements or consider the AIC rating of the fuse block or main breaker, etc.

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Old 06-20-2019, 09:56 AM   #29
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My experience in this province is that common sense prevails. I hope we’re not going the other way.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:53 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navyguy View Post
I am actually pretty neutral on the whole thing.

I get that it is a cash grab of sorts, but on the other hand I get that you don't want a bunch of yahoos jamming controls in a box and saying "good to go" either.

When you start doing this sort of thing, you need to look at box size, cooling, arc flash, LOTO, etc.

I think as a group of pretty smart people we can all build something that works, but I am not convinced that we would take into consideration all the other issues that are required.

Cheers
John
We are electricians. The first two bold things I made from your post, we can purchase and install out of properly engineered boxes and controls which are tested to contain fires. No different than when some yahoo overfills a box with splices and wire nuts. Both could cause problems, both should be inspected by the local inspector for compliance.
Which brings me to my last and third bold of your post. We pay for permits and inspections. Let the local inspector do his job. If you leave open ko's in your control panel boxes, or use oversized fuses in them, he should be the one to catch that and nix it, not a third party inspection that slows down and adds mountains of cost to what would otherwise be normal cost to the end user. It worked fine in the past. As for arc flash- it is all found in chapters one thru 4 of the NEC and I'm sure you Canucks code is similar. If we follow code it will be compliant what we build. If somebody makes homemade relays the inspector's job is to pick that off. Hax is 100% right on the money about this issue- it's insanity to defend the third party approvals.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:54 AM   #31
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Wow, it looks like I struck a nerve.

A few points that haven't been mentioned yet...

I'm not sure about the Intertek / CSA inspectors where you are but the ones here don't do much of an inspection. They show up, look for little CSA / UL symbols on each component, give the box a stern look and ultimately affix their little blue sticker. I'm an engineer and my business is safety and bureaucracy but I can't figure out how this is making anything safer.

The little relays and contactors have been deliberately designed, tested and built to be stuffed into little boxes and connected to wires. This little interlock box is the EXACT intention of these relays and contactors. They are being used precisely how the manufacturer intended. There is nothing in the relay / contactor datasheets that says that they need dedicated separate boxes.

According to the CEC appendix, CEC handbook and PS Knight's book, the intent of rule 2-024 is to get special inspections if you MODIFY packaged units or use non-CSA approved components. If you cut a cord end off and hard wire a device, this is a modification. If you cut off and splice through a quick-connect, this is a modification. If you change the contactor in a pre-built motor starter to a different coil voltage, this is a modification. I can't understand how installing multiple compliant relays in a single box is outside of their intended purpose.

Thanks for the discussion everyone. I'm glad to see support for both sides.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:07 PM   #32
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I think that if you put more than one splice of #12 conductors into a Carlon blue box , or a steel 4" square one, then you should have to send out the box for approval to UL for approval that you used proper components and checked by them for arc flash compliance before the dangerous box is put into use in the field. There are dangers involved. You people don't understand what's at stake here.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:08 PM   #33
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I brought around 20 to 30 conductors into a big box and spliced them all with wire nuts. Below that, I mounted a box with three contactors and a relay. Which one is more dangerous?
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:15 PM   #34
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I brought around 20 to 30 conductors into a big box and spliced them all with wire nuts. Below that, I mounted a box with three contactors and a relay. Which one is more dangerous?
You would have to split those 30 conductors into 30 different boxes, then it would be safe. It certainly wouldn't have the same degree of danger or possibly more, oh no...
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:45 PM   #35
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I understand the argument from the guys who feel there should be no special inspection for common stuff, but where do we draw the line? What about building a control cabinet with transformers and fuses and contactors running multiple different circuits, is that OK too? No special inspection needed?

Yes most often, like @908Eng said, the inspector just takes a quick look and all is good. But other times not all is good. Like two separate feeds to the box, so instead he wants one feed to the box and then have it split up inside with fuse blocks, or sometimes the transformer in there is not grounded or fused properly and wire sizes are incorrect. Sometimes the equipment used is incorrect for the application, box fill, I mean the list goes on, where do we draw the line?
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Old 06-20-2019, 03:21 PM   #36
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...we can purchase and install out of properly engineered boxes and controls which are tested to contain fires. No different than when some yahoo overfills a box with splices and wire nuts. Both could cause problems, both should be inspected by the local inspector for compliance.
Actually there is a difference, one is in the electrical code and one is not; at least up here anyway.

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We pay for permits and inspections. Let the local inspector do his job. If you leave open ko's in your control panel boxes, or use oversized fuses in them, he should be the one to catch that and nix it, not a third party inspection that slows down and adds mountains of cost to what would otherwise be normal cost to the end user.
You are correct, we do pay for permits and inspections and the local inspector will look at it; just not the electrical inspector (in our case). All inspections are "third-party", so there is not difference from a policy standpoint. Up here, this is the cost of doing business.

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It worked fine in the past. As for arc flash- it is all found in chapters one thru 4 of the NEC and I'm sure you Canucks code is similar. If we follow code it will be compliant what we build. If somebody makes homemade relays the inspector's job is to pick that off. Hax is 100% right on the money about this issue- it's insanity to defend the third party approvals.
Your code is different then ours, and we do not have any requirements in the CEC. In fact panel building is a separate trade here and there is a certification process to have your shop deemed certified "panel building shop".

Like I said, I really don't have a horse in this race, I think I could totally build a safe and properly functioning control panel; but I am not familiar with all the special requirements to do it according to a specified code.

Cheers
John
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:54 PM   #37
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Technically, a control panel should be built and approved on CSA C22.2 #286 ( I had to google that ! )
I've built 100s of control panels, and the only ones that needed special approval were the ones built as a manufacturer (so they were being sold as a finished product), and as I mentioned earlier, a control panel made as an electrical interlock for traffic lights. The realys etc, were not listed as interlock equipment, therefore the approval was required.
Your application, you are using CSA listed relays for their intended purpose.

From the letter you recieved :
Quote:
The consensus was: “typically all electrical products not certified to be used together and assembled into an enclosure to create a product, requires approval.”
This is valid IMO

But then the RMWB interprets that as :
Quote:
it was decided that if there is more than one component in a box it is therefore considered an assembly and would require an approval
That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Would 2 light switches in a box require special approval ??


Although their interpretation is 'mucked' , you still have made a control system, and IMO requires approval ... just like 1 out of every 1,000,000 panels get around here (note cynicism ). Not sure if your contractor pissed off the inspector, or if he's just not getting any ...

You can try to contact Alberta safety council, and/or CSA and challenge their interpretation, but if adding separate boxes for each relay and contactors satisfies them, probably the best way to finalize the job.


If they go for the 'system' just moved to separate boxes, that is just the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard . SMH
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:50 PM   #38
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For inspection, write “splice box” on the cover of your enclosure. After inspection, flip it the other way and write “HVAC control”.
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:25 PM   #39
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My friend just sent me this




Inspected and approved!
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:32 PM   #40
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And how many more people will blindly defend this idiocy???
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