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  1. #1
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    Default Are oil lines allowed above electric panel?

    I inspected a home today that had the fuel oil lines and joint connections running over the top of the electric panel. I believe water lines are a problem, but are oil lines also a problem? Is there a code issue that address' oil tank fill lines over the service equipment or panel?

    Thanks

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Are oil lines allowed above electric panel?

    Allowed *only if* in accordance with 110.26(F)(1)(b) below. Does the piping miss "width and depth of the equipment "?

    From the 2008 NEC. (underlining is mine)
    - 110.26 Spaces About Electrical Equipment.
    - - (F) Dedicated Equipment Space. All switchboards, panelboards, distribution boards, and motor control centers shall be located in dedicated spaces and protected from damage.
    - - - Exception: Control equipment that by its very nature or because of other rules of the Code must be adjacent to or within sight of its operating machinery shall be permitted in those locations.
    - - - (1) Indoor. Indoor installations shall comply with 110.26(F)(1)(a) through (F)(1)(d).
    - - - - (a) Dedicated Electrical Space. The space equal to the width and depth of the equipment and extending from the floor to a height of 1.8 m (6 ft) above the equipment or to the structural ceiling, whichever is lower, shall be dedicated to the electrical installation. No piping, ducts, leak protection apparatus, or other equipment foreign to the electrical installation shall be located in this zone.
    - - - - - Exception: Suspended ceilings with removable panels shall be permitted within the 1.8-m (6-ft) zone.
    - - - - (b) Foreign Systems. The area above the dedicated space required by 110.26(F)(1)(a) shall be permitted to contain foreign systems, provided protection is installed to avoid damage to the electrical equipment from condensation, leaks, or breaks in such foreign systems.
    - - - - (c) Sprinkler Protection. Sprinkler protection shall be permitted for the dedicated space where the piping complies with this section.
    - - - - (d) Suspended Ceilings. A dropped, suspended, or similar ceiling that does not add strength to the building structure shall not be considered a structural ceiling.
    - - - (2) Outdoor. Outdoor electrical equipment shall be installed in suitable enclosures and shall be protected from accidental contact by unauthorized personnel, or by vehicular traffic, or by accidental spillage or leakage from piping systems. The working clearance space shall include the zone described in 110.26(A). No architectural appurtenance or other equipment shall be located in this zone.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Are oil lines allowed above electric panel?

    On the non code side of things, I would be concerned with looking at the E work throughout carefully.
    Clearly the tank has been there a lot longer than the panel. Would a 'real' electrician in your area put that panel there? It looks to be a rope service and romex so it doesn't seem like it would have been hard to move it a few feet over. My guess is Joe the electrician put it in. Did you find other E problems?
    I'm just the suspicious type when I so that sort of thing.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Are oil lines allowed above electric panel?

    [QUOTE=Markus Keller;60182]It looks to be a rope service and romex so it doesn't seem like it would have been hard to move it a few feet over. [QUOTE]


    Markus, what's a rope service?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Are oil lines allowed above electric panel?

    [quote=neal lewis;60185][quote=Markus Keller;60182]It looks to be a rope service and romex so it doesn't seem like it would have been hard to move it a few feet over.


    Markus, what's a rope service?
    NM cable versus conduit.

    Snooty people in some areas still think that the only way to wire things is *in conduit* - typically people from Chicago where the electrical unions have kept a tight rein on NM cable.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Are oil lines allowed above electric panel?

    Thanks for the replys.

    It is above 6 foot FF and meets side clearance dimensions, so I guess it's not a problem.
    The Rope job is NM cable and is standard in this area. In fact, I didn't see any other electrical problems in the service equip area.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Are oil lines allowed above electric panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    It is above 6 foot FF
    Height above FF has nothing to do with it.

    "the floor to a height of 1.8 m (6 ft) above the equipment or to the structural ceiling, whichever is lower"

    Not just side clearance either, imagine a box setting over the panel, as wide as the panel, as deep as the panel, and the the height shown just above. Does it clear all those? And, if it does not clear the above box in width and depth, but does in height, then some type of means to protect against leakage under it is required.

    Your photo does not look like it makes it, but it could be an optical illusion.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Are oil lines allowed above electric panel?

    Jerry, it took me a bit to stop laughing, very funny. You are correct about the attitude up here. We do allow rope service/NM cable (sorry for the street jargon Ken) installs but it is considered, shoddy, inferior work by many. The union trained A card guys really talk crap about it. Don't even mention romex around here (in the City). Greenfield is ok on rehab, BX is only allowed for whips essentially.
    I must say I am surprised that you were able to post at all yesterday Jerry. We may be a big city up here with quaint old electrical rules but we clearly are no match for the prestige of Ormond Beach. I mean golly gee wiz, a visit and big rally for a presidential candidate, wow. From so of your other posts, I suspect you must have had a great time yesterday. Did you get to shake McCains' hand, have coffee and cake, chat? Were you able to present your plan on how to get us out of the mess that so many of us on the ground so coming years ago?

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  9. #9
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are oil lines allowed above electric panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    Jerry, it took me a bit to stop laughing, very funny. You are correct about the attitude up here. We do allow rope service/NM cable (sorry for the street jargon Ken) installs but it is considered, shoddy, inferior work by many. The union trained A card guys really talk crap about it. Don't even mention romex around here (in the City). Greenfield is ok on rehab, BX is only allowed for whips essentially.
    I must say I am surprised that you were able to post at all yesterday Jerry. We may be a big city up here with quaint old electrical rules but we clearly are no match for the prestige of Ormond Beach. I mean golly gee wiz, a visit and big rally for a presidential candidate, wow. From so of your other posts, I suspect you must have had a great time yesterday. Did you get to shake McCains' hand, have coffee and cake, chat? Were you able to present your plan on how to get us out of the mess that so many of us on the ground so coming years ago?
    They don't like NM because it is several times faster to run. That cuts down on the length of the job and for the contractors profit is cut into substantially.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Are oil lines allowed above electric panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    The union trained A card guys ... BX is only allowed for whips essentially.
    Shows how backward those guys are ... it is not "BX", and has not been "BX" for ... how many decades? It is AC (armored cable), which is not used as much as MC anymore (to my knowledge - maybe your guys up there use it?).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  11. #11
    Joe Driscoll's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Are oil lines allowed above electric panel?

    'Codes are not retroactive, The 2008 edition can be applied only to those projects whose plans were approved after the 08 edition was adopted by the local jurisdiction'
    What year was the panel installed?


  12. #12
    John Mavilio's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Are oil lines allowed above electric panel?

    Hello Ken: My name is John Mavilio and a fellow inspector here in MA. I am new to this site and glad I joined.I also have a MA electrical journeyman's license and have been doing residential and commercial work for the past 38 years. To answer your question; no way! after looking at that oil line running over the panel in your pic, the safe way is the RIGHT WAY! relocate the panel to another location on the wall. You can not run water lines over any panel and that applies to an explosive liquid such as no.2 heating oil especially one that has a coupling right over it. Hope I helped you out Ken, John @ delta associates.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Are oil lines allowed above electric panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Driscoll View Post
    'Codes are not retroactive, The 2008 edition can be applied only to those projects whose plans were approved after the 08 edition was adopted by the local jurisdiction'
    What year was the panel installed?
    We always post code from the latest edition as that is the current accepted standard.

    Also, not everything changes at each code cycle, so there is a good chance that some things (even many things) were the same.

    Regarding that protection, I'd have to look back and see when it came into the code. I could start with my copy of the 1897 NEC (the code which is considered to be the first NEC, it is not actually named the NEC, that came about at the next edition (do not of that next code, but I do have the 1905 NEC Edition, and many others through to todays code).

    One additional thing, Joe, is that panel is not an original panel, the code in effect *at the time that panel was installed* applies to that panel, *regardless how old the house is*.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14

    Default Re: Are oil lines allowed above electric panel?

    Hi Ken,

    To clarify what Jerry was saying about the 6 foot dedicated space rule that's 6 feet ABOVE the equipment as dedicated space not 6 feet from the floor. Not likely in a residential installation.

    Thanks,

    Don Norman

    Quote Originally Posted by John Mavilio View Post
    Hello Ken: My name is John Mavilio and a fellow inspector here in MA. I am new to this site and glad I joined.I also have a MA electrical journeyman's license and have been doing residential and commercial work for the past 38 years. To answer your question; no way! after looking at that oil line running over the panel in your pic, the safe way is the RIGHT WAY! relocate the panel to another location on the wall. You can not run water lines over any panel and that applies to an explosive liquid such as no.2 heating oil especially one that has a coupling right over it. Hope I helped you out Ken, John @ delta associates.



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