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Old 05-03-2008, 11:08 PM   #16
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


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Originally Posted by nap View Post
there are allowed allowances for items such as pipes and the like for being in the dedicated space above a panel.

It has to meet code requirements is all.
What kind of tolerances are you speaking of?

The NEC/IBC/IRC prohibits any HVAC, gas, plumbing, or any other pipe in the space directly above the panel to the height of the structural ceiling, or 6', whichever is lower. No exceptions. It is 100% reserved for sparky's use, and limits the risk of saturation of the panel in the event of a leak, dripping condensation, etc.

The definition of structural ceiling is rather difficult to pin down, but the jurisdictions I've worked in and dealt with consider the space between the floor joists over the panel in an unfinished basement dedicated space, and consider the underside of the floor sheathing the structural ceiling. I'm sure opinions vary on that.

As for one-for-one replacement of a panel under an existing pipe, as an inspector, I'd live with it. That is, provided that the location of the panel hasn't changed one bit. If they add additional service gear, I'd enforce the code to the letter on the additional gear.

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Old 05-03-2008, 11:16 PM   #17
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post

As for one-for-one replacement of a panel under an existing pipe, as an inspector, I'd live with it. That is, provided that the location of the panel hasn't changed one bit. If they add additional service gear, I'd enforce the code to the letter on the additional gear.

I agree with this, but i'm just curious if its really suppose to be this way? Shouldn't anything new be installed to code? And yes I've installed my share of replacement panels in not so code compliant situations.
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:18 AM   #18
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


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I dont see in the code where you can keep violations...
Thing is they are not MY violations. They were there when I got there.

So if you do a service upgrade, and there is a pipe near or over or under the existing panel, you would me made to either move the pipe or the panel????

You obviously don't work in many existing or old houses. I can't remember one that was not like this.
There is almost always some kind of sh*t in the way or where it is not supposed to be.
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:00 AM   #19
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
What kind of tolerances are you speaking of?

The NEC/IBC/IRC prohibits any HVAC, gas, plumbing, or any other pipe in the space directly above the panel to the height of the structural ceiling, or 6', whichever is lower. No exceptions. It is 100% reserved for sparky's use, and limits the risk of saturation of the panel in the event of a leak, dripping condensation, etc.

The definition of structural ceiling is rather difficult to pin down, but the jurisdictions I've worked in and dealt with consider the space between the floor joists over the panel in an unfinished basement dedicated space, and consider the underside of the floor sheathing the structural ceiling. I'm sure opinions vary on that.

As for one-for-one replacement of a panel under an existing pipe, as an inspector, I'd live with it. That is, provided that the location of the panel hasn't changed one bit. If they add additional service gear, I'd enforce the code to the letter on the additional gear.

try reading NEC 110.26(F)(1)(a)
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:06 AM   #20
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


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Due to a pipe running above the ceiling, the new panel has to be lower
the pipe is above the ceiling. That removes it from 110.26(F)(1) unless this is a lay in ceiling (which would be terribly unusual in a house, especially one of this age). Then 110.26(F)(1)(a) goes on to say that foreign systems can be above the dedicated space as long as they are diapered (paraphrased).

On top of that, a pre-exisiting condition that is not actually electrical work is going to be grandfathered in anyway so, tell me why this pipe is not legal again?
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:40 PM   #21
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


I am a contractor from North Vancouver, Canada, The code here is 67 inches to the top breaker. The first thing the eletrical inspecter does here is get out the tape measure. If the panel is 1 inch too high or 1 inch too low he will make you move it. It has to be exactly 67. One time a panel was at 68 inhes. The inspector said too high, move it, down. I told him that there would be 1 inch hardwood going down so from hardwood to top breaker it would be 67 inches. He didnt care about the flooring, He still made me move it. If the tape measure dosent say 67 the panel will have to be moved. Thats the way it is in the District of North Vancouver.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:19 AM   #22
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


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I am a contractor from North Vancouver, Canada, The code here is 67 inches to the top breaker. The first thing the eletrical inspecter does here is get out the tape measure. If the panel is 1 inch too high or 1 inch too low he will make you move it. It has to be exactly 67. One time a panel was at 68 inhes. The inspector said too high, move it, down. I told him that there would be 1 inch hardwood going down so from hardwood to top breaker it would be 67 inches. He didnt care about the flooring, He still made me move it. If the tape measure dosent say 67 the panel will have to be moved. Thats the way it is in the District of North Vancouver.
First of all, I call BS. You have an inspector that has no clue about his job. I have NEVER heard of a minimum height. To have to put it at an exact spot is completely absurd.
Until I see something like this in writing I keep the BS flag waving.

Second, this thread is six YEARS old.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:32 AM   #23
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


The code in Ontario 26-402(2) actually says to mount as high as possible with no over current device handle higher than 1.7 meters above the finished floor.

Should be similar in BC.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:15 AM   #24
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


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Thanks JBFan ! He will be back tomorrow, I was a little skeptic and was deciding to keep the old one, and told him I would call him in the morning. The old one is on the concrete basement wall, the new one is going to be on the new basement framed wall which sticks out about 12 inc. I didn't want to keep the old one, for reasons like not enough circuits, and too many tandens breakers being used. Also I would have to build like a door to get to the old panel that is sunk in to the old wall. Thanks, I will be able to sleep tonight. Just thought man this thing looks low, my kids could open the panel, but my kids are trained well. They don't touch the stove, so this won't be a problem. Thanks
Just about all loadcenters are around 14" wide . Sized to fit between two 2 x 4 studs , on 16" centers . They are however tall they need to be to provide the interior room required by code . This is a LOT bigger than the loadcenters used years ago .

If you are concerned about kids getting into the loadcenter , put a hasp and lock on the door .

Last time I looked it up , the top circuit breaker could only be 6'-6" in its highest position of its handle .

Be glad your electrician is installing a load center that will accept plenty of CB's to accommodate extra circuits , in the future .

To my knowledge , there is no minimum height for a loadcenter , in the lower 48 ? As far as Canada , I do not know .

Different jurisdictions and / or power companies have differing heights for meter bases .

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Old 02-24-2014, 12:12 PM   #25
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


I am willing to bet that the whole issue of the panel height was resolved 6 years ago
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:06 PM   #26
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


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The code in Ontario 26-402(2) actually says to mount as high as possible with no over current device handle higher than 1.7 meters above the finished floor.

Should be similar in BC.
"As high as possible" is a far cry from EXACTLY 67". I small an inspector with poor interpretation skills.

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