Re: Inverting electrical panel 180 degrees?
- From: Bruce L. Bergman <bruceNOSPAMbergman@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 07:40:24 -0700
On Sat, 29 Aug 2009 01:03:27 GMT, spambait@xxxxxxxxxx (Doug Miller)
In article <8i9g95lfhfra25p3th5nlgn8mm37gd16fs@xxxxxxx>, Bruce L. Bergman <bruceNOSPAMbergman@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Fri, 28 Aug 2009 05:57:50 -0700 (PDT), stryped <stryped1@xxxxxxxxx>
I opened my main breaker General Electric 100 amp panel I bought. The
direction say to rotate the enclosure 180 degrees if it will be bottom
fed. (WHich mine will).
WHy is this? If I do that the main breaker will be at the bottom which
The new rules require that you don't have to bend the wires much
before landing them on the main lugs or main breaker "Line" side. They
want them to have a straight shot at the lugs.
As a practical matter, if you have enough wire in the can to bring
the feeders up and around to the line lugs at the top of the can,
install it right side up.
Wrong. Installing the equipment in a manner contrary to the manufacturer's
instructions is a Code violation. You have no idea if there's enough space in
that can to bend the wires for a bottom-feed, top-breaker installation. The
manufacturer *does*. And the manufacturer says don't do that.
The same manufacturer who likes to stencil "No User Serviceable
Parts Inside, Do Not Open" just to get you to throw it out and buy
Some days you can do it exactly like they say and go home. But
there are the times you have to read the instructions and understand
what they want and why they want it - then ignore parts of the
instructions and do your work in a Safe and Workmanlike Manner. And
be prepared to defend your logic and decisions.
Often because the customer isn't going to pay you to rip out the
entire panel and start over just to make it look like the ideal pretty
picture on the cover of the instructions.
That instruction sheet can be a valuable resource - but a lot of the
stuff they print is in there solely for Lawsuit Immunity and nothing
Sunshade instructions printed on the back side: "Remove from your
car windshield before driving the car." You say "Well, Duh!" but they
have been sued for far stupider stuff before - and lost.
Example: Do you always shut off power to the entire building just to
work on a branch circuit? The first paragraphs of the instruction
sheet are inevitably a whole laundry list of Shall Nots, and the top
of the list is "Never Work On Any Electrical Equipment Hot" - and the
customer is running an office with 50 computers.
If you shut off the main or start killing branch circuits at random
during the day without a Real Good Reason (usually involving flames)
they're going to be carrying you out the front door in a pine box,
And your customer is not paying extra for night work either, so
you'll just have to eat it when you come back. IF you can even get
access after hours at all - the customer doesn't want to pay an
employee or a security guard to let you in and babysit the site.
If the feeder wires are going to end up
too short to get to the top of the new can, then you can go through
the hassle of inverting the guts.
Wrong. Altering the equipment in any manner not explicitly provided for in the
manufacturer's instructions is a Code violation.
What color is the sun on your homeworld? Theoretically, you are
A proper installation with a fused disconnect switch should not have
the Line and Load leads crossing inside the can, just in case things
get hot and they short against each other. Practically, you aren't
going to rebuild an existing old power system just to avoid this.
You call it "Grandfathered" and move on. You do not have to bring
the entire1953 installation up to 2009 standards just because you
change a bad breaker.
Theoretically, you aren't allowed to modify any pieces inside the
panel, you have to replace with all new - but try to order piece
parts. For new panels they are not easily identified by part numbers,
prohibitively expensive and have a real long lead time. For old
panels they are flat out not going to be available, especially if the
maker has been out of business for thirty years.
Practically, you get a chunk of 1/8" x 3/4" radius edge copper bar
stock and make new main buss bars for that Zinsco panel. Done.
--<< Bruce >>--
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