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Junction in panel


Chad Fabry
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I inspected an old Queene Anne that had been sodomized, abominized, resized and bastardized into a multiple.

There were three separate service panels for the units. Some of the wiring for one of the units passed through one panel to another. It wasn't connected to anything in the first panel but used the panel enclosure like a chase. It was the least of the problems present but I'd like some input if I ever see this again.

I'd post a photo, but there's no point because even in person it was hard to see and follow the wiring.

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Hi Chad,

Yeah, what Kurt said. Douglas and Jerry Peck used to go round and round and round and round about this issue on the ASHI board time and again. Bottom line, I think Douglas said that it is okay to use a panel as a gutter, as long as you don't exceed 40% of the fill.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I remember those arguments. Peck's position was similar to his contention that a parked car in front of a service panel is a violation of the working space requirement. Stretching for condemnation. When one finds themselves having to stretch to condemn a practice, there is the question of just what one is trying to do.

I'd like to ask Troy what his interpretation is of those sections in the NEC that "answer the question".

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Originally posted by kurt

I remember those arguments. Peck's position was similar to his contention that a parked car in front of a service panel is a violation of the working space requirement. Stretching for condemnation. When one finds themselves having to stretch to condemn a practice, there is the question of just what one is trying to do.

I'd like to ask Troy what his interpretation is of those sections in the NEC that "answer the question".

...and a faded data plate means the condenser should be replaced (another "Peckism")

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I'm glad I didn't write it then. There were other pretty serious problems and even if this turned out to be a defect it was minor by comparison.

The breaker that was buzzing on what was only a memory of a buss bar did make it to the report.

I especially liked the 2 gauge copper feeding a 200 amp main w/ 42 circuits, several of which were for resistance heat. My theory is that they were also using the service entrance as a resistance heater to keep the down spout from freezing.

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Originally posted by Chad Fabry

I inspected an old Queene Anne that had been sodomized, abominized, resized and bastardized into a multiple.

There were three separate service panels for the units. Some of the wiring for one of the units passed through one panel to another. It wasn't connected to anything in the first panel but used the panel enclosure like a chase. It was the least of the problems present but I'd like some input if I ever see this again.

I'd post a photo, but there's no point because even in person it was hard to see and follow the wiring.

The prohibition against this supposedly comes from 312.8.

312.8 Enclosures for Switches or Overcurrent Devices. Enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices shall not be used as junction boxes, auxiliary gutters, or raceways for conductors feeding through or tapping off to other switches or overcurrent devices, unless adequate space for this purpose is provided. The conductors shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 40 percent of the cross-sectional area of the space, and the conductors, splices, and taps shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that space.

The trick phrase here is, “for that purpose.â€

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FROM KURT :

I'd like to ask Troy what his interpretation is of those sections in the NEC that "answer the question".

SORRY FOR TAKING SO LONG FOR A REPLY KURT, OUT OF TOWN ON BUSINESS.

IF you have access to a 2002 or 2005 NEC Handbook, 312.8 in the commentary following the article, it gives an example of the calculation. It also says that most enclosures are intended to accommodate only those conductors that will be connected to switches or overcurrent devices. As for the exammple it states.

If an enclosure has a wiring space of 4in wide by 3in deep, the cross-sectional area is 12in.(squared). Thus, the total conductor fill (see chapter 9,table 5 for demensions of conductors) at any cross section cannot exceed 4.8in.(squared) or 4o% of 12in.(squared) and the maximum for conductors and splices and taps at any cross-section cannot exceed 9in.(squared) 75% of 12in.(squard).

My rule of thumb when inspecting a panel. I usally do not except any junctions in that panel that are not related to that encloser. If it is a juction in a conductor to make it long enough to reach a overcurrent device for example, I will except that. If the panel is so crowded I can't get the cover back on easily, I turn it down not for over fill, but for workmanship. Hope this helps.

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