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#196152 - 09/16/10 08:37 AM Sub-Panel Trade Practices?
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5300
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Let's assume that you are asked to mount a new panel next to an existing panel. I'd like your opinions on a few design issues:

1- Do you mount the smallest/cheapest panel you can, get one a little bit larger (for future growth, or do you try to match the physical size of the first panel?

2- Do you attempt to match the original brand of breaker, or do you install the brand YOU prefer?

3- If the new panel is a different size than the first one, how do you line them up? By the KO's you use to connect them? By the top or bottom edge? On center?

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#196157 - 09/16/10 12:21 PM Re: Sub-Panel Trade Practices? [Re: renosteinke]
ghost307 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 877
Loc: Chicago Illinois USA
1. If I'm going to ever be back or play on upselling more work, I'll make my life easier with a panel that has some spaces left in it. If it's strictly $$, I'll tend to go as cheap as possible. But before I leave zero spaces, I'll ask the question if they want to spend a few more bucks to have some extra blanks for the future. Usually they want to go up just a tad to save ripping out a new install to replace it when the whirlpool tub goes on sale at the big box store.

2. Same as #1. If I have to move a breaker from the main panel to the sub, it makes life easier if they're the same ones.

3. Generally I'll try to line up the tops of the tubs. If I'm mounting one below the other, I'll line up the centerlines unless there's a wall of something that make me rather line up one of the sides instead.
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#196159 - 09/16/10 12:30 PM Re: Sub-Panel Trade Practices? [Re: ghost307]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6786
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Reno:
What I have seen...

1: Most ECs install panels with additional spaces, a few install the bare minimum.

Personally, I would install one with additional space.

2: This is about a 50-50 split.

Personally, I would match what is there, if it is still available; if no...my brand of choice.

3: To many variations.

Personally, match line would be at the top.
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John

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#196167 - 09/16/10 02:38 PM Re: Sub-Panel Trade Practices? [Re: HotLine1]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5300
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Personally, I would have thought: line up the tops of the panels. Then I did a bar / restaurant remodel.

After all the beer signs and mirrors and artwork was hung by the customer, I stepped back and looked at the result. The customer, under the direction of his watchful wife, placed each item exactly where sh directed. The end result? Almost a perfectly straight line along the bottoms of them!

Makes me re-consider my inclinations.....

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#196168 - 09/16/10 02:44 PM Re: Sub-Panel Trade Practices? [Re: renosteinke]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9012
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
How tall was she
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#196171 - 09/16/10 03:30 PM Re: Sub-Panel Trade Practices? [Re: gfretwell]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5300
Loc: Blue Collar Country
laugh I'd say she was of "averge" height.

I think that if you visit a few local restaurants, etc., ... you might begin to see a pattern. It sure seems that way to me - things mounted 'above the waist' seem to be lined up with the bottoms even- at least more often than not.

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#196178 - 09/16/10 07:06 PM Re: Sub-Panel Trade Practices? [Re: renosteinke]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9012
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I just assume if the bottom is closer the the eye line, that is what you line up to. If you are taller you will look at the tops.
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#196187 - 09/17/10 12:15 AM Re: Sub-Panel Trade Practices? [Re: gfretwell]
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8530
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Going by the fact that most of our boards over here will be flush-mount as opposed to surface-mount, you would have the top of the sub-board level with the other board.

Future expansion is something that is an un-written rule amongst Electricians here, you never install a panel that only takes into account, only YOUR circuits.
Simply because, you could be the one, down the track that has to add new circuits in the future.
Why make life harder for yourself or the next guy just for the sake of a few dollars.
This is what Trade Practice is all about.



Edited by Trumpy (09/17/10 12:19 AM)
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#196190 - 09/17/10 06:34 AM Re: Sub-Panel Trade Practices? [Re: Trumpy]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6786
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Remember, there are differences in "Trade Practice"!

Sometimes, it's horray for me and.......the next guy.

Sometimes it's down to dollars and cents, and not sense!

How about using the good ol' six switch rule, to avoid installing a main device?
_________________________
John

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#196191 - 09/17/10 06:40 AM Re: Sub-Panel Trade Practices? [Re: HotLine1]
harold endean Offline
Member

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 2248
Loc: Boonton, NJ
John,

I have seen it done all different ways. I myself would always leave some extra room. Hopefully, I was the one to go back and do more work on the house. I would ask the homeowner if they were going to do more work on the house, if so then I also would offer several options, like asking the HO if they wanted to upgrade to a larger panel.

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