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Upside down Panel


Katanadave27
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I inspected this 1980 home over the weekend and found that the Service Panel was installed upside down. I am having a hard time trying to justify writing this up as I can't find any codes to back up my concern.

Is this something the client should be aware of or am I wrong in the interpretation that the Service panel should always have the service entrance cable entering through the top of panel?

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Hi,

You're wrong. The SEC can come in top bottom or sides. Some panels can be mounted either up and down or on their sides. What determines whether it's rightside up or not depends on the labeling. Unless the labeling says that it must be installed the other way, I wouldn't write it up.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Mike's right, it's perfectly acceptable unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer. I sort of wonder about the ones with the main positioned vertically (there is a rule about "off" being handle-down and "on" being handle-up, but I can't recall if it would apply to a main), but this one is horizontal.

Brian G.

Mostly Horizontal Today [^]

www.accuspecllc.com

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Originally posted by Katanadave27

thanxz guys...I will take your advice and run with it...I will try to check IRC before sending report...but I am comfortable enough not writing it up as well...just needed a 2nd opinion.

As long as the main breaker is horizontal, it's fine.

http://www.squared.com/us/misc/faqInter ... enDocument

http://www.squared.com/us/misc/faqInter ... enDocument

http://www.squared.com/us/misc/faqInter ... enDocument

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Brian G.

Mike's right, it's perfectly acceptable unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer. I sort of wonder about the ones with the main positioned vertically (there is a rule about "off" being handle-down and "on" being handle-up, but I can't recall if it would apply to a main), but this one is horizontal.

Brian G.

Mostly Horizontal Today [^]

www.accuspecllc.com

The rule applies to any circuit breaker regardless of its purpose (main, branch, etc.). If it's oriented vertically, 'up' has to be on and 'down' has to be off.

Ref: NEC 240.81. Since 1978 at least, possibly earlier.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

The rule applies to any circuit breaker regardless of its purpose (main, branch, etc.). If it's oriented vertically, 'up' has to be on and 'down' has to be off.

Ref: NEC 240.81. Since 1978 at least, possibly earlier.

Ah-so. I thought so, but I wasn't 100% sure without looking it up. You da Main. [;)]

Brian G.

CRS Victim [:-dunce]

www.accuspecllc.com

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That is definately a flush mount inside panel and would not be allowed for exterior use.

To expound on mounting a panel upside down, it would would definately not be allowed on a raintight panel because you would have knockouts on the top which could allow water penetration, the exterior cover would open to the bottom restricting access and it would probably catch rain as well.

On an exterior panel you cannot even penetrate the upper two-thirds of a panel unless you use a Myers hub or other approved device that prevents water from entering at the penetration.

Buster

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Good observation from Mark. Clearly, that panel isn't rated for weather exposure.

However. . . I've got to wonder why it looks so good. If one of those panels were mounted outdoors, exposed to the to weather, since 1980 in my climate it wouldn't look anywhere near that good. It'd be rusted all to hell.

Was it a newer replacement panel or was it under some sort of overhang?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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No, it appeared to be from original installation of panel...I did not notice any old panel mounts or any information suggesting it was a newer panel from construction. With that being said...it does appear that this home is some type of investment property because it is owned by a company...so I can assume they do this for a living and probably try to cut corners where they can.

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Hi,

Yeah, it does (IRC 3304.11/NEC 110.22) but the reason nobody has mentioned it is that the deadfront cover might have the labels at the corresponding positions of these breakers or there could be a legend pasted to the door of the panel showing location/purpose of breakers.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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It does appear that the panel is an indoor panel used in an outdoor application. I would also be concerned about all of the splices in the panel box which is not allowed. It also appears that the phases are not properly color coded.

Jimmy Filingeri

Maple Ridge Consulting, LLC

Hopewell Junction, New York

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  • 2 weeks later...

I showed the photo to one of my elect. engineeers, here are his text comments:

Panels can be mounted either way. It is okay to bottom feed a panel. The problem with this is it is a NEMA 1 rated panel, indoor use only. It is not rated for exterior use and is not weather tight. Also, I don't see a ground wire connected anywhere. Also, why not just cut the feeder wires to the correct length versus try to loop it around the panel? Also, the panel appears to be 200 amp and the meter socket is definitely not rated for 200 amps. Too small for that.

That's all from him, not my comments.

Konrad

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Originally posted by Konrad

I showed the photo to one of my elect. engineeers, here are his text comments:

Panels can be mounted either way. It is okay to bottom feed a panel. The problem with this is it is a NEMA 1 rated panel, indoor use only. It is not rated for exterior use and is not weather tight.

I think we all agree on that point.

Also, I don't see a ground wire connected anywhere.

The picture isn't clear enough to see that one way or the other. What you can see is all the equipment grounding conductors gathered together like spaghetti on a fork and shoved under one lug. There could easily be an electrode grounding conductor in there among the weeds.

Also, why not just cut the feeder wires to the correct length versus try to loop it around the panel?

Lazy electrician.

Also, the panel appears to be 200 amp and the meter socket is definitely not rated for 200 amps. Too small for that.

You're engineer needs to get out in the field more. I can't actually read the spec on the meter but it sure looks like a class 200 meter in a 200-amp can to me. Brian G, what do you think?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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