Jump to content

Wire Nut Splices in Breaker Box


jbpoage
 Share

Recommended Posts

I trained with a number of inspectors before I launched out on my own. One item I definately remember from a couple of them was that splices in a breaker box need to be protected by electrical tape.

I have been searching myself silly in the IRC and NEC code books, to no avail. I don't find that anywhere. I think this was a wrong call.

Anybody have a clue one way or another on whether this is allowed or not?

Thx

Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chad's right:

Splices should be protected by wire nuts, not electrician's tape. I hear a lot of inspectors complaining that splices aren't allowed in the electrical panel at all, but I've never heard anyone argue that splices are OK so long as they are wrapped in the cheap plastic tape that provides almost as much protection as half a condom.

For that reason I don't think you'll find the "allowable-with-electrician's-tape" reference in the NEC or IRC, but I bet if we invoke the name of the Right Reverend Katen, he'll quote us a little applicable chapter and verse.

And when he passes the plate, be kind...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jimmy,

I don't know about the Right Reverend, but here's what hizonner Sir Douglas of Hansen says about splices in panels.

This is taken from Page 4.24 of Electrical Inspection of Existing Dwellings - Panelboard Wiring:

Splices & Taps

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 wire 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 [373-8]. 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.

This is taken from page 5.16 - Splices:
The splice points and terminations are the weak spot of any wiring system. Wire-to-wire splices are usually made with wire nuts, through grounding conductors may be spliced using simpler devices such as barrel crimps. Many older wiring systems used nothing more than electrical tape to make connections inside boxes. AS the tape adhesive slowly dries out, these connections can lose their insulation the first time the wiring is disturbed, such as replacement of a switch or receptacle.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by jbpoage

I trained with a number of inspectors before I launched out on my own. One item I definately remember from a couple of them was that splices in a breaker box need to be protected by electrical tape.

I have been searching myself silly in the IRC and NEC code books, to no avail. I don't find that anywhere. I think this was a wrong call.

Anybody have a clue one way or another on whether this is allowed or not?

Thx

Jim

I guess it depends. If you're talking about #14, #12 & #10 wires in a breaker box, I can't imagine why someone would think a splice covered with only electrical tape would be more desirable than a simple wire nut. If you're talking about putting electrician's tape *over* the wire nuts, I don't see how it can hurt, but it's certainly not necessary.

OTOH, if you're fixin' to splice, say, the 4-0 aluminum service wires with big ol' split bolts then, yes, you'll be wantin' to wrap them with a heapin' helping of electrician's tape. (Or a condom that's listed for that purpose.)

(Notice how I translated that last paragraph into Texan for you.)

If you want to talk chapter & verse, I'll fall back on my favorite all purpose section -- 110-3(b).

- The Reverend Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I meant was a wire nut splice in the breaker box, then protected with electrical tape.

I wish I had the CD-ROM version of the NEC so I could search it electronically. I doubt that electrical tape (or condoms) is even mentioned in there.

Of course down here in Texas, since the condoms are so much bigger and thicker than those in use everywhere else, they would probably work OK except for circuits above 10Kv :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by jbpoage

What I meant was a wire nut splice in the breaker box, then protected with electrical tape.

That's not required. It might be a local custom kind of thing or someone's idea of a "workmanlike" practice.

I wish I had the CD-ROM version of the NEC so I could search it electronically. I doubt that electrical tape (or condoms) is even mentioned in there.

I think you're right there.

Of course down here in Texas, since the condoms are so much bigger and thicker than those in use everywhere else, they would probably work OK except for circuits above 10Kv :)

A Texan buys a round of drinks for all in the bar because, he announces, his wife has just produced "a typical Texas baby boy weighing 25 pounds."

Congratulations shower him from all around, and many

exclamations of "Wow!" is heard. A woman faints due to sympathy pains.

Two weeks later, he returns to the bar. The bartender

says, "Say, you're the father of the typical Texas baby that weighed 25 pounds at birth. How much does he weigh now?" The proud father answers, "Seventeen pounds."

The bartender is puzzled, concerned. "Why? What happened? He already weighed 25 pounds at birth."

The Texas father takes a slow swig from his long neck Lone Star, wipes his lips on his shirtsleeve, leans into the

bartender and proudly says, "Had him circumcised."

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 years later...

Since most of these replies are a few years old I thought I would pose the question again in case code changes have taken affect.

An electrician today told me NO splices are allow in a breaker box at all, that doing so is a code violation ? except for ground wires. That splices are only allowed in a junction box, and since a breaker panel is cannot be used as junction box ? you cannot have splices in a breaker panel (except for grounding wires).

Has some code changes made this true? I hope not because this could get really expensive to replace all this wiring.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since most of these replies are a few years old I thought I would pose the question again in case code changes have taken affect.

An electrician today told me NO splices are allow in a breaker box at all, that doing so is a code violation ? except for ground wires. That splices are only allowed in a junction box, and since a breaker panel is cannot be used as junction box ? you cannot have splices in a breaker panel (except for grounding wires).

Has some code changes made this true? I hope not because this could get really expensive to replace all this wiring.

The electrician is wrong. Ask him to cite the section of the code that he believes prohibits it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since most of these replies are a few years old I thought I would pose the question again in case code changes have taken affect.

An electrician today told me NO splices are allow in a breaker box at all, that doing so is a code violation ? except for ground wires. That splices are only allowed in a junction box, and since a breaker panel is cannot be used as junction box ? you cannot have splices in a breaker panel (except for grounding wires).

Has some code changes made this true? I hope not because this could get really expensive to replace all this wiring.

The electrician is wrong. Ask him to cite the section of the code that he believes prohibits it.

Could this be some California code thing? It just seems odd for him to say this...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since most of these replies are a few years old I thought I would pose the question again in case code changes have taken affect.

An electrician today told me NO splices are allow in a breaker box at all, that doing so is a code violation ? except for ground wires. That splices are only allowed in a junction box, and since a breaker panel is cannot be used as junction box ? you cannot have splices in a breaker panel (except for grounding wires).

Has some code changes made this true? I hope not because this could get really expensive to replace all this wiring.

I'm not an expert on the NEC, but I believe I have heard that long ago splices were not permitted in a panelbox. Maybe this is one of those things that someone learned long ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since most of these replies are a few years old I thought I would pose the question again in case code changes have taken affect.

An electrician today told me NO splices are allow in a breaker box at all, that doing so is a code violation ? except for ground wires. That splices are only allowed in a junction box, and since a breaker panel is cannot be used as junction box ? you cannot have splices in a breaker panel (except for grounding wires).

Has some code changes made this true? I hope not because this could get really expensive to replace all this wiring.

I'm not an expert on the NEC, but I believe I have heard that long ago splices were not permitted in a panelbox. Maybe this is one of those things that someone learned long ago.

Splices were never prohibited in a panel box. There were, and continue to be, rules about adequate space for splices. In practical terms, these rules rarely come into play.

Bottom line: if there's enough room for the wires and the splices, they're allowed to be there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chad's right:

Splices should be protected by wire nuts, not electrician's tape. I hear a lot of inspectors complaining that splices aren't allowed in the electrical panel at all, but I've never heard anyone argue that splices are OK so long as they are wrapped in the cheap plastic tape that provides almost as much protection as half a condom.

Which half? Is the split horizontal or vertical? What happened to the other half?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Wow! An actual (almost) 10 YEAR thread resurrection! This has to be some kind of record. lol

OK, whoever told you splices or even wire nuts in a panel were not allowed is wrong. Flat dead wrong. This is an old wives tale code that has been circulating for years and years by folks too lazy to check and confirm codes for themselves. There are restrictions, but you'd hard pressed to meet them to create this prohibition.

As for the inspector, sounds like another power trip to me. I've never heard of such an amendment in CA, but then again, they're pretty weird and law-happy out there. Nothing would surprise me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

Hi. I know this a really old thread but im hoping someone picks up on it again. I have a sub panel directly next to my main panel. I'm wiring in a generator to my home and want to ensure i follow code ( and common sense) where i can not energize the mains and the gen at the same time. I have purchased the oem Eaton mechanical interlock and plan on installing it but need to move my generator breaker from the sub panel to the main panel and given the option do not want to run a new wire from the generator power inlet to the main panel. What seems to be the best option is to extend the cable from the sub panel to the main panel with a join in the sub panel. As this is 8 awg im reluctant to use wire nuts and have bought a square d distribution block so i can get the best connection possible between the 2 cables..... Vs teisting a large canble with a wire nut. My question. This distribution block accomodates 3 conductors, each separated by a plastic insulator so thre is no fear of shorting between conductors and i can hard mount it to the panel so there is no fear that anything else can simply come in contact with the wires. Im concerned however that the metal conductor that joins each wire is exposed and wondering if i may be violating some code? I live in Houston. I called the city and they said they dont inspect residential homes therefor there were no inspectors who i could speak with to verify the code.

Any thoughts on if this method is appropriate and within code?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi. I know this a really old thread but im hoping someone picks up on it again. I have a sub panel directly next to my main panel. I'm wiring in a generator to my home and want to ensure i follow code ( and common sense) where i can not energize the mains and the gen at the same time. I have purchased the oem Eaton mechanical interlock and plan on installing it but need to move my generator breaker from the sub panel to the main panel and given the option do not want to run a new wire from the generator power inlet to the main panel. What seems to be the best option is to extend the cable from the sub panel to the main panel with a join in the sub panel. As this is 8 awg im reluctant to use wire nuts and have bought a square d distribution block so i can get the best connection possible between the 2 cables..... Vs teisting a large canble with a wire nut. My question. This distribution block accomodates 3 conductors, each separated by a plastic insulator so thre is no fear of shorting between conductors and i can hard mount it to the panel so there is no fear that anything else can simply come in contact with the wires. Im concerned however that the metal conductor that joins each wire is exposed and wondering if i may be violating some code? I live in Houston. I called the city and they said they dont inspect residential homes therefor there were no inspectors who i could speak with to verify the code.

Any thoughts on if this method is appropriate and within code?

If the sub panel is right next to the service panel, why are you even bothering with splices? Just run new wires. . . .

Actually, this whole thing just sounds like a big mess. Hire an electrician.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Running a cable between the panel and sub panel is the easy part. Running a new cable from the main to where the power inlet is located is the problem. Almost impossible without opening up walls therefor, joining the cable in the sub panel iis my best option. I do plan on hiring an electrician for the installation but i want to make sure i know how it is properly done before i hire anybody.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was wondering the same thing. From the sounds of it, I'd take out everything and reconfigure the equipment. It'd be easier than dinking around with what's there.

Some few hundreds of dollars more for nice new equipment and everything gets easy. Cheaper than therapy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Appreciate the replies. I guess i'm just looking to hear what i want to hear....which this is acceptable.

If it can't be done safely, i'll open up the wall and run a new conductor the entire length. I think i have an acceptable solution though. I found a new splicer block. Rated to 175a, 600v with a proper cover so the conductors are not exposed. It's a busman pb1013 with cover PBC23.

So if a splice with wire nuts is acceptable in a panel, is a splice using a proper splicer block ( with a cover) acceptable?

Some of the replies are good suggestions but i really don't want to replace the entire panel. The house is 2 years old. why the builder dropped in a sub panel is beyond me but it all passed inspection by my home building inspector ( not that that counts for much) but it also passed the builders electrical inspector.

So if there is anyone that can point to an NEC code that indicates if this is indeed acceptable ( or a code that indicates that is isn't) - i'd certainly appreciate it.

Regards;

Mac

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...