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Old 05-03-2010, 10:30 AM   #1
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junction box vs pigtails


My brother is selling his house and one of the conditions is that he get an inspection of the breaker panel. I looked at the panel and noticed that the A/C wires going into the box have been pigtailed. Would an inspector rather see, say a 4" junction box outside the panel with a another wire going straight through to the breaker. Also, I noticed that there are only two hots and a ground going to the box - no neutral. One is black, the other is white with black tape falling off of it. Any advice?

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Old 05-03-2010, 10:34 AM   #2
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If by A/C you mean air conditioner there is no need for a neutral. Air conditioners are normally a straight 240 volt circuit.
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:51 AM   #3
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In Canada I don't beleive you can make joints in the panel, i have always been told this but don't think i have ever read it before maybe i should look it up.

The white has been remarked to indicate that it is a hot to give you 240V.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:57 AM   #4
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Thanks so much guys...I'm wondering if maybe the junction box might be the safer way to go, you know, better safe than sorry lol
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:09 PM   #5
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So what is really the difference between a j-box with switches in it and a panel with breakers in it?

From what I understand, NEC allows pigtails in panels. As quoted by a poster in a similar thread...

"Splices in a panels are addressed in 312.8. Conductors shall not fill any portion of the wiring space to more than 40% of the cross sectional are of that space. Splices and taps shall not fill the wiring space more than 75% of that space."

http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/pigta...e-panel-18103/

I looked up 312.8 myself, and it basically says Enclosures can't be used as j-boxes UNLESS adequate space is provided.

So if the panel is already pretty full of wires, I could see an inspector turning down a pig-tail in the panel because it's making it over-crowded. But if there is plenty of space, then apparently there is nothing fundimentally wrong with pigtails in a panel.

Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 05-03-2010 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
From what I understand, NEC allows pigtails in panels. As quoted by a poster in a similar thread...
I don't beleive the NEC has jurisdiction in Canada though.

Okay I looked it up
12-3032(1)
Enclosures for overcurrent devices, controllers, and externally operated switches shall not be used as junction boxes, troughs, or raceways for conductors feeding through to other apparatus.

Last edited by darren; 05-03-2010 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darren View Post
I don't beleive the NEC has jurisdiction in Canada though.

Okay I looked it up
12-3032(1)
Enclosures for overcurrent devices, controllers, and externally operated switches shall not be used as junction boxes, troughs, or raceways for conductors feeding through to other apparatus.
The NEC has a similar concept. However, the A/C would not be feeding through. It is feed from that panel, not another panel.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:57 PM   #8
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Now that I read it again I have to agree with you jim, i will have to ask someone what code rule states you can't use a panel for junctions.
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:29 PM   #9
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to the best of my knowledge they've changed the code on that in canada. I'm pretty sure you are allowed to make joints inside the panel now. There is a maximum though and inspectors do tend to frown upon it. Personally i always make joints in a seperate box. Makes for a neater installation and much easier to sort through at a later date.

edit: i double checked the rule. Looks like it only applies if your using the panel as a raceway...not if the conductors are terminated there. less than 75% cross sectional fill must be maintained though.

Last edited by andrew79; 05-03-2010 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:19 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies. I did install the junction box adjacent to the panel and labelled it 'air conditioning' . This also allowed me to terminate the wires on the other (less crowded) side for a much less cluttered look. Passed inspection, no problem.
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