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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Allright here's a simple one I'm surprised I haven't come up against before.

Assuming I add a 50A double pole GFCI breaker inline with the feed to my kitchen subpanel (see my recent post), I'm going to want to take the refrigerator off that subpanel and run it back to the SE breaker panel so that nuisance tripping or a hard trip of the GFCI won't lead to spoiled food.

Can I just pull a pair of 12 awg thhn conductors through the same conduit that carries the 6 awg feeding the kitchen panel from the SE panel? I'd protect it (breaker) at the SE panel. Assuming it doesn't violate conduit fill or derating.

Inside the kitchen panel I'll just 'nut it into the romex feeding the 'fridge.

I don't see a potential problem except that when you open the breaker "feeding" a panel, you normally assume all the conductors in the panel are dead and you can start ripping into it arbitrarily. So there's potential for an "unexpectedly enlivened" safety hazard, esp. in a crowded box.

So is this prohibited? Common practice? Does it require tagging/labeling/warning/grouping or other special treatment?

Thank you!

-Jeff
 

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I don't see a potential problem except that when you open the breaker "feeding" a panel, you normally assume all the conductors in the panel are dead and you can start ripping into it arbitrarily. So there's potential for an "unexpectedly enlivened" safety hazard, esp. in a crowded box.

So is this prohibited? Common practice? Does it require tagging/labeling/warning/grouping or other special treatment?

Thank you!

-Jeff
[emphasis mine] For me, this would be enough to say "Don't Do it"!

I'm not exactly sure what you've got, because you seem to contradict yourself (or I'm just not taking enough time in reading).

Does the refrig. circuit go to the subpanel in the kitchen (you talk about 'nutting THHN to the Romex in the "kitchen panel")? I'm visualizing Romex running from the fridge receptacle to the subpanel and terminating on a breaker therein. Then, I'm reading that you want to eliminate this breaker (within the subpanel), and continue the Romex (via a THHN splice) to the MAIN panel. Is this correct? If so, why not just extend it with 12/2 w/ground Romex to the Main panel? You would use a separate knockout with a Romex cable clamp from the subpanel to the MAIN (at the main, you could run two cables in one clamp).

I would NOT run anything within the conduit of the feeders from the Main to the subpanel.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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Not sure if code compliant but I will commenct on your plan. If your refrigerator is nuisance tripping it will now trip the 50 amp feeder breaker. The refrigerator has a problem that needs to be fixed.
 

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Lic Elect/Inspector/CPO
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The wires can be run insame conduit, but the panel can not be used as a junction box.

You would be better just installing a 50 amp breaker and than install gfi breakers in kitchen subpanel or gfi outlets in kitchen.
Read your other post.
Why will gfi outlets not work? and cost of 2 pole gfi breakers are about the same as 2 single pole
 

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Lic Elect/Inspector/CPO
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312.8 Enclosures for Switches or Overcurrent Devices.
Enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices shall not be used as junction boxes, auxiliary gutters, or raceways for conductors feeding through or tapping off to other switches or overcurrent devices, unless adequate space for this purpose is provided. The conductors shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 40 percent of the cross-sectional area of the space, and the conductors, splices, and taps shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that space
 

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Master Electrician
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312.8 Enclosures for Switches or Overcurrent Devices.
Enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices shall not be used as junction boxes, auxiliary gutters, or raceways for conductors feeding through or tapping off to other switches or overcurrent devices, unless adequate space for this purpose is provided. The conductors shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 40 percent of the cross-sectional area of the space, and the conductors, splices, and taps shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that space
You just overruled your own objection.
 

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All 312.8 says is that you need room in the cross-sectional area. I have heard some say that the "unless adequate space is provided" meant that somehow the area needed to be identified for those splices. The language has been revised in the 2011.
 

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Electrical Contractor
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312.8 Enclosures for Switches or Overcurrent Devices.
Enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices shall not be used as junction boxes, auxiliary gutters, or raceways for conductors feeding through or tapping off to other switches or overcurrent devices, unless adequate space for this purpose is provided. The conductors shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 40 percent of the cross-sectional area of the space, and the conductors, splices, and taps shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that space
Highlighted area in quote that negates 99% of 312.8 violations.

WE have done this on several occasions, where the breaker feeding a circuit is in another panel.
 

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kbsparky....In the event a circuit is fed from another panel, is a splice allowed? Not sure if it is addressed by the NEC, but I would think it could be a cause of concern. Can one panel be used as a junction box for circuits fed from another panel?
 

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I read the other thread and the whole "put the kitchen panel on a GFCI breaker" is really unorthodox and seems more cumbersome than just running a little extra 12/2 and use a few GFCI receptacles. For the price of a spa panel you can have like 6 GFCIs. Keep it simple.
 

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312.8 Enclosures for Switches or Overcurrent Devices.
Enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices shall not be used as junction boxes, auxiliary gutters, or raceways for conductors feeding through or tapping off to other switches or overcurrent devices, unless adequate space for this purpose is provided. The conductors shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 40 percent of the cross-sectional area of the space, and the conductors, splices, and taps shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that space
Read the article more carefully. Panels can be used as raceways and junction boxes provide you have enough room.
In fact, we use the old existing panels with the guts removed to make a big junction box when installing services.
 

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Read the article more carefully. Panels can be used as raceways and junction boxes provide you have enough room.
In fact, we use the old existing panels with the guts removed to make a big junction box when installing services.
My orginal post was based on past experiences and inspector opinions
Years ago I did this and was knocked down for it, and never did it again.
I posted the section, but forgot to amend my early post about not being allowed.
1. Is there enough cross sectional area in the panel?
2. Afterremoving cuts from a panel, tjan it is not a panel anymore.
3. If you do do the splice, tag it so anyone in the future knows what is for and breaker location.
Years ago I did this and was knocked down for it, and never did it again.
Everyone might not be under the 2011 code, they need to use the code be used in their area. NJ has not adopted the 2011 yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Thanks guys! The real motivation is to come up with a short list of poignant questions for the inspector before I start the work.

This will definitely be on the list.

>If so, why not just extend it with 12/2 w/ground Romex to the Main panel? You would use a separate knockout with a Romex >cable clamp from the subpanel to the MAIN (at the main, you could run two cables in one clamp).

The feed to the subpanel is rigid MC. The SE panel location is outdoors in a location that sees rats. A few years ago I was storing a few strings of christmas lights back there in a cardboard box. While sweeping the area one day I noticed a few short segments of the material and found many more along the edges of the back porch. I thought it was pretty weird but figured it was part of a project or something. Never saw them again. When I opened the box some months later about half the wire by weight was gone. Of what was left there was no piece of wire longer than 3 inches and most of it was stripped clean of insulation.

My point being I'd have to go from the SE to the fridge with FMC or IMC. Certainly could be done, as could a separate rigid run alongside the current one. But sounds like time and money to me.

-Jeff
 

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My orginal post was based on past experiences and inspector opinions
Years ago I did this and was knocked down for it, and never did it again.
I posted the section, but forgot to amend my early post about not being allowed.
1. Is there enough cross sectional area in the panel?
2. Afterremoving cuts from a panel, tjan it is not a panel anymore.
3. If you do do the splice, tag it so anyone in the future knows what is for and breaker location.
Years ago I did this and was knocked down for it, and never did it again.
Everyone might not be under the 2011 code, they need to use the code be used in their area. NJ has not adopted the 2011 yet.
I have been using panels as raceways and Jboxes when needed all my career. 32 years. It has nothing to do with the 2011 code cycle. I am not sure if it was ever a code issue.
You can try to muddy the waters all you want. It does not change the fact that panels can indeed be used in this manner.
No one knows everything. You were taught something that was wrong and have never been challenged on it before.
 
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