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  1. #1
    K Robertson's Avatar
    K Robertson Guest

    Question SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    I called for a licensed electrician to evaluate the panel in the picture for several reasons. The electrician's written response on his invoice stated, "Visual Inspection/Mechanical Inspection of 125Amp Square D Panel in Bedroom clothes closet shows no signs of overheating, cracked, or bad insulation on the wires or corosion. The panel is in excellent condition and requires no repairs and is appropriate sized for a residence."

    My report said nothing of arching or overheating, cracked or bad insulation on the wires or corosion. It did say it was contaminated with paint... guess he didn't know the difference. I also called out a few other things not mentioned. What would you call out on this? Oh, and yes it was located in the clothes closet.

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  2. #2
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    240.24(D) Location in or on Premises

    (D) Not in Vicinity of Easily Ignitible Material. Overcurrent devices shall not be located in the vicinity of easily ignitible material, such as in clothes closets.



    **************
    You could remove the clothes rod and most likely be ok as long as you have an area 30 inches wide by 36 inches deep to access the panel.


    Last edited by James Duffin; 05-29-2007 at 07:22 PM. Reason: More info...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    Quote Originally Posted by K Robertson View Post
    I called for a licensed electrician to evaluate the panel in the picture
    Sorry, Kory, but you set yourself up for that one.

    Time and time again, and time again, and again, and ...

    As soon as you call for someone to "evaluate" something, or for "further evaluation", you just stated: 1) that you did not evaluate it; 2) that your evaluation was flawed; 3) you have no room to complain about anything they say about it. Period. AND, you should have issued your client a credit for not evaluating it.

    I just do not know how to get that across ... YOU (in this case, HIs in general in other cases) ARE BEING PAID TO "EVALUATE" IT.

    THAT'S OUR JOB!

    If you see something you don't like, report that, then recommend that a licensed contractor make all necessary repairs/corrections/replacements, including, but not limited to blah, blah, blah (list what you found), and repair/correct/replace anything else they find or did during their repairs/corrections/replacements.

    NO contractor, engineer, etc., no matter how stupid, dense, smart, whatever, can repair/correct/replace something without first making their own "evaluation" of what they are looking at.

    Telling them to "evaluate it" is like telling them 'You Dip Schitt, you don't have the sense to know that you must first look at it before you touch it, figure out what you need to do, then do it, do you? Of course not, so *I'M GOING TO TELL YOU* to evaluate it, you stinking stupid Dip Schitt.'

    Sorry, I will tell you how I really feel in my next post.

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    "Sorry, I will tell you how I really feel in my next post."

    No, I think I pretty much covered it in my previous post.

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

  5. #5
    K Robertson's Avatar
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    Ouch Jerry, that hurt! But as my wife is constantly reminding me... I deserved it!

    Here's what I actually said: did I miss anything?

    * The main distribution panel does not contain enough circuits to properly serve the home according to today's standards. A larger panel or an auxiliary would be desirable.
    * The Main Panel should not be obstructed for accessibility.
    * Panel is not labeled properly.
    * Panel box coverlid is not attached with blunt type screws as recommended.
    * Service Panel is located in a clothes closet. Under current building standards, this is no longer an excepted practice. Per TREC standards of practice we are required to note this item as in need of repair. Since 1981, the National Electrical Code (NEC) has prohibited panel installation in a clothes closet.
    * No Main Disconnect was observed in the Panel Box. Per TREC standards of practice we are required to note this item as in need of repair. Maximum 6 strokes allowed to completely disconnect service from the structure.
    * Anti-oxidant gel not observed on the aluminum wire connections as recommended.
    * Paint over spray was observed with the panel on components. This is considered contamination of the panel and should be examined by a Licensed Electrician.
    The NEC code states in E3304.6 Integrity of electrical equipment.
    Internal parts of electrical equipment, including bus bars, wiring terminals, insulators and other surfaces, shall not be damaged or contaminated by foreign materials such as paint, plaster, cleaners or abrasives, and corrosive residues. There shall not be any damaged parts that might adversely affect safe operation or mechanical strength of the equipment such as parts that are broken; bent; cut; deteriorated by corrosion, chemical action, or overheating. Foreign debris shall be removed from equipment.

    Consult a licensed Electrical contractor for repairs and itemized estimates. Electrician may identify and recommend additional items, not noted in this report that requires repair, replacement, or installation.



  6. #6
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    While I did not review your list for what was there, I reviewed it for what was NOT there.

    There was no "I called for a licensed electrician to evaluate the panel "

    Which was very good to see.

    I am glad to see it was only in your post here, but there are others, many others, who still put that in their reports.

    This, though, comes close ... REAL close ... *TOO* CLOSE ...
    "Paint over spray was observed with the panel on components. This is considered contamination of the panel and should be examined by a Licensed Electrician."

    You should have stated something like 'Paint over spray was covering panel on components. This is considered contamination of the panel and THE PANEL SHOULD BE REPLACED.'

    Let's say an electrician walks up and says 'Yep, I see 'um like all da time and I ain't seen none burnt up yet.'

    Now what do you do? YOU told them to get an electrician to examine the panel, they did, what good did it do your client?

    None.

    That's REAL close to having warranted my rant, REAL CLOSE ...

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

  7. #7
    K Robertson's Avatar
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    Thanks Jerry, I'll be making that change in the future reports!


  8. #8
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    K,
    A new official welcome. Little pieces of you butt are, at this very moment being picked from Jerry's teeth.

    To that point, Jerry, this has been a statement on my reports for quite a while now. As my road rash has healed from the last time you dragged me behind your truck, I'd appreciate constructive suggestions for additions/deletions from you and any other sparkies who care to comment. The statement is at the end of the electrical section after I make my comments.

    AN IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL READERS OF THIS REPORT CONCERNING SECTIONS 2A AND 2B OF THIS REPORT:
    A licensed, qualified electrician should make all repairs. To do otherwise risks creating the opportunity for electric shock, personal injury, or death. Persons employed for the repair of items identified on this report should be informed of all problems identified, for their safety. Persons working in other areas of the house, that is, for repairs other than electrical, should be informed of any identified electrical hazards to which they could make contact. Finally, I am not a licensed electrician. Therefore, it is entirely possible that a licensed electrician could identify additional problems that I did not discover. Before beginning work on the problems I identified, the electrician should be instructed to bring to the attention of the concerned parties any other infractions discovered.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  9. #9
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    Robert stated: "I've never given it a thought until this post. Does the TREC SOP mean that even lwith less than 6 throws it is a repair item ?"

    Yes... since this is a tad ambiguious (doesen't specify- "lack of main disconnects, as required"). Our SOP has to be taken at face value, even though they may not be required, it states, 'THE LACK OF MAIN DISCONNECTS'. Without qualifying the need. I don't agree with it and the requirement is very poorly written.

    I just don't see how the TREC can mandate that a split-buss panel that requires 6 movements of the hand be made an "In Need of Repair" item even though it may qualify as being 'okey-dokey' (technical term) in the NEC.


    TREC SOP says:
    "Report as in need of repair the lack of main disconnects".

    That should read:
    "Report as in need of repair the lack of main disconnects, per the requirements of the NEC".

    Rich


  10. #10
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertSmith View Post
    TREC SOP says:

    "Report as in need of repair the lack of main disconnects".
    To me, that's quite clear:

    "main disconnectS", which could be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. Actually, that could also mean 200, but we all know that is not allowed anyway.

    Thus, the way I read it, if there are more than 6, you do not have "main disconnects" because 6 is the maximum allowed, you simply have 'branch circuit breakers', thus that would be reported.

    But 6 or fewer would not be reported as a defect, just that there are 6 or fewer.

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

  11. #11
    K Robertson's Avatar
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    Actually it says, " (8) report as in need of repair the lack of main disconnect(s). "

    I interpret that as the "(s)" means 6 or less or as dictated by current standards (NEC). That covers TREC from having to change it if NEC decides for some reason their code should be 5 or less. That's my guess. I don't call it out unless it's more than 6. This one in the pic had like 10.

    Hey Jerry, TREC also frequently refers to Subpanels.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    Quote Originally Posted by K Robertson View Post
    Actually it says, " (8) report as in need of repair the lack of main disconnect(s). "

    That covers TREC from having to change it if NEC decides for some reason their code should be 5 or less. That's my guess.
    If it said "disconnects" and there was *only one*, that would be a defect.

    If it said "disconnect" and there were *more than one*, that would be a defect.

    Saying "disconnect(s)" covers both.

    Hey Jerry, TREC also frequently refers to Subpanels.
    You guys in Texas get to inspect submarines? COOL!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  13. #13
    Curt Raymond's Avatar
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    Howdy all, I'm busy reading past posts and ran across this issue last week. I was inspecting a two year old town home; it had 17 breakers in the service panel, no main breaker, and nothing stating what the panel was rated for amperage wise. I know that there are not supposed to be over 6 braekers to totally shut done the home but here it was with the city electrical inspectors certificate posted as well. Can anybody shed some light on this one?



  14. #14
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    Curt,

    "it had 17 breakers in the service panel, no main breaker,"

    Being as that is the service equipment, the main disconnect is required to be in it, or immediately adjacent to it.

    Remember, though, that there are allowed up to 6 mains, thus would you described sounds like a split bus panel, where the top six are the mains and one of those top six (usually one of the two on the bottom of the top six) will feed the bottom part of the panel. The main bus is "split", the service entrance conductor energizes the top half and the one main energizes the bottom half, there is a "split" (missing area) between the two buses in the panel.

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

  15. #15
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    Curt,

    Were the neutral and ground conductors isolated? I'm thinking this was a subpanel and the main disconnect is located somewhere else, remote from the unit or building.

    Jerry, the townhouse is two years old. Every split bus panel I've seen is probably over 25 years old. Are they still making those?


  16. #16
    Curt Raymond's Avatar
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    Hi Neal, Yes the neutrals and the ground were isolated. I suspect that what you are saying is coerrect. The main disconnect is in another location.
    This is also how they run the water supply in the complex. The first town house in the row has the meter and each town house after that only has a valve to shut off the water to their home. You can imagine the size of the main line that comes into the first town home. The other bad part is you get to listen to water running when ever one of your neighbors is showering, washing a car, or the irigation system comes on. Thanks for the clarification, Curt


  17. #17
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    Default Re: SE Panel In Close Closet OK

    Quote Originally Posted by neal lewis View Post
    Jerry, the townhouse is two years old. Every split bus panel I've seen is probably over 25 years old. Are they still making those?
    I doubt it. Someone here used to work for an electrical supply house, I forgot who, they would likely have a better answer.

    But that brings up another issue: *IF* there is *NO* main disconnect *ON* that townhouse, it is either: a) *not* a townhouse, but a condo, or, b) *not* wired correctly if it actually is a townhouse.

    A "townhouse" is its own fee simple structure, split at the property lines, within the common fire walls, and EACH STRUCTURE is required to have its own service disconnect. *IF* the service disconnect is grouped at a common location on the end (for example) of the building, it's 'most likely' not a townhouse but a condo.

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