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Thread: Ineed input

  1. #1
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    Default Ineed input

    per IRC

    SECTION E3305
    EQUIPMENT LOCATION AND CLEARANCES

    E3305.1 Working space and clearances.
    Sufficient access
    andworking space shall be provided and maintained around all
    electrical equipment to permit ready and safe operation and
    maintenance of such equipment in accordance with this section
    and Figure E3305.1.

    Would this apply to a meter Base?



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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    This looks like a fence between duplexes. The immediate problem:
    • not readily accessible to meter readers.
    • not 30 inches clear in front
    • not 15 inches clear either side of the center line
    Dick or Jerry could verify the validity of the second and third bullets. I don't see them addressed in NEC, but it seems intuitive. If it's true for the service panel, why wouldn't it make sense for the meter?

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    Actually it is a single family home with a fence starting about 10 foot back from the driveway.
    The way I read it is ..... "All electrical equipment" So... I'm 99.9% sure of the answer. The problem is that .01% that nags at the back of your mind.
    I looked to find a reference to the Meter base being considered part of the "service equipment" but, couldn't find any. Common sense is telling me it is.
    But I'd still like to see a written reference.

    Then again..... "All electrical equipment" ..........


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    "This looks like a fence between duplexes. The immediate problem:
    • not readily accessible to meter readers.
    • not 30 inches clear in front
    • not 15 inches clear either side of the center line[/quote]
    The meter is "readily accessible" (you do not have to bring a ladder in to get to it and there is no screwed on access cover over it, etc.).

    The requirement is for 36" in front of the electrical equipment. The meter and its enclosure is electrical equipment.

    There is no requirement for 15" to each side of center, just 30" which can slide from one side to the other, i.e., nothing can be 'in front of', but something can be 'right next to' one side.

    Those plants need to be cut back or removed to provide the required 36" working space in front of the meter.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    For code references, we need to start with:

    From the NEC.

    - Equipment. A general term including material, fittings, devices, appliances, luminaires (fixtures), apparatus, and the like used as a part of, or in connection with, an electrical installation.

    And, it is "electrical", so it is "electrical equipment".

    Then we need to clarify IF the working space requirement applies. A "conduit fitting" is "electrical equipment" by definition.

    Okay, how do when know when to apply the requirements for "working space"?

    From the NEC. (bold and underlining are mine)
    - 110.26 Spaces About Electrical Equipment.
    - - Sufficient access and working space shall be provided and maintained about all electric equipment to permit ready and safe operation and maintenance of such equipment. Enclosures housing electrical apparatus that are controlled by lock and key shall be considered accessible to qualified persons.
    - - - (A) Working Space. Working space for equipment operating at 600 volts, nominal, or less to ground and likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized shall comply with the dimensions of 110.26(A)(1), (2), and (3) or as required or permitted elsewhere in this Code.

    IS the meter "likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance" ... "while energized"?

    Yes. Absolutely.

    The conduit fitting I referenced? No. Before you could do almost anything to or with a conduit fitting, you would need to first separate the conduit run, and that means first ("likely" anyway) removing the conductors, and that means it would *not* "be energized". No working space required about that "electrical equipment".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    Somehow, having to cut down a bush didn't seem like readily accessible to me. Thanks for clarifying the other two points.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Walker View Post
    Somehow, having to cut down a bush didn't seem like readily accessible to me. Thanks for clarifying the other two points.
    Thom,

    you are mixing terms which are defined in the NEC with normal usage thinking, and when referring to something which is covered by code, the correct terms need to be used, otherwise, confusion arises between the one using an incorrect term and the one who is responding, i.e., if you go in and talk to an electrical inspector, electrical contractor, etc., and say "readily accessible" they will (should) think in the terms governing their work.

    That said, here is the definition of "readily accessible":

    - Accessible, Readily (Readily Accessible). Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable ladders, and so forth.

    Your concern regarding the plants and bushes falls under "working space" which must both be provided "and maintained".

    Thus, for those plants, you would apply the "working space" requirements.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    Thank you Jerry........


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    Default Re: Ineed input

    Victor,

    Around here we'd recommend that they get completely rid of that shrub. It is a red-tipped photenia shrub which is one of the worst shrubs you could place against a foundation.

    There root system is known to cause foundation issue and this shrub absorbs more than normal moisture from the ground.

    I've seen foundations on the interior of the house that has had hole jack hammered out in that these photenia roots are everywhere below the slab.

    Homeowners like them because they are fast growing and cheap in price. If left untrimmed, they can grow over the roof of a 2 story home.

    Do the client a favor and recommend the removal of these shrubs.

    Rick


  10. #10
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Victor,
    Do the client a favor and recommend the removal of these shrubs.
    Rick
    Yup... couldn't agree more. This shrub is a boil on the ass of your foundation!!

    Rich


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    Don't view this as argumentative. I'm trying to learn something correctly that I THOUGHT I understood.

    The 36" in front, I knew. 30" was a typo.

    The 15" either side is derived from a drawing used in every Code Check since I've been buying them. panel clearance.bmp (I haven't uploaded on this new format, so I hope it works.) Can you see where the confusion comes?

    Re: mixing terminology, point taken. I believe I understand everything you have posted prior to this. I understand why this is a working space issue. However,

    Jerry:
    "Accessible, Readily (Readily Accessible). Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable ladders, and so forth."

    Why wouldn't the case of Victor's bush fall under both? Isn't that bush an obstacle?

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    Thom,

    I disagree with your statement of 15" on each side.

    Also, it is 36" from the front of the enclosure, which in my mind means the bush needs to be cut back to that point so that the meter reader has the appropriate space available if needed. (Today, a lot of meters have gone digital and they 'power company' read them from the office)

    According to the 03 IRC:

    E3305.2 Working clearances for energized equipment and panelboards.
    Except as otherwise specified in Chapters 33 through 42, the dimension of the working space in the direction of access to panelboards and live parts likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing or maintenance while energized shall be not less than 36 inches (914 mm) in depth. Distances shall be measured from the energized parts where such parts are exposed or from the enclosure front or opening where such parts are enclosed. In addition to the 36-inch dimension (914 mm), the work space shall not be less than 30 inches (762 mm) wide in front of the electrical equipment and not less than the width of such equipment. The work space shall be clear and shall extend from the floor or platform to a height of 6.5 feet (1981 mm). In all cases, the work space shall allow at least a 90-degree opening of equipment doors or hinged panels. Equipment associated with the electrical installation located above or below the electrical equipment shall be permitted to extend not more than 6 inches (152 mm) beyond the front of the electrical equipment.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    Tim,
    How can you disagree with a question for clarification? The way the drawing was done looks like 30" total and in the case of the drawing it is divided at the midpoint of the meter? I don't give a rat's patootey about being correct in my former opinion. I'm trying to understand the drawing.

    For the second time, I understand why I should have said "working space." The question was, why isn't it ALSO not readily accessible? Is the bush not an obstacle?

    I have to go to bed. I'm getting testy.

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

  14. #14
    Tim Moreira's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    Wooooh Thom,

    I'm not disagreeing with your question on a clarification.

    What I said is that:

    I disagree with your statement of 15" on each side.
    As I read the code it is saying 30" total or no smaller that the width of the enclosure. Not necessarily 15" from each side. I have never seen that particular photo before. Maybe a miscommunication/read/interpretation of your question on my part. If so, I apologize.

    I was not questioning your opinion in that regard.

    Yes, I too believe that the bush makes it not readily accessible and it *is* an obstacle that *is* in the working space and needs to be removed/cut back to allow for the proper clearance.

    Sorry if I misstated my previous post. I think we *are* on the same page here.

    If *I* am misreading the code then it is *I* who needs the clarification.

    Sorry,

    Night, night


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Walker View Post
    Tim,
    How can you disagree with a question for clarification? The way the drawing was done looks like 30" total and in the case of the drawing it is divided at the midpoint of the meter? I don't give a rat's patootey about being correct in my former opinion. I'm trying to understand the drawing. Ideally the meter would be centered within the 30" space, NOT always the case, therefore anywhere within the side to side 30" allowed

    For the second time, I understand why I should have said "working space." The question was, why isn't it ALSO not readily accessible? Is the bush not an obstacle? YES to anyone having to service the meter, NO in real estate jargon that North Texas WEED is a "foliar enhancement" to camouflage the meter base

    I have to go to bed. I'm getting testy.
    Can you tell the guys from Texas don't care much for this plant?

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    Thanks all for the input about the plant. I have been in crawl spaces, looking for reasons why there was upheaval, only to discover a root system from nearby trees causing the problem.
    "Ram-Jack", an outfit that props up foundations, wanted an exhorbitant amount of money to stabilize that foundation.
    The homeowner decided to "trench" where the roots were coming in and to allow natural decay of the roots to gently settle the foundation back in place.

    Another plant I call out is the Oleander. Very toxic. Even deadly.
    toxic


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    Okay, I got sleep. Mr. Nice Guy again.

    Oleander. And beautiful.

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

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Ineed input

    "The way the drawing was done looks like 30" total and in the case of the drawing it is divided at the midpoint of the meter?"

    The drawing is shown as sort-of being centered, but the lack of a 'center line' on the 30" dimension indicates (to me) that it is simply showing 30". The drawing is lax, however, in that it also does not show that 30" as sliding from one side to the other.

    "The question was, why isn't it ALSO not readily accessible? Is the bush not an obstacle?"

    While it is an "obstacle" (which is why you are addressing it as being in, and blocking, the working space), I would not consider it in the 'no longer readily accessible' category. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? It is, but it isn't?

    In the technical aspect and wording of the code, yes, I would define it as 'an obstacle', I did, which is why the 'working space' factor kicked in.

    Maybe I'm just mellowing a bit and ...

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

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