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Who Needs a Panel? #110056
01/15/06 12:26 AM
01/15/06 12:26 AM
Admin  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,495
Imagine a building with two sections each with it's own service. Now, to the right of that building, an addition is made. Power for this addition is brought from the unit on the left, passing clear through the (now) middle unit.

In an earlier thread, you saw this pipe- the one bringing 100 amps to the new unit- being used as a clothes rack.

These pics show what passed for "distribution equipment" in the addition. The 100 amp feeder ends in the lower 4-11 box, where it is wire-nutted to continue on, as well as several #12 circuits branching off to serve the lights and receptacles.

Breakers? Overload protection? Access to the panel in the other unit? No, No, and No. Even where someone had an idea, and put in a fused disconnect, the line side is double-tapped.

- renosteinke
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited 01-14-2006).]

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Re: Who Needs a Panel? #110057
01/16/06 06:26 PM
01/16/06 06:26 PM
Elviscat  Offline
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 214
Seattle Washington USA
#12 branch circuits are "protected" at 100 amps?!?!?!?!? That's completely ridiculous and irresponsible, I hope whoever did this has good liability insurance, if there's ever a short in one of those #12 branch circuits it ain't gonna be pretty.

Re: Who Needs a Panel? #110058
01/17/06 12:16 PM
01/17/06 12:16 PM
Radar  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 349
Los Angeles, CA
Well, I don't think that's it exactly. A good ground fault or short circuit will blow the 100 amp fuse just as surely as a 20 amp fuse. The real danger is in not being able to limit the load current in the #12 wired circuits to 20 amps or less (ignoring the 80% rule for the moment). Try running 40, 50 or more amps thru #12 wire and watch it heat up to dangerous levels, then we'll get that ground fault when the insulation melts off the wire.

Also - I doubt this installer has any liability insurance - or any prior experience with electrical work.


There are 10 types of people. Those who know binary, and those who don't.
Re: Who Needs a Panel? #110059
01/17/06 04:06 PM
01/17/06 04:06 PM
mamills  Offline
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 745
Wharton, Texas, USA
Looking at the second photo, there are a couple of double-lugged conductors on legs B and C which apparently have no OCP at all, save whatever is ahead of this disconnect.

Even those only look like 60 amp. max. fuses, it's still a horrible situation.

Only one conductor landed on the neutral buss...? [Linked Image]

I guess ID'ing the conductors is out of the question, too... [Linked Image]

Mike (mamills)

[This message has been edited by mamills (edited 01-17-2006).]

Re: Who Needs a Panel? #110060
01/17/06 09:13 PM
01/17/06 09:13 PM
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Far be it for me to gloat, in anticipation of a visit by the AHJ :-)

As mentioned, this is but one of three units- with the supply line involved in all three. The building owner - landlord to my customer - is being an absolute PITA regarding my getting a permit (which is already posted on the job site). He can't seem to understand ehy the job is taking me so long.

My inspection will, of necessity, involve all three units; I've only worked on one. Besides the electrical, the AHJ is sure to take exception to the PVC air line (PVC not allowed here in commercial properties), and the non-functioning fire sprinklers as well.

In trying to pressure his tenant for some "free" upgrades, this landlord will soon get his comeuppance!


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