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Old 01-13-2010, 10:51 AM   #1
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400a resi service panel at the beach


Does anyone know of a panel manufacturer who builds panels with a special rust resistent (proof!) finish for installation in marine atmospheres?

Thanks
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:49 AM   #2
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Most distribution panel companies will build anything that is needed. I suggest you contact various electrical supply companies. Most suppliers carry various manufacturers, Cutler-Hammer, Westinghouse, Sq D, Siemens.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:29 PM   #3
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Why in the world you folks out on the left coast would want to put your panels outside, especially in a coastal environment, is beyond me.

I know full well what salt air can do to metals, even miles inland.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:02 PM   #4
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I'm afraid we don't have a choice regarding the service. We can put a meter main without distribution on the exterior and stick a couple 200a subpanels inside but the meter main still has 2-200a breakers and its own can to rust away. Even the inside panels, if put in the garage or another non-conditioned space will provide lunch for the rustbugs. In smaller custom homes like this one, the conditioned space is at such a premium that panels get left out in the 70* San Diego cold ;-)

My main problem is that taking the guts out of a panel and powdercoating it opens my company up to liability issues.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:07 PM   #5
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Build an outside covering with a sealed door that goes over it



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Old 01-13-2010, 01:22 PM   #6
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Can't build anything out from wall past meter face (clearance issue). Can't inset panel and meter into wall (space issue).

Besides, all metal in non conditioned space dies an untimely death. Really need rust resistant type enclosure.
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
My main problem is that taking the guts out of a panel and powdercoating it opens my company up to liability issues.
I would suspect so since the paint/coating used is part of a UL listing and altering would most likely remove the UL listing and as such, could not be used as an electrical enclosure.

How about placing the panel in a stainless steel sealed enclosure? Obviously it would have to be an independent meter and panel setup since, most likely, the POCO is not going to allow you to install the meter in the same can. As long as it is not locked and is marked to stated service disconnect is enclosed, I don't see why the POCO would have a problem with that but always ask when you are doing something unusual.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Build an outside covering with a sealed door that goes over it
Bad idea.

Better to locate it where the rain will hit it.

Too often, meter boxes and outside disconnects boxes on beach properties are located in sheltered areas (carport, or other "outside covering", etc). The salt spray in the air (you can smell it when you arrive) gets on that equipment, and rusts it away.

If you locate the box where the rain can hit it, it tends to wash that salt off, making the enclosure last much longer than those located in sheltered areas.

I live near Ocean City, MD and have seen numerous meter stacks, disconnect boxes, etc. rusted completely out due to them being located under shelters and not in the open. Other properties adjacent with rain exposure that were built at the same time have much less corrosion present simply due to the rinse provided by the rain.

Use copper feeder wires, too.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:14 PM   #9
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What about looking into Industrial type panel boxes made of Stainless Steel? We had "multi-tudes" (is that a word?) of them where I worked in areas where coolant was spraying everywhere. I'm sure these were "Hoffman" brand, and when the doors would close there was a water tight gasket. We washed these machines down each shift with large volumes of clear water, to remove the coolant which was a bit caustic. I'm thinking a good electrical contractor, or electrical supply house could work with you to obtain something to work. Good Luck, David
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
I would suspect so since the paint/coating used is part of a UL listing and altering would most likely remove the UL listing and as such, could not be used as an electrical enclosure.

How about placing the panel in a stainless steel sealed enclosure? Obviously it would have to be an independent meter and panel setup since, most likely, the POCO is not going to allow you to install the meter in the same can. As long as it is not locked and is marked to stated service disconnect is enclosed, I don't see why the POCO would have a problem with that but always ask when you are doing something unusual.
why would powder coating the panel have any affect of reliability or liability for contractor? as long as neutral/ground are properly bonded to panel it wont affect its ability to do its job.take it in and have the box zinc/nickel plated.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plummen View Post
why would powder coating the panel have any affect of reliability or liability for contractor? as long as neutral/ground are properly bonded to panel it wont affect its ability to do its job.take it in and have the box zinc/nickel plated.
did I say it would have any affect on the reliability of the unit?

No.

what I said is the panel is a UL listed unit and the coating on it is part of the unit. As such, any alteration of a UL listed product tends to kill the UL listing,. Since the NEC requires products to be listed for use, once you alter a product that is listed, it no longer fits the bill.

as to liability? Of course. If you put an altered product in place of a listed product, the manufacturer will be absolved of any liability and it will land on the installer of the now non-listed product.

you also have this in the code:
Quote:
400a resi service panel at the beach-nec114.jpg
Notice that is states the coating must be of an approved corrosion resistant material. Do you think this guy is going to spend the many thousands of dollars to have his powder coat tested by the UL labs for use in this application? I doubt it and unless he does, it is not an "approved corrosion resistant material.

Ok?
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:59 PM   #12
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Where does it say that the coating must be UL listed ?
Do you have a link to the section ?
I've seen panel covers inside the house & outside painted all my life
Never heard of any Inspector having a problem with it

I personally never liked having the cover painted to blend in with the wall

Square D uses Powder coating on some of their equipment:
http://ecatalog.squared.com/pubs/Mot...6040HO9301.pdf

This company uses powder coating on its fireproof windows & doors
http://www.steelwindowsanddoors.com/..._products.html

This one uses it on fire foam monitors
http://www.grishmaglobal.com/downloa...R_1000_500.pdf



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Old 01-13-2010, 08:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
E=Scuba_Dave;382407]Where does it say that the coating must be UL listed ?
I didn't say the coating had to be UL listed. I said:

the panel, as it comes out of the box, is UL listed and that would include the coating on it. If you alter that unit, you alter the terms it was tested for listing ergo, it is no longer UL listed. Then, I said NEC requires the coating to be approved (and provided citation). Approved for the use means somebody had to approve it. UL is the most accepted listing agency (there are others but generally speaking UL is the most common) so I suggested he could pay to have it UL lsited so it is an approved for the application listing.

still with me?


Quote:
Do you have a link to the section ?
I cited it.



Quote:
I've seen panel covers inside the house & outside painted all my life
Never heard of any Inspector having a problem with it
and I have seen inspectors allow some really dangerous things as well. Doesn't mean they were properly allowed. In fact, I would suggest that any paint inside of the panel is illegal as I suspect most paints have a level of flammability that would exclude their use in an area that is designed to contain arcing metal parts. Painting on the outside? Probably no problem as it does not effectively alter the intended use of the box nor can I see it harming it in any way but if an inspector wanted to be anal, who's to say who would win?


Quote:
Square D uses Powder coating on some of their equipment:
I suspect much of their equipment is powder coated but is there different types of powder coating? I would suggest there is but the biggest problem with powder coating is you have altered the product and as such., the UL listing specs have been altered.

A lot of the code consists of interpretation and how the guy enforcing it interprets it. After having the "listed for the use" line pointed out to me for 5 years of apprenticeship and the subsequent years, I tend to take it at what it states. After having to deal with a huge deal about UL listing on fire rated walls and seeing what little it takes to kill the rating and what it takes to restore the rating, and hours of discussion with Hilti fire stop guru's, plus hours of discussions with the owners of a fire stopping company, it came down to: if you alter it so it does not fit specifically what is spec'd in the UL listing, it is no longer UL listed.

Now I will admit I have not checked any particular UL listing for a can for an electrical panel but based on my experience with UL listings, my education concerning UL listings, and the citation from the code I already provided, I would suggest that unless the powder coating is identical to that that is in the UL listing, if it is in fact included within the specs, the UL listing will no longer apply.

I really didn't want to get into the "you can't paint it" issue again. I'm still waiting for kpsparky to tell me Southwire said it is ok to paint Romex.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
did I say it would have any affect on the reliability of the unit?

No.

what I said is the panel is a UL listed unit and the coating on it is part of the unit. As such, any alteration of a UL listed product tends to kill the UL listing,. Since the NEC requires products to be listed for use, once you alter a product that is listed, it no longer fits the bill.

as to liability? Of course. If you put an altered product in place of a listed product, the manufacturer will be absolved of any liability and it will land on the installer of the now non-listed product.

you also have this in the code:

Notice that is states the coating must be of an approved corrosion resistant material. Do you think this guy is going to spend the many thousands of dollars to have his powder coat tested by the UL labs for use in this application? I doubt it and unless he does, it is not an "approved corrosion resistant material.

Ok?
ok let me rephrase my post.many panels are factory painted with gray paint,while the enclosures on some panels is zinc/nickel plated.what is it that bonds the buss to the panel? it is normally from being mechanically bonded by a screw which comes in contact with the metal of the enclosure so therefor the powder coating does not hinder the grounding of the panel.have you ever looked inside a panel thats got a few miles on it and noticed the paint falling off of it?i have on numerous occasions,do you think that is giving more protection than powder coating the box would?have you ever seen an inspector ask for written documentation about what material a service panel is coated with? ive been in the trade for going on 30 years and have seen lots of cobbled up work done by guys with pickup trucks with ladders that ive been called in to repair/replace when code inspectors tag things but i have yet to see an inspector tag a job for wrong shade of paint inside a panel,maybe they have bigger issues to deal with?
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:34 PM   #15
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My question would be what specific code prohibits painting the outside of the box?

I've yet to see that



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