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Damp or Wet Location?


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Howdy gents. Long time no talk.

Came across these panels and can't figure it out.

Panels are located inside the carport on the left. You can seem them on the wal to to the left.

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Only surface rust visible on the covers. . .no rust or corrosion inside.

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This is a "K" so no deferring to an electrician. My call to say whether the panels require replacing or not.

What say you?

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Thank you all. Interesting points.

Yes, I mis-stated. Technically, those are garages not carports (thank you *hesterd*). As a garage, then NEMA Type 1 panels are cool even though there's not a garage door. Per IRC, those are garages, not carports.

There were never garage doors on that building. This is one building (four-plex) in a row of 5 or 6 of these buildings on the street. All identical.

Obviously the AHJ was ok with all buildings.

I want be able to substantiate my final position and can now do so.

Because the panels are located in a garage, NEMA Type 1 are ok there. Also, there is no sign of water troubles.

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As a four-plex, it would not be within the scope of the IRC. Many multi-unit buildings have open carports that are enclosed on three sides.

Regardless, it shouldn't come to a question of how today's codes categorize such a thing. If in your opinion, the panels aren't suitable for that environment, I would say so. If I were in your shoes, my opinion wouldn't be based on code but on performance and the likelihood of future problems. I guess that gets back to the comments at the beginning of this thread.

Douglas Hansen

www.codecheck.com

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Many multi-unit buildings have open carports that are enclosed on three sides.

Now that's interesting. . . isn't that a paradox?

If it's enclosed on three sides, that constitutes a garage, no? At least that's how IRC defines it, (which I understand isn't applicable to a four-plex but it's the most convenient source for me right now).

When I have more time, I'll research other sources for definitions of a garage vs. carport.

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Multi-family is usually in the scope of the IBC which says:

406.1.3 Garages and carports. Carports shall be open on at least two sides. Carport floor surfaces shall be of approved noncombustible material. Carports not open on at least two sides shall be considered a garage and shall comply with the provisions of this section for garages.

Exception: Asphalt surfaces shall be permitted at ground level in carports.

The area of floor used for parking of automobiles or other vehicles shall be sloped to facilitate the movement of liquids to a drain or toward the main vehicle entry doorway.

Go here to read more about IBC and garages: (Don't click on anything there yet, just scroll down.)

http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/icod/ ... =undefined

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Multi-family is usually in the scope of the IBC which says:

406.1.3 Garages and carports. Carports shall be open on at least two sides. Carport floor surfaces shall be of approved noncombustible material. Carports not open on at least two sides shall be considered a garage and shall comply with the provisions of this section for garages.

Exception: Asphalt surfaces shall be permitted at ground level in carports.

The area of floor used for parking of automobiles or other vehicles shall be sloped to facilitate the movement of liquids to a drain or toward the main vehicle entry doorway.

Go here to read more about IBC and garages: (Don't click on anything there yet, just scroll down.)

http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/icod/ ... =undefined

Thanks, Kirby.

So IBC says that structure is a garage and not a carport. NEMA Type 1 panels are good inside of a garage.

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Whether or not those are garages is kind of beside the point.

In our climate, I'd probably be more concerned with the existing condition of the panels, which is likely to be a clue to how they'll perform in the future. I'd also pay attention to the compass bearing. In my region, those panels would get soaked regularly if the opening faced south or west. On the other hand, they'd never get wet if the opening faced north.

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Whether it is a garage or a carport would depend on what name they threw on it when the plans were originally approved, and as Jim says, would be irrelevant. It would only prove that paper will hold still while you write anything on it.

In the coastal areas near here, panels have a fairly short life expectancy just from the moisture in the air. It doesn't seem to make much difference if they are Type 1 in a wood enclosure on the building exterior, or Type 3 with direct exposure. Those distinctions are about whether they are suitable for direct exposure to rain.

The purpose of the original inspection seems to have come down to yes/no kinds of questions. If the rust on the exterior is being replicated inside the breakers, we have a problem. FWIW, in my day job (as an electrical plans examiner) if I saw this come through with Type 1 panels I would change it to Type 3. In the days when this thing was built, I would be surprised if the electrical wasn't simply a design build, with no specific panel types or locations shown on the plans.

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