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  1. #1
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    Default Gap Between Deadfront Cover and Breakers

    I saw this yesterday and was wondering what the maximum allowable gap is between the deadfront cover and breakers. This one measured at 6/16" at the largest gap around the main disconnect. I'm inclined to say it should be corrected regardless but was wondering how much is allowed.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Gap Between Deadfront Cover and Breakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I saw this yesterday and was wondering what the maximum allowable gap is between the deadfront cover and breakers. This one measured at 6/16" at the largest gap around the main disconnect. I'm inclined to say it should be corrected regardless but was wondering how much is allowed.
    Was that a panel with the two adjusting screws on the dead front so it could be adjusted? If not, I don't think I would say much simply because not much can be done about it. I see that from time to time and I have never given it much thought about calling it out as a problem.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Gap Between Deadfront Cover and Breakers

    Not adjustable.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Gap Between Deadfront Cover and Breakers

    Is it a listed piece of equipment? If so then it's a listing agency issue,IMO. Is the panel a 3R type, they are not adjustable?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Gap Between Deadfront Cover and Breakers

    Any time I see a poor fit at a deadfront, I suspect a field-modification or an incorrect (replaced) deadfront.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 03-22-2012 at 11:04 AM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Gap Between Deadfront Cover and Breakers

    There should be no gap around the circuit breakers.

    Now to ask some questions:
    Was that a recessed panel?
    Was the deadfront part of the cover ( like a residential panel)

    If so it could be a case of the panel can mounted too far back. The cover will not allow the interior cover to fit correctly. The corrective action would be to move the panel can out.
    As per NEC 312.2 the can can not be set back more than 1/4" in walls comprised of noncombustible material.
    In walls of wood (paneling) or other combustible material the can shall be flush or project therefrom.

    Last edited by ken horak; 03-22-2012 at 10:59 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Gap Between Deadfront Cover and Breakers

    My answers below in BOLD CAPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    There should be no gap around the circuit breakers.

    Now to ask some questions:
    Was that a recessed panel? YES
    Was the deadfront part of the cover ( like a residential panel) YES

    If so it could be a case of the panel can mounted too far back. The cover will not allow the interior cover to fit correctly. The corrective action would be to move the panel can out.
    As per NEC 312.2 the can can not be set back more than 1/4" in walls comprised of noncombustible material.
    In walls of wood (paneling) or other combustible material the can shall be flush or project therefrom.


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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Gap Between Deadfront Cover and Breakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    This one measured at 6/16" ...
    ... Oh, I get it now ... 3/8" ...

    The cover should fit 'against' the breakers to close off the gaps. Good question as to how tightly "against" that would be.

    I would say that the cover should basically cover the gaps, otherwise something is wrong, either not adjusted (some interiors are adjustable as to how far in/out they set) and some do not have any adjustment, they are made to fit properly when everything is properly in its place.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Gap Between Deadfront Cover and Breakers

    well seeing how it was stated that it is a recessed panel, the interior "deadfront" is part of the cover, and the interior is not adjustable then My money is on the panel can itself was installed properly and the correct fix is to move the panel can out.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Gap Between Deadfront Cover and Breakers

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    My money is on the panel can itself was installed properly and the correct fix is to move the panel can out.
    Agreed.

    Probably set back more than the maximum allowed 1/4" from the face of the drywall (or set back at all from the face of combustible wall covering).

    Because the gap is greater in places than in other places, the panel is probably setting crooked in the wall too.

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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Gap Between Deadfront Cover and Breakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Agreed.

    Probably set back more than the maximum allowed 1/4" from the face of the drywall (or set back at all from the face of combustible wall covering).

    Because the gap is greater in places than in other places, the panel is probably setting crooked in the wall too.
    Yep. The gap was at it's widest around the main disconnect. The gap got incrementally wider from bottom-to-top.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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