Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1

    Default Full New Home Panel

    I inspected a Brand New 2300Sf home and the service panel is full, I have not run into this in a brand new home! At the risk of asking the "dumb" question is this allowed?

    Similar Threads:
    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Inspection Referral
    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    If the sparky left a gap for one breaker, and then a month later, the owners wanted to add a circuit, would that be allowed?

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ft. Myers, FL
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    Jeff, gotta love when a valid question gets answered with a question. Are we still in Elementary school ?

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,899

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    There is no NEC rule regarding the need for future expansion.

    Suppose there was a rule that required 5% free space. Would the panel need to be expanded if those spaces were filled in the future?

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ft. Myers, FL
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    There is no NEC rule regarding the need for future expansion.

    Suppose there was a rule that required 5% free space. Would the panel need to be expanded if those spaces were filled in the future?
    Jeffs question addressed a "brand new house," So we can only assume its a pre closing inspection. He never mentions "the future"... the question addressed "today" in what I assume is a never lived in home.

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
    Posts
    601

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    The panel looks to be a 30-40 type that allows tandem breakers in the bottom 5 slots. More circuits can be added by swapping single breakers or two pole breakers for tandems or quads in these spaces.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,899

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Kondzich View Post
    Jeffs question addressed a "brand new house," So we can only assume its a pre closing inspection. He never mentions "the future"... the question addressed "today" in what I assume is a never lived in home.
    Why would there need to be expansion space left except for the future? If the house has just been built everything will already be wired.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  8. #8
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
    Garry Blankenship Guest

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    The panel being full is no problem. When they are full the circuit lableing is sometimes more important than normal. Revealed when you remove the cover, sparkys are not above using a spare circuit breaker to fill KO space that they do not have a blank for. When you have say 30 spaces of C/B blanks to remove it is not always so easy to remove 28 and leave a couple. Using a C/B as a blank filler is fine, if it is labeled as a spare. Smaller branch circuit breakers are relatively inexpensive; especially when bought in volume.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Why would there need to be expansion space left except for the future? If the house has just been built everything will already be wired.
    Jim, you are answering a question with a question, are you still in elementary school? Oops, that's another question.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,899

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    I was trying to see why someone thought this was an issue. My point was that anything added would be in the future, it would not be added in the past.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NY State
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    The panel looks to be a 30-40 type that allows tandem breakers in the bottom 5 slots. More circuits can be added by swapping single breakers or two pole breakers for tandems or quads in these spaces.
    BINGO! We have a winner.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ft. Myers, FL
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    I was trying to see why someone thought this was an issue. My point was that anything added would be in the future, it would not be added in the past.
    The original poster thought it might be a 'dumb" question. Apparently Jim, you thinks its a dumb question as well. There are no dumb questions.
    This post makes me realize why I very rarely check in here anymore. I used to be on every day.

    Now its a home buyer asking questions and if they should have an inspection, and things like this, that the "regulars" cant figure out why on earth someone would ask a question like that.

    Later it will be people arguing over a word in a code interpretation...

    I have to go cut my grass...

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    The NEC is silent on the panelboard being full. I have always used an industry (my Sr. told me so) practice of leaving 2 spaces empty when filling a panelboard, unless I have been given instructions to wire the entire panelboard.

    If this is a spec home, I'm surprised not to see two blanks.

    What I do see is an unbalanced panelboard, meaning the load (amperage) on on side of the bus is not as close to the other side of the bus, and that is a code requirement. I'll dig up the cite when I get home.

    I will concede in advance that it may just be that the picture is just not clear enough.


  14. #14

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    I admit that my question was full of ill intent...
    I could not find any "official" reason to state the panel should have room for expansion on this brand new never been occupied 2300SF home but wanted to see what the thoughts of the many would bring.

    Thanks to all who took the time to respond.

    By the way the new owner will likely add a 3 season room on the rear of the home and it will require some adjustments...

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ft. Myers, FL
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Zehnder View Post
    I admit that my question was full of ill intent...
    I could not find any "official" reason to state the panel should have room for expansion on this brand new never been occupied 2300SF home but wanted to see what the thoughts of the many would bring.

    Thanks to all who took the time to respond.

    By the way the new owner will likely add a 3 season room on the rear of the home and it will require some adjustments...
    I would have wondered the same thing Jeff. Here everything is electric and a small single family is a 200 Amp panel, with plenty of space left. Anything over 2500 sq ft usually has 2x200 amp panels, again with plenty of space left. It was a valid question and unfortunately people here choose to insult, or would rather not answer a question but ask why you would ask a question in the first place.

    See you in 3 months, and the grass did get cut.

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Zehnder View Post
    I admit that my question was full of ill intent...
    I could not find any "official" reason to state the panel should have room for expansion on this brand new never been occupied 2300SF home but wanted to see what the thoughts of the many would bring.

    Thanks to all who took the time to respond.

    By the way the new owner will likely add a 3 season room on the rear of the home and it will require some adjustments...
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Kondzich View Post
    I would have wondered the same thing Jeff. Here everything is electric and a small single family is a 200 Amp panel, with plenty of space left. Anything over 2500 sq ft usually has 2x200 amp panels, again with plenty of space left. It was a valid question and unfortunately people here choose to insult, or would rather not answer a question but ask why you would ask a question in the first place.
    My response was not intended to be a smartazz insult, but so it was interpreted by another, oh well.
    I was putting forth a reason why it would not be seen as an issue, and why there is no stipulation for blanks to be left in the panel. I am not a NEC expert, so I left the elaboration for someone else.

    Room can be created in this main panel if needed. The buyers can then have a remote panel installed at the back of the house, and this will actually save the cost of running several circuits from the main.
    There may be existing circuits back there that can be extended, but that would be up to the electrician to determine.

    I have a standard remark on my electrical page, expansion room or no expansion room.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Rock Hill S.C.
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Farrell View Post
    What I do see is an unbalanced panelboard, meaning the load (amperage) on on side of the bus is not as close to the other side of the bus, and that is a code requirement. I'll dig up the cite when I get home.
    I thought all bus bars alternated from side to side?
    Also I thought balancing was for commercial/industrial application, especially where there are continuous loads?

    I have never heard of this applied to residential.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,899

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Farrell View Post
    What I do see is an unbalanced panelboard, meaning the load (amperage) on on side of the bus is not as close to the other side of the bus, and that is a code requirement. I'll dig up the cite when I get home.

    I will concede in advance that it may just be that the picture is just not clear enough.
    I will be waiting to see this code cite.

    The load between the legs of a panel will vary depending on the time of day and are too transient to try and balance, especially on a single phase panel.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NY State
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    How can anyone tell that the loads in this panel are unbalanced, whatever that means, from this photo?
    Completely agree. I actually thought is was a joke when I first read it.

    Residential panels are inherently reasonably balanced due tot he transient nature of the circuit use. Meaning you'd have to go out of your way to imbalance a residential electrical panel IMO.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Western Massachusetts
    Posts
    536

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    How can anyone tell that the loads in this panel are unbalanced, whatever that means, from this photo?
    I suspect he counted the number of double pole breakers on each side and got 5 on one side and 3 on the other, thinking it should be 4 and 4.

    I can think of a way to unbalance a single-phase panel but as Speedy Petey suggested I'd have to go out of my way to do so, and even then so what?


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,899

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    The load on a 2 pole breaker is already balanced on both legs. The 2 poles could all be down the left side of the panel and still be balanced.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: Full New Home Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Zehnder View Post
    At the risk of asking the "dumb" question is this allowed?
    Don't worry about that. You can depend on someone, somewhere, jumping on you for a "smart" question too. But filter the insults, and thin skinned commentary, and a quality answer from someone is usually there. If you are a regular here, you learn pretty quickly who to ignore or dismiss. Kondzich has a good point. If there was less "going personal", there would likely be more participation.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •