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#27381 - 07/12/03 05:44 AM Where do you locate your panels?
Happy Birthday njelectricmaster Offline
Registered: 04/29/01
Posts: 109
Loc: Lead, South Dakota
Hello from South Dakota!!

When I was living in Colorado we would almost always place the main panel in the garage when wiring a house. Then place the meter just on the opposite side of the wall and run a nipple between the two.

Now that I have moved to the north a few miles, I find that alot of the houses being built here, and all of the older ones, have the panel in the basement with a meter/disco on the outside.

I was curious as to where the rest of you place your panels on new residential construction. Is there a benifit to having it in the basement? As far as I can see, it seems a little hard to add anything after the basement is finished. It also seemed like more of a hassle when doing any trouble-shooting to keep running up and down those darned stairs.

Does anyone still use weatherproof panels for all the circuits?

Thanks, Jon
Jon Niemeyer
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
#27382 - 07/12/03 06:50 AM Re: Where do you locate your panels?
Tom Offline
Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1044
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
We're kind of at the mercy of the power company here. Meter needs to be within 15 feet of a corner of the house nearest the pole. Most folks don't want to pay extra for an outdoor service disconnect, so many times, the panel ends up installed directly behind the meter.

As for basement installations, I usually run a couple of 3/4" empty conduits from the panel to the attic to make life easy for the next guy (sometimes it's me).
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
#27383 - 07/12/03 02:30 PM Re: Where do you locate your panels?
iwire Offline
Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4391
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
Here in the Northeast the basement is the place.

I do not think other than a few cabins (no basement) I have seen 3R panels used.

Stairs are not as much trouble as standing in rain and snow working on a panel.
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
#27384 - 07/12/03 03:46 PM Re: Where do you locate your panels?
ga.sparky56 Offline
Registered: 11/24/02
Posts: 558
Loc: young harris georgia usa
Here in the wilds of N.E. Ga. we usually put them in the basement next to the WH and furnace. Sometimes in the garage if no basement.

#27385 - 07/12/03 04:52 PM Re: Where do you locate your panels?
Trumpy Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8211
Loc: SI,New Zealand
It really depends on what the layout of the house is like.
I like to install my panels, in a place that is inconspicuous, but is still easily found later.
A common place over here, is in the Laundry or the garage.
All of our meter panels these days, are outside, so it is really up to the EC, where the switch-board is placed.
Our regs, for obvious reasons, prohibit placing them in Bathrooms(not the Toilet room) and above a cooking appliance.
Can't say I've wired many 2-storey places, though!.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin
#27386 - 07/12/03 07:26 PM Re: Where do you locate your panels?
scjohn Offline
Registered: 07/04/02
Posts: 74
Loc: charleston, SC, USA
Tom said:As for basement installations, I usually run a couple of 3/4" empty conduits from the panel to the attic to make life easy for the next guy (sometimes it's me).

I thought I was the only one that did that!!
#27387 - 07/13/03 03:20 AM Re: Where do you locate your panels?
pauluk Offline
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7520
Loc: Norfolk, England
Very few houses in England have a basement, although some old Victorian places have a coal cellar and the services were sometimes located down there.

The kitchen is a popular location around this area, generally located up high in a cupboard as most rural services are/were overhead. In town houses where underground service laterals were the norm since early days, the panel is often located in a hallway cupboard near floor level.

A few new homes have the service/panel in an attached garage, but there are still many houses in this country with no garage.

Outdoor panels aren't generally used in residential work.

[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 07-13-2003).]
#27388 - 07/13/03 06:10 AM Re: Where do you locate your panels?
PCBelarge Offline
Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 681
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
What is kind of funny in the world electricians deal with is this. The electrical wiring and especially the panel is very important in the success of a job. Because the 'electric' is invisible, and usually so reliable, most 'consumers' do not think about it and it is given very low priorty. So the location of a panel is given very low priorty and stuffed somewhere it is hard to get at later.

Now a problem occurs and we have to access the panel and it becomes more costly.
The first person to complain about how and where the panel is installed is that same customer.
Here is a typical scenario:
" Why didn't you install an outlet there when we were renovating? Because you said the $7,500.00 marble countertop put you over budget and you could not afford it."
The mentality of an average customer is that we (electricians) are very low priorty until something does not work.

Pierre Belarge
#27389 - 07/13/03 07:35 AM Re: Where do you locate your panels?
ThinkGood Offline
Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1081
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
As to what PCBelarge wrote, I concur:

While it's obvious that the plumbing was recently repaired, the 36" clear space needed in front was not present from the start.

To the folks who install spare conduit, that is such a minor expense (compared to the overall cost of building a house) that must save a whole lot of time and money later on. Good job!
#27390 - 07/15/03 08:02 PM Re: Where do you locate your panels?
John Steinke Offline
Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 518
Loc: Reno,Nv., USA
In Reno, everyone seems to like "All-in-one" units outdoors, at the service drop.
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