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Thread: Circuit Issue

  1. #1
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    Default Circuit Issue

    During a inspection, the property (1953 house that the electric service was update) has a main panel 100amps and a sub panel 60amps. The main was in the basement and sub was in the garage. The kitchen outlets circuits came from the sub. were the rest of the house circuit came from the main panel. There was still plenty of capacity in the main. never seen this before and I not sure this type of arrangement is correct:Now for my question how should I write this up. i.e code issue or just a bad decision from who wire this house?

    Thank you all for your help

    NHIE Practice Exam
    Fidel F. Gonzales
    RELIANT INSPECTION SERVICE
    http://www.reliantinspectionservice.com

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Circuit Issue

    This is not a NEC issue, but a design choice. Was the subpanel physically closer to the kitchen than the service panel? I am assuming the garage is not detached.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Circuit Issue

    I agree with Jim. It is most like a shorter distance from the garage to the kitchen or it may be an accessibility issue, where the home runs from the kitchen are easier to the sub panel.

    "We get it right the first time" www.metricinspections.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Circuit Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    This is not a NEC issue, but a design choice. Was the subpanel physically closer to the kitchen than the service panel? I am assuming the garage is not detached.
    Hey Jim, Thanks for responding. Yes the kitchen is very close to the garage. Thanks for the NEC INFO Aswell.

    Best regards

    Fidel F. Gonzales
    RELIANT INSPECTION SERVICE
    http://www.reliantinspectionservice.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Circuit Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by fidel gonzales View Post
    During a inspection, the property (1953 house that the electric service was update) has a main panel 100amps and a sub panel 60amps. The main was in the basement and sub was in the garage. The kitchen outlets circuits came from the sub. were the rest of the house circuit came from the main panel. There was still plenty of capacity in the main. never seen this before and I not sure this type of arrangement is correct:Now for my question how should I write this up. i.e code issue or just a bad decision from who wire this house?

    Thank you all for your help


    fidel,
    Just curious about what you thought may be wrong. As in Code ect. Not just that the kitchen may have been rewired and the closest panel was in the garage or they added a panel in the garage to make the job easier (less costly)? Do you believe that the kitchen circuits have to be in the main panel?


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Circuit Issue

    No just found it odd that they would use the sub to wire the kitchen when all the other house circuit came from the main which still has capacity.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Circuit Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by fidel gonzales View Post
    Now for my question how should I write this up. i.e code issue or just a bad decision from who wire this house?

    Thank you all for your help
    Well we know it is not a code issue to install a sub-panel in the garage. Why would one consider it a bad decision to install a sub-panel in the garage and then use it to feed the kitchen? There are many homes with Garage panels. Makes it much easier later on to wire equipment commonly located in garages.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Circuit Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by fidel gonzales View Post
    During a inspection, the property (1953 house that the electric service was update) has a main panel 100amps and a sub panel 60amps. The main was in the basement and sub was in the garage. The kitchen outlets circuits came from the sub. were the rest of the house circuit came from the main panel. There was still plenty of capacity in the main. never seen this before and I not sure this type of arrangement is correct:Now for my question how should I write this up. i.e code issue or just a bad decision from who wire this house?

    Thank you all for your help
    Although I see an area highlighted in blue, I'm not seeing that as has been configured as a link, nor am I seeing photographs attached or inserted.

    Since you didn't indicate these would be my questions/concerns:

    The method and manner (wiring methods and how employed) used to deliver the circuits from the "sub panel" to the kitchen via the SEPARATION between an attached garage to the kitchen (i.e. riser, bundling, integrity of separation, etc.). And the method (wiring method, material, how employed) for the subfeeder from the 'newer' service panel. Where is the present service panel (inside/ basement, first floor? and its proximity to the garage? Garage attached or detached? Is garage below kitchen? In front of kitchen bumped out at same floor-level adjacent or behind garage? Service drop or lateral?

    Is the property a free-standing Single Family home with attached garage, or is it an attached home (i.e. duplex, townhome, condo, quad, etc.). (Assuming either yes and this 'upgrade' was done more than 12 years ago...or that the home is an attached one (duplex, townhome, etc.) and quite small.

    Guessing this change was done quite some time ago unless an attached home as IIRC most jurisdictions in your area would require greater than 100A if a free-staanding detached SFH with or without a garage for quite some time, i.e. 150 or 200A service entrance conductor, even if using only 100A main, envoked at time of "upgrade" or "replacement of equipment" (panel) since the electric delivering utility is still regulated (Com-Ed or Amerin),

    Is the entirety a single structure? (I.E. the garage in question is attached to the same structure as the service equipment).

    Was the original service panel (60A?) re-purposed as sub-panel? Was an original "range" circuit re-purposed as sub-feeder - or was it left in place? (perhaps originally electric now gas? or originally a 'range & a main')

    That the feeder from the newer service panel (100 A) to the now "sub" panel is a four-wire feeder and not a re-purposed former 3-wire range circuit; and that both the neutral (grounded conductor) and the ground (grounding conductor - or in your region, the EMT) are appropriately sized for a feeder, and to modern requirements if a cable;

    That the now sub-panel is appropriately configured to be used as same (assuming it was previously the service equipment)

    That the Range/oven/cooktop (if electric, which I am thinking they may be) or any 240 feeder or outlet from this sub-panel (or the 'new' service equipment for that matter), perhaps kitchen area also includes a laundry area - i.e. electric dryer) was likewise "updated" to be a four-wire configuration circuit.

    That the remainder of the household wiring was appropriately 'updated' to provide sufficient equipment grounding/bond - as 1953 pre-dates such a requirement for other than laundry areas, alloweed undersized grounded conductors (neutrals) and undersized and now known to be insufficient bonding (grounding) methods - such as use of earlier AC, greenfield/etc. connectors, EMT, was common in areas near your region (NE illinois).

    If re-use of prior wiring methods elsewhere (hidden/covered) was sufficiency verfied when isolated (i.e. megged).

    What is the date of mfg of both the service panel & the 'sub-panel', if either or both mfg vintage 2005 NEC or prior, that the sub-panel is MCB - as the L&ABP rules would apply as there would be more than 10% of 30A or less rated circuits to supply an entire kitchen, kitchen only).

    That the appropriate isolation from neutral (grounded) and grounding/bonding is present throughout downstream of the service panel.

    Perhaps the property is further west or south where cabling wiring methods were employed (will co. etc.)? Can't recall if there are/were elecrical co-ops in NE Ill, not thinking there have been/are.

    Perhaps the property has always had gas and more recently in its history was brought on-line with muni water and sewer.. Also wondering if grounding system was "Updated" at the time of the Service Panel "upgrade".

    Edit: Attaching Dini's UL White Paper FYI. Also Edited to add: Confused as to garage/basement/kitchen relationship - is the 'basement' at the same level as garage (such as a raised ranch, etc.) is the home a split-level, etc. is the present kitchen an addition on a crawl, etc.

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 07-18-2013 at 09:35 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Circuit Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Although I see an area highlighted in blue, I'm not seeing that as has been configured as a link, nor am I seeing photographs attached or inserted.

    Since you didn't indicate these would be my questions/concerns:

    The method and manner (wiring methods and how employed) used to deliver the circuits from the "sub panel" to the kitchen via the SEPARATION between an attached garage to the kitchen (i.e. riser, bundling, integrity of separation, etc.). And the method (wiring method, material, how employed) for the subfeeder from the 'newer' service panel. Where is the present service panel (inside/ basement, first floor? and its proximity to the garage? Garage attached or detached? Is garage below kitchen? In front of kitchen bumped out at same floor-level adjacent or behind garage? Service drop or lateral?

    Is the property a free-standing Single Family home with attached garage, or is it an attached home (i.e. duplex, townhome, condo, quad, etc.). (Assuming either yes and this 'upgrade' was done more than 12 years ago...or that the home is an attached one (duplex, townhome, etc.) and quite small.

    Guessing this change was done quite some time ago unless an attached home as IIRC most jurisdictions in your area would require greater than 100A if a free-staanding detached SFH with or without a garage for quite some time, i.e. 150 or 200A service entrance conductor, even if using only 100A main, envoked at time of "upgrade" or "replacement of equipment" (panel) since the electric delivering utility is still regulated (Com-Ed or Amerin),

    Is the entirety a single structure? (I.E. the garage in question is attached to the same structure as the service equipment).

    Was the original service panel (60A?) re-purposed as sub-panel? Was an original "range" circuit re-purposed as sub-feeder - or was it left in place? (perhaps originally electric now gas? or originally a 'range & a main')

    That the feeder from the newer service panel (100 A) to the now "sub" panel is a four-wire feeder and not a re-purposed former 3-wire range circuit; and that both the neutral (grounded conductor) and the ground (grounding conductor - or in your region, the EMT) are appropriately sized for a feeder, and to modern requirements if a cable;

    That the now sub-panel is appropriately configured to be used as same (assuming it was previously the service equipment)

    That the Range/oven/cooktop (if electric, which I am thinking they may be) or any 240 feeder or outlet from this sub-panel (or the 'new' service equipment for that matter), perhaps kitchen area also includes a laundry area - i.e. electric dryer) was likewise "updated" to be a four-wire configuration circuit.

    That the remainder of the household wiring was appropriately 'updated' to provide sufficient equipment grounding/bond - as 1953 pre-dates such a requirement for other than laundry areas, alloweed undersized grounded conductors (neutrals) and undersized and now known to be insufficient bonding (grounding) methods - such as use of earlier AC, greenfield/etc. connectors, EMT, was common in areas near your region (NE illinois).

    If re-use of prior wiring methods elsewhere (hidden/covered) was sufficiency verfied when isolated (i.e. megged).

    What is the date of mfg of both the service panel & the 'sub-panel', if either or both mfg vintage 2005 NEC or prior, that the sub-panel is MCB - as the L&ABP rules would apply as there would be more than 10% of 30A or less rated circuits to supply an entire kitchen, kitchen only).

    That the appropriate isolation from neutral (grounded) and grounding/bonding is present throughout downstream of the service panel.

    Perhaps the property is further west or south where cabling wiring methods were employed (will co. etc.)? Can't recall if there are/were elecrical co-ops in NE Ill, not thinking there have been/are.

    Perhaps the property has always had gas and more recently in its history was brought on-line with muni water and sewer.. Also wondering if grounding system was "Updated" at the time of the Service Panel "upgrade".

    Edit: Attaching Dini's UL White Paper FYI. Also Edited to add: Confused as to garage/basement/kitchen relationship - is the 'basement' at the same level as garage (such as a raised ranch, etc.) is the home a split-level, etc. is the present kitchen an addition on a crawl, etc.
    H.G. First of all, thank you for your comprehensive respond to my question. There is no link or picture to my post. The blue type face was to alert the reader on the house specs.The house is a single Family ranch 2 bedroom, 1 bath and a unfinished basement. My question was mostly to find out if anyone had seen this kind of set up before. Basically, With plenty of capacity at the main and no recent remodel and both main and sub were installed at the same time. I found it odd that the outlets & light for the Kitchen were running of the sub. The lady that is buying the house might run into a bit of confusion if a kitchen breaker pops and she is looking at the main to reset and forgot that the circuit is in the garage. That was my only purpose of posting in case a veteran like your self could give me a good reason to give her so the seller could place the kitchen circuit on the main. Anyway thank you so much for taking time to respond

    Fidel F. Gonzales
    RELIANT INSPECTION SERVICE
    http://www.reliantinspectionservice.com

  10. #10
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    Lombard, Illinois
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    Default Re: Circuit Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Are you suggesting that the seller should move the kitchen circuits out of one panel into the other?
    Robert, Thanks for your questions. No I'm not suggesting that. I merely was questioning that if the main Bus had capacity, why would they have a house circuit connected to a sub panel. which might cause confusion for the new owner if a kitchen circuit pops. that's all. Sorry that every one miss understood my question.

    Fidel F. Gonzales
    RELIANT INSPECTION SERVICE
    http://www.reliantinspectionservice.com

  11. #11
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    Jul 2010
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    Wisconsin
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    274

    Default Re: Circuit Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by fidel gonzales View Post
    Robert, Thanks for your questions. No I'm not suggesting that. I merely was questioning that if the main Bus had capacity, why would they have a house circuit connected to a sub panel. which might cause confusion for the new owner if a kitchen circuit pops. that's all. Sorry that every one miss understood my question.
    Was the kitchen close to 100 feet of cable run from the main panel? If so, they might have located a sub panel in the garage to avoid derating the conductors. I've seen it from time to time where they locate subpanels at a mid point in long homes to supply the other half. Instead of bumping conductors up in size that run from one end to the other they toss a subpanel in.

    But, this home doesn't sound that big, so who knows why. The original homeowner might have planned on a compressor and a bunch of outlets and plans changed and they used the panel since it was there to wire the kitchen???


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Circuit Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kleisch View Post
    Was the kitchen close to 100 feet of cable run from the main panel? If so, they might have located a sub panel in the garage to avoid derating the conductors. I've seen it from time to time where they locate subpanels at a mid point in long homes to supply the other half. Instead of bumping conductors up in size that run from one end to the other they toss a sub panel in.

    But, this home doesn't sound that big, so who knows why. The original homeowner might have planned on a compressor and a bunch of outlets and plans changed and they used the panel since it was there to wire the kitchen???
    Hi Mike, Your right the kitchens is less the 50 ft from the main and the previous owner might had that in mine. Install some work tools outlet in the garage and never got to it. I was just puzzle about the circuit for the kitchen being in the sub panel when there is still capacity in the main. I was just worry that the new owner would forget that the kitchen was wired to the sub and she would logically be looking and the main if a kitchen breaker popped. I was just fishing for some advise from a code if it existed to help remedy this goofy configuration, put now such luck.

    Thanks so much for taking time to respond.

    Fidel F. Gonzales
    RELIANT INSPECTION SERVICE
    http://www.reliantinspectionservice.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Circuit Issue

    Fidel,
    In your two panel situation it might be as simple as suggesting to the client to put/paste a note in the main panel that the 2nd panel located _____ has breakers for _________. Also to put a note in the 2n panel for the location of the Main Panel. That way anyone not familiar with the property could find all of the breakers.

    I am always telling people to put notes of where to find thing in their homes so others can track things down easier. Example: Outside water main shut off valve location as a note tied to inside shutoff valve.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Circuit Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Fidel,
    In your two panel situation it might be as simple as suggesting to the client to put/paste a note in the main panel that the 2nd panel located _____ has breakers for _________. Also to put a note in the 2n panel for the location of the Main Panel. That way anyone not familiar with the property could find all of the breakers.

    I am always telling people to put notes of where to find thing in their homes so others can track things down easier. Example: Outside water main shut off valve location as a note tied to inside shutoff valve.
    Thanks Garry, I do the same thing which customer rely like. Thanks so much for taking time to reply. Warmest regards..Fidel

    Fidel F. Gonzales
    RELIANT INSPECTION SERVICE
    http://www.reliantinspectionservice.com

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