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Distribution Panel As Junction Box?


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I was recently inspecting a 1950's bungalow that had a new Distribution panel installed in the utility room. They used the old distribution panel as a junction box to tie the new wiring to the old. The breakers were removed and the service wire went directly to the new box.

Does a distribution panel make a legal junction box?

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I just spoke to an local electrician and he said the building code requires a CSA approved junction box. So by the building code it most likely wouldn't be accepted. He also added the arrangement was somewhat common.

The key to that mess is whether the work was done under a permit or not. If a permit was in place for the change, then the installation has been blessed by an authority, end of story.

The present-day authority might not accept it, but there is no obligation to rework what was accepted in the past, especially if there is no hazard.

No permit, an electrician needs to bring everything up to the new standards with a permit for the repairs.

CSA approval is open to interpretation as well. The old panel was certainly an approved enclosure when it was a breaker box. The cover needs to be altered and that alteration is not CSA approved, unless they filled all the holes with factory plugs.

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I agree with your assessment. The issue is it's difficult to determine during the inspection what was (if anything) approved by the local authority. The ESA stickers are some indication, but they're rarely filled out and I have no way of confirming them.

In general I don't pay to much attention to what the local authorities approved or not because of this.

In this case there were openings in the side and cover of the panel which needed to be filled as well. So I asked for it to be corrected and informed them that they may need to switch the box.

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