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  1. #1
    M Kelekci's Avatar
    M Kelekci Guest

    Default Could not locate the circuit breaker panel.

    One of those "all bills paid in maintenance fee" condos, no seperate power meter/circuit breaker panel for units. My client did not know where the panel was located. I could not locate it either.

    What do you all do in this situation? Do you all investigate further or just write it up " panel is not a dedicated panel and could not locate it"

    Thank you all.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    New Mexico
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    Default Re: Could not locate the circuit breaker panel.

    There's a building in my town like that. The panels are locked up in some maintenance area. I just write that they are not accessible and leave it at that.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Could not locate the circuit breaker panel.

    In most of those cases, that is not good, not good at all.

    From the NEC. (bold and underlining are mine)
    - 240.24 Location in or on Premises.
    - - (B) Occupancy. Each occupant shall have ready access to all overcurrent devices protecting the conductors supplying that occupancy.
    - - - Exception No. 1: Where electric service and electrical maintenance are provided by the building management and where these are under continuous building management supervision, the service overcurrent devices and feeder overcurrent devices supplying more than one occupancy shall be permitted to be accessible to only authorized management personnel in the following:
    - - - - (a) Multiple-occupancy buildings
    - - - - (b) Guest rooms of hotels and motels that are intended for transient occupancy
    - - - Exception No. 2: Where electric service and electrical maintenance are provided by the building management and where these are under continuous building management supervision, the branch circuit overcurrent devices supplying any guest rooms shall be permitted to be accessible to only authorized management personnel for guest rooms of hotels and motels that are intended for transient occupancy.

    Define "continuous".

    That does not mean the maintenance person goes home at 5 pm and comes back the next morning at 8 am.

    That does not mean the front desk greeter is there 24-7, that means 'building management supervision', that there is someone there at all times who performs the electrical maintenance on the building.

    Etc.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Could not locate the circuit breaker panel.

    What JP said.

    Plus, the local fire marshall should be informed and his opinion given.

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

  5. #5
    Integrity Inspections's Avatar
    Integrity Inspections Guest

    Default Re: Could not locate the circuit breaker panel.

    I had one like that recently, except there was a sub panel in the condo...but the main was locked up with the other ones for that building..

    Mahalo,

    Mike


  6. #6
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: Could not locate the circuit breaker panel.

    "I had one like that recently, except there was a sub panel in the condo..."

    I see this in condo conversions - no access to the "meter room". One problem is that you cannot know for certain if there is another disconnect down there, and thus if you should be looking at a service or load side panel in the unit...


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Could not locate the circuit breaker panel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Integrity Inspections View Post
    condo...but the main was locked up with the other ones for that building.

    As it should be ... in a condo - in a meter room.

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Could not locate the circuit breaker panel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    I see this in condo conversions - no access to the "meter room". One problem is that you cannot know for certain if there is another disconnect down there, and thus if you should be looking at a service or load side panel in the unit...
    In a condo, you 'know' it has to be just a load side panel, even if it has a 'main' in it.

    The condo building must have but *one* service, which then feeds all the other panels for the condos and the house panels (for common areas).

    If it anything else, then the condo is wired wrong.

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Could not locate the circuit breaker panel.

    "If it anything else, then the condo is wired wrong.."

    Well, that's sorta' the point.. we just have to *assume* it's a load side panel, and proceed accordingly. However, I've see situations where there is no visible disconnect - main, or for individual units - at the meter bank or anywhere upstream to which I've had access...


  10. #10
    M Kelekci's Avatar
    M Kelekci Guest

    Default Re: Could not locate the circuit breaker panel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kelly View Post
    I will do anything within reason to locate and inspect the panel, including returning later to meet the maintenance guy, .
    I am not sure there was a maintenance guy onsite. Usually not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kelly View Post
    moving furniture or pictures or whatever. There is nothing that bugs me more than not being able to find a panel. I found one behind an entertainment center that I absolutely could not get to. I offered to come back after it was moved and inspect but was never called to do it. It was an FPE so I pretty much told them to budget for replacement anyway.
    This condos are common in Houston area. All bills paid. I could not locate it to inspect it however I kind of know what it would look like if I was able to find it.

    No seperate meter
    No seperate service entrance equipment.
    No seperate circuit breakers. (Some circuit breakers in some instances feed multiple units)
    Most likely no dead cover.
    These units were built in 1960s (Informed client of aluminum wiring in condo), since then most likely panel has been rigged up. Wire gauges do not match overcurrent breakers etc.

    What would you all do, when run into this situation. Do you all take time to write all the violations even condo does not have a seperate panel and you are actually inspecting a panel that belongs to multiple units?


  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Could not locate the circuit breaker panel.

    I would not hesitate a second: hand that one over to the electricians.


  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Could not locate the circuit breaker panel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    I would not hesitate a second: hand that one over to the electricians.
    Even the local code authorities ... to make sure it is safe.

    The Fire Marshall may even be interested in that one ... least they had to respond to a fire there and cannot find the main service disconnects - of course, they may call the power company to just shut it all down, or even an entire block (whatever is on that grid), or just pull the meter(s) ...

    Typically, from what I've been told, they don't like to spray water on an energized building, because water and electricity make their work a bit more "hazardous" than it already is.

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

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