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Thread: "Dirty Panel"

  1. #1
    Rick Maday's Avatar
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    Default "Dirty Panel"

    From a warranty inspection - guess they electrician has no pride.
    Also, all 15A and 20A breakers are all wired with 12 AWG wire. How should i word this in the report?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: "Dirty Panel"

    All foreign debris should be removed from the panel.
    No problem with the 12 GA wire to a 15 amp breaker. It might be harder to work with and may not fit back-stab outlets, but it is perfectly fine to use 12 GA wire on a 15 amp circuit, in fact it may be needed under some circumstances.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  3. #3
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    Default Re: "Dirty Panel"

    Rick,

    Looks like someone came in after the electrician also when the panel door was open.

    If 12 AWG service wire was cooper no problem as it;s rated for 20 amp.

    Pictures in summary report needs cleaned would work for me.

    I'm sure others will comment on how they report.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  4. #4
    Rick Maday's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Dirty Panel"

    Thanks for the replies. I'm not worried about the 12AWG and the 20A breakers it's the 15A breakers. I understand that they are the "weakest link" in the circuit, but I don't understand why they didn't use 14AWG on the 15A circuits. Maybe big sale on the 12AWG!? Also, is this common in new construction? If so, any ideas why?


  5. #5
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: "Dirty Panel"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Maday View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I'm not worried about the 12AWG and the 20A breakers it's the 15A breakers. I understand that they are the "weakest link" in the circuit, but I don't understand why they didn't use 14AWG on the 15A circuits. Maybe big sale on the 12AWG!? Also, is this common in new construction? If so, any ideas why?
    One reason they may have used 12 GA for 15 amp circuits is to help with voltage drops over a long distance.


  6. #6
    Ron Dawes's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Dirty Panel"

    One local jurisdiction around here does not allow any #14 wire for lights and outlets on new construction. It all has to be #12.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: "Dirty Panel"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Dawes View Post
    One local jurisdiction around here does not allow any #14 wire for lights and outlets on new construction. It all has to be #12.
    The benefit of that, besides the low voltage drop on the conductor itself, is that *BACKSTABBING* is eliminated as #12 cannot be backstabbed into devices, those backstabbing holes are sized for #14 only.

    The highest voltage drop cause I've run across on most moderately sized homes is from backstabbing - remove the conductors from the backstabbed hole connections and putting them under the screws *DRAMATICALLY* reduces voltage drop (in my experience, anyway).

    On larger homes, the sheer length of the conductor, doubled (hot and neutral) easily makes up 5%-10% voltage drop on #14 wire. A 62-1/2 foot long circuit (125 feet of conductor) give 5% voltage drop for #14 at full 15 amp load, that's a home run. Add in device connections and the voltage drop just goes up and up and up and ... Remember, though, that's 62-1/2 feet of circuit length, not distance, you have to count going up, down, around, sideways, and back down to a device, here is an example: 3' up from the breaker, 22-1/2' sideways (once), 7' back down to a device, with the conductors run taught and straight except that one turn, no other bends or turns, you now only have a distance from the panel to 30 feet from the panel to the device; say the panel is near the front of the garage, that's 20' to the back of the garage, you now only have 10 feet left - that is not going to get you very far at all.

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: "Dirty Panel"

    I love the cigarette butt in the panel.... that's always the mark of a good electrician.

    Jerry, I'm imagining things? I could swear some heavy duty 20amp gfi receptacles I once bought had backstab holes for 12 gauge...


  9. #9
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    Default Re: "Dirty Panel"

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Jerry, I'm imagining things? I could swear some heavy duty 20amp gfi receptacles I once bought had backstab holes for 12 gauge...
    Matt,

    "I once bought"

    That's key to what I stated.

    The backstab holes 'used to' accept #14 or #12, but not for, maybe, the last 8-10 years or so (don't recall just when that change was made).

    That's because so many problems occurred with that pressure contact connection when using them on 20 amp circuits.

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

  10. #10
    Rick Maday's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Dirty Panel"

    Thank you for the replies. It makes sense to me now. I really appreciate the help!
    Rick



  11. #11
    Rick Maday's Avatar
    Rick Maday Guest

    Default Re: "Dirty Panel"

    It is the main panel, Fritz.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: "Dirty Panel"

    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kelly View Post
    Is it my imagination, or am I seeing neutrals and grounds on both the neutral and ground busses. I assume that's a branch panel.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Maday View Post
    It is the main panel, Fritz.
    "Main Panel"

    That means nada for the question as to where the neutrals and grounds are bonded together.

    Neutrals and bonds *ARE ONLY* bonded together *at the SERVICE EQUIPMENT*, without regard as to whether or not there is a "panel" there as part of it.

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

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