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#76589 - 02/22/01 07:50 PM Load Centers Upside Down?
sparky66wv Offline
Member
Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2232
Loc: West Virginia
Can one install a GE Load Center upside-down?
Or any brand for that matter...

My Inspector says that the main breaker is not rated to be "fed upside-down", but I say they meant back-feeding the breaker through the buss, not the effects of gravity on a breaker...

This particular panel has the information written sideways, has the words LINE written to be readable in both directions and the numbers are written sideways beside the breakers.

Once again, he has given me a warning for the next time...

Please keep in mind that here in the sticks, bottom fed panels are a special order deal and we often have to make do with what we've got. (Excuses, excuses...)

Pardon my ignorance once again... but I can't find anything in the NEC to help me here...

I welcome all comments...
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-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
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#76590 - 02/22/01 08:05 PM Re: Load Centers Upside Down?
Bill Addiss Offline
Member
Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3875
Loc: NY, USA
'66

Which way does the Breaker switch?
I have always thought that's the determining factor. (up & down? or side to side - if it's up & down "up" must be the "on" position) But if the instructions on the door are upside-down He may have a good point there.

Bill
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#76591 - 02/23/01 05:53 AM Re: Load Centers Upside Down?
sparky66wv Offline
Member
Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2232
Loc: West Virginia
Ok... the info on the door is written sideways to facilitate either direction.

The Breaker is the type that "up should be on"... admittedly...

However... his argument is that they aren't RATED to be upside-down and I think he's full of it...

If there is one sentence anywhere in the code to back him up I'll shut up about it, but I don't want people's friggin' "opinions" costing me money. BOTTOM LINE......



[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 02-23-2001).]
_________________________
-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
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#76592 - 02/23/01 07:15 AM Re: Load Centers Upside Down?
sparky66wv Offline
Member
Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2232
Loc: West Virginia
OK Joe thanks for the email...

Now the truth comes out...

1999 NEC: 240-81.

Circuit breakers shall clearly indicate whether they are in the open
“off” or closed “on” position.
Where circuit breaker handles are operated vertically rather than
rotationally or horizontally, the “up” position of the handle shall be
the “on” position.

So I'll shut up now...

Have to admit I didn't look real hard mainly because the inspector said the he wasn't sure whether it was a code violation or a listing/rating violation, then later told me it was a listing deal... so I took him on his word...That's what got me hot because if it's a listing/rating thing, I think he misinterpreted what they meant by "feeding from the bottom". I say they meant back-feeding through the buss isn't permissible, but he says having gravity affect the breaker in a way it isn't designed...blah blah blah...

The code obviously backs this up, and I now remember having this question on my journeyman's test waaaay back when...

I wish the AHJ would have said "the panel is in violation of 240-81" but he doesn't quote anything and probably knows code about as well as I do which is barely enough to pass the test.

If I could just make money with music...all this would be moot....
_________________________
-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
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#76593 - 02/23/01 08:10 AM Re: Load Centers Upside Down?
resqcapt19 Offline
Member
Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2148
Loc: IL
Sparky,
Unless the breaker itself is marked line and load at the terminals,you can turn the breaker over to make the up position "on". If you do this there will be no violation.
Don(resqcapt19)
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Don(resqcapt19)
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#76594 - 02/23/01 05:08 PM Re: Load Centers Upside Down?
Tom Offline
Member
Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1044
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
'66

Was this a paid inspector (like me) or was he employed by a city/county/state government? Just curious. By the way, the inspectors name wasn't Max, was it?

If the inspector cannot cite the appropriate code section, it isn't a violation.

If he is a paid inspector, he is only inspecting service entrances & he should take the trouble to make himself familiar with the applicable parts of the NEC.

If he works for a government in WV, there is a good chance he has been "appointed" to his position & may not have a clue as to what is right.

I don't mean to make light of anyone's experiance or education, but this particular issue isn't hard to figure out & it certainly isn't a gray area. When an inspector gives a weak answer, he is hurting all of us, it would be better if he said "I don't know, but I'll find out."

Tom

[This message has been edited by Tom (edited 02-23-2001).]
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#76595 - 02/23/01 11:09 PM Re: Load Centers Upside Down?
sparky66wv Offline
Member
Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2232
Loc: West Virginia
Tom

This is the same inspector in the other post that busted me on the 5 foot rule for water heaters (then "let it slide this time") When I had called him to admit that it busted NEC working clearances anyway.

He says the 5 foot rule is a BOCA code. I asked if he had authority to enforce BOCA codes violated by plumbers 22 years ago and I got a dirty look. So I apologized and shut up.

This is the only Inspector in Greenbrier County Contracted by Allegheny Power, and he only has his residential ticket now. I don't know where one gets a commercial/industrial inspector (you?).

BTW which county are you in, Tom? Any work up there? Really slow down here... Had one 15 minute troubleshooting call (loose wirenut) for the whole week, and I didn't bother charging the lady for it.
_________________________
-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
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#76596 - 02/24/01 06:13 AM Re: Load Centers Upside Down?
Tom Offline
Member
Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1044
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
I'll contact you by e-mail. I'm not sure that others would be interested in the intricacies of electrical inspections in the Mountain State.
_________________________
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
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#76597 - 03/03/01 12:43 AM Re: Load Centers Upside Down?
tajoch Offline
Member
Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 54
Loc: Quinlan texas, usa
Since breakers work by the amount of current flow (thermal) then they (the breakers don't care in what position they are mounted in). Offhand They only time I know when it matters whether a breaker is right side up or down, would be the oil filled type, which are generally only used in indutrial applications....
JMHO though
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