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#70482 - 10/09/06 07:27 AM Ideal panel cover?
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
This is intended for any panel manufacturers out there.

From my point of view, the ideal panel cover would have the following features:

- First, be a size I can handle. No 36" x 76" covers;

- Second, have edges thick enough, rounded enough, that they do not act like knives if they slip, slicing my hands open;

- Be of aluminum, plastic, or other LIGHTWEIGHT material;

- Have a "foot" that supports the weight, and lines up the cover, while mounting;

- Have real handles for lifting it off; and,

- Have mounting screws of a normal thread pattern and a head that uses the same screwdriver as you use inside the panel.

One more thing: the sundry 'clamp / washer' devices some panels use, in place of screws, to hold the covers on have proven to be unreliable. Stop making them!

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#70483 - 10/09/06 07:43 AM Re: Ideal panel cover?
mahlere Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 514
Loc: New Jersey
i'll add to that, that for service work purposes, siemens had one of the greatest covers of all time. The cover was/is hinged. Remove 3 screws and hinge the cover open, you don't even have to remove the cover. Let's you get into the guts and troubleshoot very easily.

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#70484 - 10/09/06 04:01 PM Re: Ideal panel cover?
ShockMe77 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Rahway, New Jersey
Handles on the panel cover would be great. I get really nervous whenever I have to remove an I-Line cover that weighs alot. There's really no room for error when working with 277/ 480 voltage.

I recently got one of these surveys in an e-mail and couldn't think of thing to add to it. Oh well.

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#70485 - 10/09/06 04:07 PM Re: Ideal panel cover?
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
mahlere, That is a hinge on hinge cover.

You can order them with most larger panels.

The company I work for used to provide them automatically, now only by customer spec.
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#70486 - 10/09/06 05:34 PM Re: Ideal panel cover?
e57 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
For resi: I would say blind or SOSS hinged, and pop latched with a corner bead to blend it right into any wall. I am totally sick of discussing where it can and can not go with people who outa know better by now.

For Comm: Hinged on hinged, but with a set of screws you could transfer to also include the breaker dead front as well. Just move them over one by one for what exposure you want. Dead front on - dead front off. With it on you cant work on anything but the Gnd and Gnded bars, you need to get past the dead front to access the breakers....

Enough of covers.... Get rid of K/O's on panels I am sick and tired of them! For all the extra time I have wasted trying to gently remove one without taking out the rest, I could make my own in less time... Or just plain not being where I need them. Another waste of time. If you're installing a panel, and don't own a KO set - you have no buisiness doing it in the first place IMO. I know there are some available without them, but are fewer and farther between on availabily these days - and non-existant in many brands.

Another would be the logical placement of grounds and neutrals. One of each on each side for AF's and GF's.
_________________________
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

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#70487 - 10/09/06 06:01 PM Re: Ideal panel cover?
Zapped Offline
Member

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 481
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA, USA
e57 brings up an interesting point about the AFCIs and GFCIs needing a neutral bus near every breaker. It's looking fairly certain that the 2008 NEC is going to be implimenting a requirement for more, if not all, circuits in residential panels to be AFCI protected (as I understand it thus far).

This means that we're probably going to see most, if not all, of the panel manufacturers redesigning (or at least modifying) their products to accmodate the new requirement.

This might be a good time to start lobbying the manufacturers to make the changes we would all like to see, such as some of the great ideas on this thread.

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#70488 - 10/09/06 06:14 PM Re: Ideal panel cover?
Zapped Offline
Member

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 481
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA, USA
BTW, here's the thread on the new AFCI proposal...
http://electrical-contractor.net/ubb/Forum19/HTML/000096.html

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#70489 - 10/09/06 06:20 PM Re: Ideal panel cover?
mahlere Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 514
Loc: New Jersey
bob, yeah I see siemens still offers them. They should be standard on all new installations

or at least all new installations that I might ever have to troubleshoot at some point in time

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#70490 - 10/09/06 06:20 PM Re: Ideal panel cover?
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
Mark,

all great points.

 Quote:
If you're installing a panel, and don't own a KO set - you have no business doing it in the first place


My thought as well.
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#70491 - 10/09/06 07:13 PM Re: Ideal panel cover?
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I doubt guys who work mostly residential would agree about the KOs ;-)
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

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