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  1. #1
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    Default PANEL - Located outside

    This panel is for a newer houses and as you can see is in a wooden enclosure on the outside of the house. The location is 1000 feet from the ocean. House was built in 2006

    Is this OK? Would you comment or say anything to client?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    This panel is for a newer houses and as you can see is in a wooden enclosure on the outside of the house. The location is 1000 feet from the ocean. House was built in 2006

    Is this OK? Would you comment or say anything to client?
    Me? I would not worry with it.

    It does not meet the working clearance requirements around the panel. So, if you want to address it that is about all that I would say.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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  3. #3
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    This panel is for a newer houses and as you can see is in a wooden enclosure on the outside of the house. The location is 1000 feet from the ocean. House was built in 2006

    Is this OK? Would you comment or say anything to client?
    That is an inside panel so I would be sure the wood enclosure is water-tight.


  4. #4
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    Talking Re: PANEL - Located outside

    That's the kind of installation that makes me stay up late doing research so that I can write the crap out of it just because it irks me.
    My immediate concern would be to look up the exact verbiage that defines a compliant inside or outside panel location. Add in the proximity to the ocean and I would want to find a way to justify replacing with an exterior grade panel. Did you check the little roof for flashing or seals? The door doesn't look like it has a seal.
    Don't know if there are additional grounding requirements due to proximity to ocean but you may want to look it up. Maybe JP will chime in with something. He has some kind of pond down by him.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    Besides not have a raintight listed cover on it, and besides not having the required working space in front of it (blocked by that enclosure), and besides not having proper insulation in that wall as the panel takes up so much of the insulation space, and besides the air infiltration and exfiltration issues around that panel, and besides not knowing where the meter is in relation to that service equipment (looks like service equipment), and besides not being able to see the service entrance conductors or riser which indicated the service entrance is in the structure where it should not be, and besides ...

    ... besides those things ... what else is needed to write that up and pass it on to the electrical contractor for correction?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    Jerry, how would that panel be any different that any other panel mounted between two studs except for maybe the Typar over the sheathing if the panel were inside? I am on asking re your comments about insulation etc.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    Here's some more pictures of the panel and service entrance. The service wires are fed through pipe and the panel looks pretty clean to me.

    What clearances are a problem here??

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  8. #8
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    There is only two choices....inside or outside. This is not outside so it must be inside....just in a small room which is not against the code.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    The insulated neutral makes this look like it is not the service panel. Where is the meter?

    I think some a concerned that the slight recess is violating the workspace.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    I'd say working space is compromised and that the panel is in a wet location. I guess the test is to see if you can open the access door in a driving rain and see if the panel stays dry.......


  11. #11
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    I'd say working space is compromised and that the panel is in a wet location. I guess the test is to see if you can open the access door in a driving rain and see if the panel stays dry.......
    You can't open a WP panel in the rain and have it stay dry inside either so what does that have to do with it? And if the panel door opens 90 degrees all is good.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Jerry, how would that panel be any different that any other panel mounted between two studs except for maybe the Typar over the sheathing if the panel were inside? I am on asking re your comments about insulation etc.
    Jim,

    It wouldn't be any different than any other panel - any panel installed in any exterior wall would create the same problem with trying to insulate that stud cavity to minimum requirements.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    I think some a concerned that the slight recess is violating the workspace.
    The recess is blocking the working space, that is not allowed to be there. Even the door over the service equipment would be questionable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    I'd say working space is compromised ...
    Regarding my question about whether the service entrances conductors are inside or outside the structure, they are inside the structure, but ... of such apparent length that they might fall into the 5 feet many (most?) AHJ would allow as the main disconnect is at the bottom of the panel and not at the top of it.

    I still wonder where the meter is ... that may be a problem (or may not be).

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    It just sounded like there were additional concerns vs the run of the mill panel inside.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  15. #15
    Thomas Jones's Avatar
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    Interesting setup. Where is the meter? I wonder if that set-up was to protect it from the salty air, but then why wasn't it originally installed inside the home? The negative slope towards the crawl access(?) looks like a big problem.

    Thank you for posting those pics.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    James, are dense as a board or do you just like to pick fights?

    If the access door (that is the door that covers the enclosure the panel is in -not the d@mn panel cover door) is open in the rain,, sprinklers running, etc., the panel is in a wet location. I'm not so sure the location is dry even with the door shut.

    The NEC specifically disallows ANYTHING extending in front of the panel regardless of how far the door opens. All is not good.

    Just because an owner doesn't like the looks of electrical equipment doesn't mean you get to toss the rule book.


  17. #17
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    James, are dense as a board or do you just like to pick fights?
    Neither....I just don't agree with you. I apologize for the inconvenience.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    I have to take issue with comments regarding the cover as a clearance violation. I can see the side reveals as an issue and maybe one for discussion, but I find it hard to believe ANYONE would make an issue out of a "REMOVABLE" cover or access door. --- PLEEEASE - let's get real.

    How many times have we seen pictures hanging on panels, or panels located in closets across from doors, or a chair or plant in front of a panel.

    Where does the code say you can't have movable objects located in front of a panel?

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    That should be the service equipment, as the main bonding jumper is installed.

    The minimum 30" wide working space is not provided due to the sides of the wooden enclosure (110.26).

    I believe the question is not whether it is indoors or outdoors; the question is whether the panel is located in a dry, damp or wet location.

    Due to the lack of both weatherstripping and any type of WRB (as far as I can see-- perhaps there is, requires further investigation), I would say this is a damp location-- especially in a seaside location. Opinions may vary, but that is mine.

    Is the panel rated for anything other than a dry location?

    edit: possibly an energy code violation as well; is there any insulation separating the interior from the backside of the panel?


  20. #20
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    I can't see anything wrong with this. It's a little unorthodox but it's an inside panel, inside a rain resistant enclosure with plenty of clearances. Some of you guys are complicating this and thinking way beyond your pay grade. Unless you're making a few thousand per inspection. I really don't see how this is a significant concern to a home buyer.


  21. #21
    Tod Whiting's Avatar
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    The panel may be inside an enclosure but the minute the access door is opened it is exposed to the outside. The enclosure does not provide adequate work clearance and access to the branch wiring is obstructed by the walls of the enclosure. The access door is not exterior grade, insulated and does not have proper weather stripping. The dead cover is not weather proof. Any person accessing/working on the panel would be standing on the damp/wet ground. I personally would describe the panel as is and recommend further review by an independent licensed electrician.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    Quote Originally Posted by Tod Whiting View Post
    . Any person accessing/working on the panel would be standing on the damp/wet ground. I personally would describe the panel as is and recommend further review by an independent licensed electrician.

    How would this panel be any different than areas where the panels are normally located outside like some areas of the west? Have you seen combo sockets and panels? Yes the equipment should be 3R to be outside.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  23. #23
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    2006

    Looks pretty good to me. Slight access issue with the door not opening may far enough. Look pretty weather tight to me. Being from the north east I am guilty of building these enclosures. I will say that I built a little wider cabinet/enclosure and wider door.

    Looks very weather tight. Not corroded at all. As far as working in the rain Who works on a panel in the rain. As far as the ground being wet And? There is probably a million or millions of panels outside.

    Yeah yeah it is restricted to actual code dimensions on the sides. In needs to be written as such but from what I see it would be the side restrictions only if it is as weather tight as it appears. My verbal expression would not be severe. Just the write up.

    Might I add it looks like it has been pretty dry in there for the past five years. Oh wait. I already said that.


  24. #24
    Gregg Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    OK, so we have seen all the posts about the cover and a variety of opinions...did anyone notice the negative ground slope going towards the crawlspace access panel? (If that's what it is.)


  25. #25
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Rogers View Post
    I can't see anything wrong with this. It's a little unorthodox but it's an inside panel, inside a rain resistant enclosure with plenty of clearances. Some of you guys are complicating this and thinking way beyond your pay grade. Unless you're making a few thousand per inspection. I really don't see how this is a significant concern to a home buyer.
    I say that based on NEC rules the panel installation isn't code compliant. The language in the NEC regarding required clearances is very clear and this installation clearly violates the requirements.

    If you are putting together a report for a client do you elect to omit this fact because you think it doesn't matter?

    It's one thing for a client to know that a non compliant situation exists and elect to ignore it for their purposes and a whole different thing to find out there is an issue when they go to sell.

    As with many things involving the NEC, this isn't going to burn the house down because of the way it's done. Doesn't mean it's any less of a code violation.



  26. #26
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    As with many things involving the NEC, this isn't going to burn the house down because of the way it's done. Doesn't mean it's any less of a code violation.
    However ... it "could be" a "contributing factor" to what ends up being an electrocution - it's not all about not burning houses down.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  27. #27
    Terry Griffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    I recently inspected an outside service panel where the incoming service voltage measured 227 volts. The same voltage appeared at the interior breaker panel. However, voltages at the wall outlets measured 121 volts. Is this a problem and should I note it in the report?


  28. #28
    Lou Romano's Avatar
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    Default Re: PANEL - Located outside

    This panel clearly does not meet the 30" of clearance required by code however I will tell you that almost no AHJ would object to it. You need to call it out but you don't need to make a fuss about it.

    What is more of a concern to me is where the hell is the rest of the service equipment? The wire feeding the main breaker looks like POCO direct burial wire. The neutral and ground is bonded so this is the main breaker for the house, or is it? The service equipment should all be grouped in the same location including the other utilities, where are they?

    I am thinking this is not the main structure on this property and the meter is located on another structure. If this is the main or only structure then I would ask the OP to tell and show us the rest of the equipment.


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