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WoodworkerDave 09-30-2008 01:16 AM

Wire layout within panels
 
I know there have been several posts on how people have their own favorite way to lay out the main service panel, with respect to breaker placements, etc. I also understand that the wires should be neatly routed around the periphery of the panel. When I peaked inside my main service panel, I noticed that the blacks, whites, and grounds were neatly grouped together. They were also tightly bundled with short pieces of insulated wire used to tie them together. These bundles were also tightly tied together, forming a column of wires on each side of the panel. In the few pictures of panels I've seen, I've never noticed the wires tied together like this.

Is this considered good practice? Wouldn't the close proximity of the wires to each other limit their ability to dissipate heat, or is this not significant due to the limited length of the wires within the panel?

I was just curious. Thanks.

Dave

InPhase277 09-30-2008 01:07 PM

This is a question that comes up on job sites every so often when talking with other electricians: to bundle or not to bundle. On the one hand, you have neatness and can work in that panel in the future if you add to it. On the other hand, heat dissipation may be a factor, and a tight bundle can really suck if you have to remove something from it.

My opinion is bundle. I like the neatness and it isn't likely that the wires will be dangerously overheated in such a short distance. Really, it's unlikely that the wires will even become noticeably warm unless there are alot of high current loads on all at once.

dSilanskas 09-30-2008 06:41 PM

As of 2008 code you have to bundle the wires in a panel. And its no real concern of heating. There really is no heating in a panel

chris75 09-30-2008 07:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dSilanskas (Post 166869)
As of 2008 code you have to bundle the wires in a panel.


That is for multiwire branch circuits in the same raceway.

Speedy Petey 09-30-2008 07:10 PM

I was going to ask what new code this was.

The MWBC code is for identification, NOT bundling. It's one of the few 2008 changes is totally agree with.

I used to get pissed at my old boss for not bundling MWBCs on jobs with conduit.

chris75 09-30-2008 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speedy Petey (Post 166888)

I used to get pissed at my old boss for not bundling MWBCs on jobs with conduit.

I completely understand why you would too!

micromind 09-30-2008 10:50 PM

As a person who has always identified multi-wire branch circuits on conduit jobs, I also agree with the code change.

It's one of the very few I agree with though.

Rob

jamiedolan 11-17-2008 08:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by micromind (Post 167018)
As a person who has always identified multi-wire branch circuits on conduit jobs, I also agree with the code change.

It's one of the very few I agree with though.

Rob

I know this is an older thread, but thought it might pop up again and get a response once I posted.

How do you identify your MWBC in conduit? Just with tags on the wires or do you have some other method or identifing the wires?

Thanks
Jamie

darren 11-17-2008 09:16 PM

Our practice is to tape the sets together, the neutral together with its hot. So when you open a JB all the sets are taped together.

micromind 11-17-2008 10:09 PM

Same here. If a conduit has more than one neutral in it, I'll tape the hots with their neutrals together about 2" from where they disappear into the conduit. There might be 2 sets, 3 sets, etc.

I do this in panels and boxes alike. Way less chance of overloading a neutral this way.

I also number every circuit, at the panel and once in each box. If a circuit in a box is spliced to more than one wire, I put the number on the hot entering the box, and nothing on the wires leaving the box.

Rob


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