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  1. #1
    Bob Bassett's Avatar
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    Default How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Tomorrow, I need to let a client's insurance company know the approximate year his electrical panel was replaced or he will be dropped. His home was built in 1959 and he is sure his panel was replaced about 20 years ago and that appears to be so because of the condition of the breakers and panel. It's currently a Square D Panel with no replacement permit on file.

    SQUARE D QO LOAD CENTER
    MFR. NO. NBA3036SKB1
    SERIAL NO. L892514361
    STYLE NO. BEB36A
    BOX CAT NO. QON24M125 Series G1

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Hi Bob,

    The S/N appears to follow the same format of other components including HVAC equipment and many water heaters. Disregard the "L" and look at the first two digits "89" as the year, 1989 and the 25 being the week the panel was manufactured. 99% sure.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    The first picture is off a fan coil unit not a panel.

    Bruce King, B.A. King Home Inspections, LLC
    www.BAKingHomeInspections.com
    Certified Master Inspector, Independent Inspectorwww.IndependentInspectors.org

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Oops, sorry about the fan coil photo. It was grouped near the other photos and I wasn't paying enough attention when I grabbed it.


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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    That changes my answer to "Sorry, I don't know." I went off the numbers you provided and did not click on the pics.


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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    The panel in question is of the current cheesy SQ D design, I would say it's been built in the last 25 years, earlier SQ D loadcenters had a steel interior & would have had a QO main if 100A or less MB panel.


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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    If you need to narrow down the date a bit, you might try contacting Schneider Electric. They bought Square D in 1991, maybe someone there can help you. Probably not, but it's worth the try.

    If I had to estimate when that panel was installed, from the information provided, I would say somewhere between 1980-1990.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post

    If I had to estimate when that panel was installed, from the information provided, I would say somewhere between 1980-1990.

    I agree, that panel was used quite a bit in the mid 80's.

    Dom.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Thanks to all for your helpful comments! What a great service you and this message board provide.


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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    I agree with the mid 1980 for a date. That is not a 1959 panel.

    I would report something like this;;;; "Based on the design and type of panel, I would estimate that this panel was installed in the mid 1980's.", that is about all I would say...

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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Good verbiage Scott. Thanks!


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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Date code for Square D panels is hand stamped or on a separate label on service panels and breakers H 25 W 065 2 the W would represent either 1969 or 1990


  13. #13
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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Eugene,
    Thanks for the info. I don't see under the code, however, we will look for such a code on the panel and if we find one we can try to decipher it.
    Thanks
    Bob Bassett


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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Bob, Sorry about that,that was just an example I should have been a little clearer. Letters stand for the year date.
    A = 1950,1971,1992
    B = 51,72,93 and so forth


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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Got this from a book written by Mark J. Reinmiller his contact info
    is mark@bcihi.com


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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    I believe you have photographed the label for a cutout box front (or a Replacement cabinet front) and NOT a label for an ORIGINAL overall LISTED "enclosed panelboard". The information you provided in the body of your original post is NOT relative to a panel enclosure you photographed in the second and third picture.

    IOW, the cover/front is apparently not "original" (i.e. replacement) to or directly related to the "panelboard" behind it, be it orignally an "enclosed panelboard" or an installed panelboard to a cabinet.

    "QO Load Center Cover"
    "Cat. No. QOC24U"
    "Type 1 Enclosure" "Series G1"

    "Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
    Listed
    'ELECTRIC CABINET FRONT'
    'ISSUE NO. R-888'

    This label tells us NOTHING about the "panelboard" per se.


    You would have to have removed the deadfront cover to confirm or address "Citizen's" concern, if I'm following the 'story" correctly, as to what "guts" i.e. panelboard vintage and listing status; is present behind.

    The cabinet front is not original.

    The label as you have photographed is not for a listed "enclosed panelboard" which would include the "panelboard" for a residential "load cneter" as well as the "enclosure" which would include the "dead front" and the "cover"...but merely a front for a "box", cabinet, cut-out, etc. allthough it is entirely possible that the replacement front was dually refenced as a replacement part for an "enclosed panelboard".

    However, we cannot "assume" what was or was not original regards the listing status history of the enclosure, or that the "panelboard" was installed int he field within or was originally listed as an enclosure to the panelboard itself, factory installed within; or was 'merely' a cabinet and a seperately listed panelboard was field installed within the cabinet, which same panelboard may have been (or should have been if the former was the case) separately listed.

    What you may be looking at is a convereted "can" or "box", retrofit, a replacement "front" to a previously listed "enclosed panelboard" or the replacement front of an enclosure which has had a panelboard installed within.

    The photographed "label" is for something which is not "all encompassing" as to the cover/door, the "enclosure" and the "panelboard", but JUSt the cut out box and the front cover & door - the panelboard "not included".

    It appears you have photographed something that fell into the UL category code "CYIV" or a component thereof.

    That would fall under UL Standard number 50 (ANSI/UL 50) and NOT UL 67.

    As far as aging it - I wouldn't attempt it especially with what you have supplied. You "might" get some help if you 3-way called UL C.S. and a higher up with Schneider Elec/Sq. D. regarding "historical" "listing card" info. - I doubt it. You would need to visualize the panelboard itself.

    More dubious regarding "non permitted" status and history as implied.

    You *might* check on the "inspection" and "recall" or 'silent recall' status with square D/Schneider, and repair/updates from same. Examine higher resolution regarding the yellow round "star" sticker upon the main CB. I don't think you'd get very far, if I am correct in my assessment, that what you have pictured is merely an "enclosure" cover/front (UL 50) label, and NOT a listed "enclosed panelboard" assembly listed label, (UL 67).

    Link to UL's Guide Info file: CYIV (clickable link): CYIV.GuideInfo - Cabinets and Cutout Boxes

    and a link to UL's Guide Info File QEUY, Panelboards (clickable link):

    QEUY.GuideInfo - Panelboards

    Without the panelboard info , pictures inside, etc. can't help you further.


    HTH.





    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-27-2011 at 11:57 PM.

  17. #17
    Jim Port's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    For those that don't know, Square D sells the load centers separately from the covers. You choose whether you need a surface or flush mount cover for the correct enclosure and mounting style.

    The yellow star sticker indicates the AIC rating on the breaker.

    Last edited by Jim Port; 05-28-2011 at 04:15 AM.
    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Look behind dead front for possibly an inspector's sticker with signature and the date that the box was approved for energizing.


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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Bassett View Post
    Tomorrow, I need to let a client's insurance company know the approximate year his electrical panel was replaced or he will be dropped.
    With all the above said, including that Square D has separate covers for the same panelboard - which does not mean that the cover is (or is not) original to the panelboard - it simply means that the installed box and installed cover are both listed and labeled, keep in mind that the insurance company is looking too YOU for a date, and that should something happen and that date be incorrect, the insurance company may well come looking for YOU to explain why the date is incorrect.

    If there is no permit information and if the panel is most definitely newer than the date of construction, all you can say is that the panel does not appear to be original, that it appears to have been replaced AT SOME POINT IN TIME.

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

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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    I do a quite a few underwriting inspections for insurance purposes, and my immediate thought is that too much is being read into dating this panel/installation.

    The key word that has to be considered when answering this qusetion is "APPROXIMATE", which is why, in my original post I stated 1980-1990. Taking into consideration everything that has been presented, ALONG WITH THE HOMEOWNER'S statement that the panel had been replaced apporx 20 years ago. This is MY estimation. Dom and Scott estimated sometime in the mid '80's.


    Mind you, the company that I provide this service through, is without question the most reputable (and largest) of all such companies. In either of the two forms we use that ask about updates of electrical systems, the homeowner's statement, in and of itself is enough to answer the question. The only time I would question the answer, is if I saw something that caused me to have doubt.

    Remember, they are looking for an estimate.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 05-29-2011 at 07:58 AM.
    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    My point was that the "vintage" of the cover has nothing to do with the "vintage" of the panelboard/load center behind it, nor does it indicate the mfg date or installation date of the panelboard/load center behind it.

    No information or photo has been offered to indicate the dead front was removed and the panelboard, any labeling therein, nor the "guts" of the "can" or "box" was visualized.

    And for those that don't know you *can* mount a sq. d on another's "can" the same cover can be installed on a OEM or Recognized Componant as well. Whether or not you should or shouldn't, you 'may' or 'may not' ... but you *can* "can"

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-28-2011 at 04:26 PM.

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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Perhaps you'd appreciate this document to add to your library.

    It is the DATE CODE systems employed by Square D.

    I think you'll find page 2 helpful, especially the notes as to where to find said date code on Type QO load centers.

    I've attached, and provide a link to download here (Link): Technical Library - Schneider Electric Schneider Electric That should take you to the options to view or download page for the document. If that doesn't do...try this link to directly view the pdf (Link): http://static.schneider-electric.us/...0110PD9201.pdf Seems they're forever moving items, so have u/l attached from same.

    Too late to help with your instant subject topic, especially if you did not remove the cover...but perhaps for next time, and for any HI interested.

    HTH.

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-28-2011 at 04:30 PM.

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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    My point was that the "vintage" of the cover has nothing to do with the "vintage" of the panelboard/load center behind it, nor does it indicate the mfg date or installation date of the panelboard/load center behind it.
    Totally agree; point well taken.

    No information or photo has been offered to indicate the dead front was removed and the panelboard, any labeling therein, nor the "guts" of the "can" or "box" was visualized.


    Altough I always remove deadfront when doing a home inspection, when doing an underwriting inspection I never remove the deadfront. This is not by my choice, but as directed by employer.

    As a point of interest, whereas the average home inspection may take 3-4 hours, an average underwriting inspection takes about 1/2 hour. This is the nature of the beast, this is what the requestor is willing to pay for.

    During surveys (inspections are called surveys) much of what is entered is based upon the information supplied by the insured during the interview. I actually once had a problem because during a survey of a large limosine co./car service, when I asked if drivers license motor vehicle checks were done at hiring and yearly, 1 person in the room responded yes, 1 responded no. I asked to see 1 of the drivers folders. It turned out the answer was no. I received a complaint, and was instructed by the company that in the future I was to go by what the insured responded, and was not to ask for verification.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 05-28-2011 at 06:24 PM.
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    Default Re: How to determine age of GE panel, combo, distribution equipment or MCCB

    I know this is off-topic for the instant discussion, but related.

    GE distribution equipment and MCCBs (molded case circuit breakers) Date Code System (started, IIRC, sometime in the late 60s but I don't recall the "symbol" which indicates the 60s decade at the moment.

    Throwing this out there while its on my mind (since I'm not so sure this information is "out there" anywhere on the www, haven't seen it, and thought I should share it before it gets frozen shut/stuck in a rusty file cabinet drawer in the ol' noggin "file room" .

    First there will be from one to three alpha characters, followed by three digits (numbers) followed by a symbol character postion. There may or may not be additional designations which follow.

    The first one to three letter characters designate the plant location and/or contract(ee and/or contractor and/or origin) - the next three will be numbers (digits) followed by a special character symbol. The number first will be a number from zero to nine - this indicates the last digit of the FISCAL YEAR END for the period the item was manufactured in. The next two digits indicate which (fiscal) week in the fiscal year the item was manufactured (IOW the second and third digits will comprise a number between 01 and 52); follwed by the last character placeholder which will be a special symbol, the decade of the fiscal year the item was manufactured.

    Thus:

    X representing a letter may be one, two, or three letter code (might be XX or XXX) (sorry I don't recall the plant codes at the moment)
    followed by
    NNN (three numbers) first number is last digit in the FISCAL year of mfg (0 through 9), next two numbers indicate the fiscal week number of manufacture (second digit may be from 0 through 5, third digit may be from 0 through 9)
    followed by
    a special symbol for the fiscal decade year placeholder as follows:
    • 2000s: &
    • 1990s: =
    • 1980s: +
    • 1970s: *
    • 1960s (late yrs only): I forgot!!! (it *might* have been "#" without the quotes, or _ ).
    For example, after one, two, or three letters (X, XX, or XXX) "M942=" (without the quotes) would indicate Plant M (Plainville, CT) the ninth fiscal year, the 42nd fiscal week, of the decade of fiscal years that ended in the 1990s; IOW, Manufactured in Plainville, CT on the 42nd fiscal week in the fiscal year which ended in 1999.

    Sorry I don't recall when the GE fiscal year ends (or ended then) either, never held shares of GE, didn't concern me enough to have remembered it. Perils of age - strange things pop into your head when you least expect it, but on the otherhand, stuff you "always knew/know" escapes you when you want to recall it.


    On another note, when mfg such as before or after date effective changes in 1984 (if I'm recalling that eventful effective date of implementation of changes -- in the Standards and in how they were verified and tested vs. the former "calculation" methods -- correctly, and not having an "Orwellian" moment ); regarding safety issues, ratings, etc. is rather important to those insurance "surveys" regarding risk management and for clients of HIs regarding safety.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-28-2011 at 06:21 PM.

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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Steve,
    I note that you do not remove the deadfront during your 4 point inspection. One of the questions asked ihere in FL pertains to whether there is any aluminum branch circuit wiring. How do you determine that w/o pulling off the deadfront or is it that the insurer is not asking you for this info?


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    Cool Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Im curious why do you need to tell them, why not give your client the report with that information and let him give that information to his insurance company.


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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Bob, 4 pont inspection is not an expression we use, but I am assuming you mean plumbing, heating, electrical, sprinkler systems, commercial cooking, and roofing. All of those are included in the report, as to the estimed date of upgrade if any (information supplied by insured), and if they appear sub standard.

    Each carrier has their own pet peeves and/or forms. Some companies want to know about window guards, some don't (etc). I am not asked about aluminum wiring, and do not to remove /open panels (for underwriting surveys). Of course if any unusual conditions are noted it(they) must be included in the narrative, and if I think an insured is not being forthright, or note any discrepancies between what I am told and what I see, it must be included in the narrative.

    There are many other items too; exits, aisles, glass, walking surfaces, railings, occupancy questions, exposures... I could continue. Actually, it is suprising just how much information can be gathered in 1/2 an hour.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Steve,
    You are correct, our 4 Point is a mini inspection limited to the Roof, Electric, Plumbing and HVAC. The insurer is basically looking for system upgrades as most 4 Point requests are on houses 40 years plus in age. The Aluminum wiring question is on the approved Nachi form we use.


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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Ramirez View Post
    Im curious why do you need to tell them, why not give your client the report with that information and let him give that information to his insurance company.
    There are many things in the report that an insured may not realize or care to disclose. There are many things in the report are depend upon an inspector's (field representitive's) observation.

    A few month's ago I was sent to reinspect a building that had a claim against it. There was a ramp at the front step leading into the store that didn't have a handrail. They had sent out an engineer, and the underwriter was upset that the last inspector did not make mention of it.

    While I was there I noticed a shopping cart full of additional conditions, that their engineer did not include.

    The building was located about 12 feet away from a elevated train (with train traffic every 20 minutes), This means vibration. Serious water infiltration, along with building settlement added cracks in the structure, and when I was in the second floor of the risk, I noticed that snow load and ice damming (flat roof) had caused an approx 10" deflection in the ceiling.

    More snow was in he forcast, this was late friday afternoon, and I couldn't contact anyone,,, although I did send out emails. I watched the news the entire weekend.

    My point is that although a few questions are answered by the insured in an interview, there is much more that can only be answered by a keen eye.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Wisnewski View Post
    Steve,
    You are correct, our 4 Point is a mini inspection limited to the Roof, Electric, Plumbing and HVAC. The insurer is basically looking for system upgrades as most 4 Point requests are on houses 40 years plus in age. The Aluminum wiring question is on the approved Nachi form we use.
    Well I think knowing if a home has aluminum wiring is a good idea, although I wonder if that information is even required by your client. Some companies may not want the liability of having you open the panel on their behalf. Remember, although you may be the greatest Home Inspector on Earth, you are not a licensed electrician. If you get hurt, or hurt someone or something, it can expose them to liability.

    Don't get me wrong, I have repeatedly stated that during a home inspection I open the panel, but this is not a home inspection. Also remember, whomever designed the iNachi form, did not have a particular client in mind, and was probably someone taking recommendations from numerous contributers, and added anything that sounded good.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    Steve,
    In FL, Citizens' the largest insurer and Stae owned pretty much sets the standards when it comes to doing Wind Mits, Roof Certs and 4 Point inspections. Citizens' has endorsed the Nachi 4 Point form format and most other carriers follow suit. In fact, FL Nachi just issued a blurb regarding the photos insurer's require on 4 Points which now include pics of the electrical panel. Being originally from NY, I don't mind inspecting an electrical panel vs knowing what you have to do in that climate!


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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    I agree, the weather can be brutal up here.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  33. #33
    Bob Bassett's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I determine a Square D Electrical Panel Age

    FYI - I took Scott's & others' advice and gave an estimate of the panel date and photos of the panel. It was obviously not a 1959 panel. The client now has insurance thanks to all of you for you help and advise.


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