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Old 05-08-2008, 07:41 PM   #1
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Sub-Panel Placement Question


Good Evening,

I am placing adding a sub-panel to my existing 200A service to accommodate my basement build and have a question about the placement.

I have attached a picture of my proposed location (please excuse the quality of the picture). It is the easiest, closest location I could find for the placement, but as you can see in the picture, it is under a PVC drain pipe (not directly). I have searched all of the posts here on the site, and there seems to be some contention on whether placement of a panel is legal under a pipe/duct or other items per NEC Section 110-26(f)(1)(a).

I did contact my local code department and they said (the actual inspectors) that this “should” not be a problem. The only reason I ask here is because I have asked them several questions recently and they don’t ever seem to give a straight answer. My concern is that I run everything here and during the inspection they balk at the location of the panel all the sudden.

Any input for the experts here would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You in advance,

Kevin
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:44 PM   #2
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Sub-Panel Placement Question


From what I have read here, its not a problem.

But wait for an electrician guru to chime in on this one.

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Old 05-08-2008, 10:28 PM   #3
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Sub-Panel Placement Question


The code prohibits installation of a panel under anything that is not electrical or framing. No HVAC, gas, plumbing, etc.....

It looks like the pipe is not directly above the panel in your picture, as the panel is in the 2x4 wall and the pipe appears to be out in front of the top of the wall. The code is only concerned with the area directly above the panel, or in "the shadow" of the panel....If you were to slide the panel upwards, it must be clear. If the pipe is 1/4" to the left, right, or front, it is not a code issue, provided that it doesn't encroach into the 30x36" working space.

That's the code in a nutshell. Great question.

Last edited by Termite; 05-08-2008 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:51 PM   #4
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Sub-Panel Placement Question


Just so you know, the existing panel is a violation with the way those nipples are installed on top of your panel for the NM's to enter the panel.
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:59 PM   #5
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Sub-Panel Placement Question


Thanks to both of you for your responses. The pipe is definately not directly over the panel. It runs about 4 inches in front and over it.

chris75 - Interesting observation. I'll have to ask the inspector. The house is only 2 months old and passed inspection then. I have done nothing to the panel.

thekctermite - You discussed the 30" x 36" workspace for the panel. Where is that space measured from? The reason I ask is I built the partition wall where the sub is placed and it is awful close to the existing panel. the code guy here said as long as the door opens a full 90 degrees then it is ok.

Thanks,

Kevin
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:20 PM   #6
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Sub-Panel Placement Question


Well, he's both right and wrong about the door opening 90*. The door of course has to open, but just because it opens 90* doesn't mean that you've got the correct working space.

Off the face of the panel, measure out 36". You have to have a 30" wide clear area to stand in when servicing the panel. The panel does not have to be centered in the 30" space...It can be set to either side of the 30" width.
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:33 PM   #7
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Sub-Panel Placement Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
Just so you know, the existing panel is a violation with the way those nipples are installed on top of your panel for the NM's to enter the panel.
Hey Chris, For my info what is wrong with the way the nipples are installed on top of the panel. I was thinking about doing this on a sub panel I am installing in my garage. Thanks
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:38 AM   #8
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Sub-Panel Placement Question


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Originally Posted by James Con View Post
Hey Chris, For my info what is wrong with the way the nipples are installed on top of the panel. I was thinking about doing this on a sub panel I am installing in my garage. Thanks

The code section is 312.5(C), don't get me wrong, this section is long, and it can be a legal install, but only if you follow the rules, in the OP's picture, his nipples are shorter than 18" long, ( OP: please correct if they are longer just going by my eyes)
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Old 05-09-2008, 07:34 AM   #9
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Sub-Panel Placement Question


How did you make the turn from the concrete wall to the stud wall. If you use an LB fitting then you can't bury the cover inside the wall. It needs to remain accessible.
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
The code section is 312.5(C), don't get me wrong, this section is long, and it can be a legal install, but only if you follow the rules, in the OP's picture, his nipples are shorter than 18" long, ( OP: please correct if they are longer just going by my eyes)
If the nipples were longer than 18" that would be considered bundling? If they are under 18" this install is acceptable?
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:40 AM   #11
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Sub-Panel Placement Question


NEC 312.5(C)Exception: Cables with entirely nonmetallic sheaths shall be permitted to enter the top of a surface-mounted enclosure through one or more nonflexible raceways not less than 450 mm (18 in.) and not more than 3.0 m (10 ft) in length, provided all of the following conditions are met:
(a) Each cable is fastened within 300 mm (12 in.), measured along the sheath, of the outer end of the raceway.
(b) The raceway extends directly above the enclosure and does not penetrate a structural ceiling.
(c) A fitting is provided on each end of the raceway to protect the cable(s) from abrasion and the fittings remain accessible after installation.
(d) The raceway is sealed or plugged at the outer end using approved means so as to prevent access to the enclosure through the raceway.
(e) The cable sheath is continuous through the raceway and extends into the enclosure beyond the fitting not less than 6 mm (¼ in.).
(f) The raceway is fastened at its outer end and at other points in accordance with the applicable article.
(g) Where installed as conduit or tubing, the allowable cable fill does not exceed that permitted for complete conduit or tubing systems by Table 1 of Chapter 9 of this Code and all applicable notes thereto.


There's the NEC text. If you follow all these rules it's a code compliant install

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