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Circuit Breaker Pnl


BlackJack
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When I inspected this breaker panel, I called it out for gutter tap and wire nuts in the breaker panel and no GFCI outlets in the house, and a few other things. This is a newer Circuit breakes panel replacement so they called the electrician that did the replacement back. He called me and I suggested to him that he could install a wire chase to make his connections. He said I was mistaken, that his wiring posed no threat and that regardless of the fact that the electrical had been upgraded; the age of the house precluded the replacement of the GFCIs. I asked him to certify the electrical system in writing. What do you guys think? Comments please.

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Originally posted by BlackJack

When I inspected this breaker panel, I called it out for gutter tap and wire nuts in the breaker panel and no GFCI outlets in the house, and a few other things. This is a newer Circuit breakes panel replacement so they called the electrician that did the replacement back. He called me and I suggested to him that he could install a wire chase to make his connections. He said I was mistaken, that his wiring posed no threat and that regardless of the fact that the electrical had been upgraded; the age of the house precluded the replacement of the GFCIs. I asked him to certify the electrical system in writing. What do you guys think? Comments please.

You're wrong about the wire nuts on the branch circuit conductors. There's no problem with making such necessary splices in the panel enclosure. I suggest you revise your reporting.

The spliced grounding wire is wrong. There should either be a new full-length grounding conductor or the splice has to be of the non-reversible type.

As for the GFCIs, local codes will generally dictate how much upgrading is necessary before the requirement for GFCIs kicks in. Regardless, I think you're smart to call for them even if there hasn't been any upgrading. I'd tell him that the basis of your recommendation regarding GFCIs is one of safety for the new occupants, not the requirements of the code.

Personally, I think that asking trades people to certify things in writing is kind of useless. It does nothing to serve the customer's best interest.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by BlackJack

Split Bolts, gutter taps, splice bolts, gutter splices all the same thing.

TREC SOP call for reporting of all pigtail connections.

I'm not in Texas, but I was curious. The only thing I coild find somewhat related in the TREC SOP for electrical was...

" (7) report as in need of repair the absence of appropriate connections, such as copper/aluminum approved devices, pig-tailed connections or crimp connections; and the absence of anti-oxidants on aluminum conductor terminations; and " My bold.

Nothing says anything about reporting the presence of pig-tails in a panel or anywhere else.

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Chuck,

I agree that wire nut connections in panel are no problem, but I could swear I see 3 or 4 neutrals in a few of those connections. Am I seeing things?

Having all of those grounds crammed into that one big split bolt is just plain wrong. Very unprofessional, unreliable for grounding, and you can bet your favorite ladder the split bolt is not rated for 57 #12's (none are).

I always recommend the GFCI's, code or no code, for safety reasons. Who buys them or installs them, or even if they don't, is not our issue. Hopefully if the seller won't, the client will. The few chances I've had to to talk to sellers about this I've urged them to consider their own potential liability. A $10 GFCI can negate a million dollars in potential liabilty...a no-brainer.

Brian G.

Good at No-Brainers [:-boggled

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Chuck,

I tend to agree with you on the wire nuts. I remember somthing about continuity and conductors being continuous in Equipment Panels and somewhere else in the NEC not to be used as junction boxes, which is what they turn into with wirenuts. Furthermore, then fill would probably become an issue as well as being able to clearly identify each circuit. The Ground thingy is out, and GFCI's you can never have enough of...........good call!!

I call out splices everytime,(if the owner did not want to pay for a re-wire to first conection/splice, it's not our problem)and as far as talking with electricians, I believe (if I'm not mistaken) A permit has to be issued to change(alterate or modify) any electrical system as well be approved by a local building official. As Neal stated, you did your job, If the client is truly concerned, have them call a code enforcement officer.

P.S. Brian!!!!! What is up with that cat mask thing???!!!! It's hesterical!!!! LMAO, ROFL!!!!

P.S.S. Can you get me one!!!????

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My opinion:

Pigtails are not a problem. A great method is to add a junction box or tray for those connections but not required.

Spliced grounding wire, WRONG

As far as GFCI protection I don't call it out as a defect but I do recommend it for safety enhancement as the home was built prior to that requirement.

Sounds like the electrician is under the listing agent's thumb. A good electrician will take the time to recommend the GFCI upgrade for safety to the seller. The only guys that walk away from business are those that are keeping the realtors happy.

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Originally posted by Bradd Judd

P.S. Brian!!!!! What is up with that cat mask thing???!!!! It's hesterical!!!! LMAO, ROFL!!!!

P.S.S. Can you get me one!!!????

I was just replacing the boring photo of me that's been up here for a couple of years with a favorite one of my boy. The mask came from the St. Louis Zoo two years ago, so I don't know if you can get one or not.

Brian G.

Discoverer of the Kudzu Tiger [^] [:-tiger]

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Originally posted by Brian G.

Chuck,

I agree that wire nut connections in panel are no problem, but I could swear I see 3 or 4 neutrals in a few of those connections. Am I seeing things?

I count three white wires per red wire nut. At each one, two come in from the left and one goes out to the right. I don't see a problem with this, do you?

Having all of those grounds crammed into that one big split bolt is just plain wrong. Very unprofessional, unreliable for grounding, and you can bet your favorite ladder the split bolt is not rated for 57 #12's (none are).

Oh! I missed that. When I saw the split bolt, I immediatly thought it was the grounding electrode conductor.

Of course there's also the bundle of NM coming in through the single knock out. That's wrong too.

Back to the splices in the panel. They're allowed to be there, really. If anyone here is of the opinion that they can't be there, please post a reference.

Here's my reference:

NEC 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 throuch 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 corss-sectional area of that space.id="blue">

I've never seen a panel that was filled to 75% of its cross sectional area with conductors, splices and taps. It seems to me that you'd need a hydraulic press or something similar to cram that much stuff into a panel enclosure. Certainly the enclosure in BlackJack's picture doesn't even come close.

If someone has a reference that contradicts this, please post it. If the TREC standards require reporting this, please post the applicable section.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Hi,

I routinely recommend upgrading unprotected circuits with GFCI's where they were originally not required by code. It's a no-brainer. You can purchase 3 of them for about $25. and it takes a good electrician about 15 minutes apiece to install 'em. Considering the fact that they've saved literally hundreds of thousands of lives since they were first invented, they are cheap insurance. If they weren't required when the home was new, I just tell the client that and recommend the client install them anyway.

Personally, I don't care who installs 'em. I just recommend 'em and if the client wants to be petty enough to demand the seller install them, it's no skin off of my nose. If the seller does install them in a circumstance such as that and is pissing and moaning about it, I just say, "Shame on you for letting yourself get bulldozed, 'cuz I never told the client to demand you install them." If they step up to the plate and do it and don't gripe about it, good for them. If a client comes to me demanding that I give him something in writing telling the seller that they need to be installed, and they weren't required when the home was new and there haven't been any remodels or upgrades that would have required them, I refuse and tell the client to get a grip. After all, they're typically spending over $350,000 on a home. Why are they nit-picking about $25. buck worth of material and half an hour of an electrician's time when there are more pressing matters to be concerned with?

As far as those splices - splices in the panel are permitted as long as they don't take up too much gutter space. Those don't. In fact, compared to most panels around here where the old panel has been replaced and remodels have been done, that panel has very little fill. Mr. Hansen says:

In general, proper workmanship would include running conductors to their terminals without the need for any splices. Often that goal is not possible, particularly when an older panel has been updated. The NEC does allow splices in the gutter space of the enclosure provided the overall amount of wired does not exceed 40% of the space. In practice, 40% fill would be stuffed so full of wire that the panel will be crowded. Taps from a splice are also allowed. The splicing or tap devices cannot occupy more than 75% of the gutter space at any one cross-sectional area of the panel. The practical effect of that rule is to require staggering the tap blocks so they are not stacked on top of each other.
As for the split bolt and all of those EGC's - that's just plain dumb. All this electrician had to do was install a ground bus horizontally under the main bus instead of splicing everything together like that. If it were me, I'd have recommended just that and wouldn't have been concerned with the spliced grounded (neutral) conductors.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

I count three white wires per red wire nut. At each one, two come in from the left and one goes out to the right. I don't see a problem with this, do you?

Nah, it just bothers me. Why wouldn't you simply splice and terminate each one individually? Would that be so hard? What if the total load on the 2 exceeds the allowable rating for the 1 (unlikely, but possible)? This method seems rather lazy and sloppy to me, which fits right in with the rest of the work.

Brian G.

Electrical Is a Bad Place to Cut Corners [:-dunce]

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