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Old 02-23-2012, 06:10 PM   #1
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Can you drill Load Center?


Hello,
I inquired with Siemens whether a hole could be drilled, where no knockout exists, on a load center(not necessarily Siemens) and was told to do so would void the UL rating?

Does anyone have information in regards because I thought you could add holes if needed with a punch or otherwise?

I may replace a lug only load center with a main breaker load center but cannot find one with three large knockouts at the bottom/back. The one's I come across either have one large knockout in the center or two large knockouts in each corner, at bottom of panel. I would have to add a 2" hole with either types in matching up my entrance wires(corner/middle).
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:31 PM   #2
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Can you drill Load Center?


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Originally Posted by Ralph III View Post
Hello,
I inquired with Siemens whether a hole could be drilled, where no knockout exists, on a load center(not necessarily Siemens) and was told to do so would void the UL rating?

Does anyone have information in regards because I thought you could add holes if needed with a punch or otherwise?

I may replace a lug only load center with a main breaker load center but cannot find one with three large knockouts at the bottom/back. The one's I come across either have one large knockout in the center or two large knockouts in each corner, at bottom of panel. I would have to add a 2" hole with either types in matching up my entrance wires(corner/middle).
Whatever. I drill my own ko's all the time. Why do you want to go from main lug to main breaker? If there is a disconnect where there needs to be one you are wasting your time and money.

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Old 02-23-2012, 07:07 PM   #3
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Can you drill Load Center?


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Whatever. I drill my own ko's all the time. Why do you want to go from main lug to main breaker? If there is a disconnect where there needs to be one you are wasting your time and money.
My panel is full and limited per code to the 6 throw/breaker limit. I also prefer a means of disconnect which isn't present with the lug only load center.

If drilling or punching holes into a load center voids the UL rating then that should be a concern...

Thanks, Ralph
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:38 PM   #4
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Can you drill Load Center?


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Originally Posted by Ralph III View Post
My panel is full and limited per code to the 6 throw/breaker limit. I also prefer a means of disconnect which isn't present with the lug only load center.

If drilling or punching holes into a load center voids the UL rating then that should be a concern...

Thanks, Ralph
Makes sense to go to mb since you have a split buss system. I honestly have never been concerned with drilling new kos where need be. Check another manufacturer
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:39 PM   #5
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Can you drill Load Center?


Many commercial and industrial panels are "hard top". There are NO knockouts. This way you can lay out the openings as you need and are not tied to the bizarre methodology of manufacturer. Main thing is always use an approved, listed for the purpose method to retain the cable or cables.

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Old 02-23-2012, 07:44 PM   #6
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Can you drill Load Center?


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Originally Posted by Ralph III View Post
My panel is full and limited per code to the 6 throw/breaker limit. I also prefer a means of disconnect which isn't present with the lug only load center.

If drilling or punching holes into a load center voids the UL rating then that should be a concern...

Thanks, Ralph
The six throws of the hand reference in the NEC has to do with disconnects for multiple services, not the panel in your home. If it is full, you can hang a subpanel, route two circuits to it and use the freed up breakers for a two pole feed. If this is way out of your comfort zone call a license electrical contractor.

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Old 02-23-2012, 08:58 PM   #7
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Can you drill Load Center?


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My panel is full and limited per code to the 6 throw/breaker limit....
You have an old split-bus panel? Installed before 1984?
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:13 AM   #8
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Can you drill Load Center?


Hey guys,

I don't want this to get off subject but as I understand, the service entrance (Load Center) must be capable of isolating, otherwise turning off all power, with no more than 6 throws/breakers.

*Main Lug Only Load Centers (as I have) are limited to 6 throws/breakers for
service entrance.
*Main Breaker Load Centers on the other hand can have many circuit breakers in it, and still conform to code, because everything can be turned off with a single throw of the main breaker.

See page 53 of this Siemens pdf, otherwise NEC 230.71(A) as they reference.


None of which is relevant to my inquiry.

My question was whether drilling a load center panel indeed voids the UL rating or was the Siemens guy just mistaken? That will determine whether I undertake to replace my Lug Only Load Center(desired) or whether I resort to adding a subpanel.


Thanks, Ralph

Last edited by Ralph III; 02-24-2012 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:34 AM   #9
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Can you drill Load Center?


The Siemens guy was wrong. You can punch KOs in the enclosure.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:48 AM   #10
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Can you drill Load Center?


Sorry, but you are creating your own problems by not using common sense. Of course a manufacture will tell you not to drill holes in a panel. It has become a CYA world unfortunately.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:27 AM   #11
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Can you drill Load Center?


I had the same issue yesterday and drilled out the hole I needed where I needed it in a small outdoor lug panel because the placement of the 2 1 1/4" KO's I needed was mental. I didn't even think about whether or not the manufacturer would "recommend " it. Of course they would want you to go and buy a nice, new panel. As long as you do it neatly and use the required bushings and connectors, I don't see how it could be a big deal. Whether or not it voids something, maybe it does, but I doubt the UL police will be watching.

I ,however, am not an electrician so don't try this at home......
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:24 AM   #12
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Can you drill Load Center?


Quote:
Originally Posted by fnsane View Post
The six throws of the hand reference in the NEC has to do with disconnects for multiple services, not the panel in your home. If it is full, you can hang a subpanel, route two circuits to it and use the freed up breakers for a two pole feed. If this is way out of your comfort zone call a license electrical contractor.Fnsane
Not sure if I understand your post. The six handle rule is for all panels. Service and sub. Either a main breaker is used or the six handle rule is used in lie of the main breaker. I agree with the second statement in regards to the installation of the sub.
What do you mean by:? "The six throws of the hand reference in the NEC has to do with disconnects for multiple services, not the panel in your home".
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:40 AM   #13
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Can you drill Load Center?


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Originally Posted by Ralph III View Post
That will determine whether I undertake to replace my Lug Only Load Center(desired) or whether I resort to adding a subpanel.
You want to set up a new panel with conduit entries to match what's in the picture? Drill away. Can't imagine any inspector would have a problem with it.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:21 PM   #14
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Can you drill Load Center?


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Sorry, but you are creating your own problems by not using common sense. Of course a manufacture will tell you not to drill holes in a panel. It has become a CYA world unfortunately.
Hey Zappa,
Well, I need to CYA also. I'd rather get the correct answer then possibly fail an inspection and/or cause some unforeseen issue with our insurance...

I did feel the Siemens rep was blowing some smoke though and why I posted the inquiry.

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Guys,
I found this panel on Ebay last night however which has the three bottom knockouts as desired. In converting that panel to a "Main Breaker Load Center" is it just a matter of installing a main breaker or does some other modifications have to take place, because I cannot tell how the main breaker would attach? Also, as I'm unsure of how old this panel is, are there any new UL or NEC code requirements for panels that I should be aware of?

Lastly, is there any concern with passing inspection in regards to the following. The previous owner/contractor seperated at the ends two large stranded ground wires. He then inserted these two halves into two seperate ground/neutral lugs. Apparently, they were too big to insert into one lug so he split it into two halves. (see photo)

Thanks, Ralph
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Last edited by Ralph III; 02-24-2012 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:42 PM   #15
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Can you drill Load Center?


Splitting the conductors as shown in the pic is not the correct method. An adapter lug should be used.

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