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Panelboard vs. Loadcenter #197886 12/26/10 02:01 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 136
C
cgw Offline OP
Member
What do you think of using a load center in lieu of a regular panelboard? This may be a matter of opinion?
By loadcenter I mean a Square D QO or similar. By panelboard I mean a Square D NQOD or similar.
A specific situation - a 200 amp 42 space house panel in a small apartment building?

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Re: Panelboard vs. Loadcenter [Re: cgw] #197888 12/26/10 03:48 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,569
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gfretwell Online Content
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Are you just talking about the difference between using an integral main breaker or a back fed main in the rails?
The biggest difference is how many slots you have available after you put in the breaker. It will usually take up 8 of you slots.
The other option you have with the Square D NQOD is bolt in breakers. It seems to be available either way.


Greg Fretwell
Re: Panelboard vs. Loadcenter [Re: cgw] #197889 12/26/10 03:49 PM
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wa2ise Offline
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That for the entire building? That would mean that the landlord will pay the power bill, I didn't think they did that anymore. Usually each tenant has their own meter and panel.

Re: Panelboard vs. Loadcenter [Re: wa2ise] #197891 12/26/10 05:05 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 763
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KJay Offline
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A load center would be less money. If the NQOD panelboards and bolt-on QOB cbís arenít specified in the plans, why you couldnít use something else?

Last edited by KJay; 12/26/10 05:05 PM.
Re: Panelboard vs. Loadcenter [Re: KJay] #197893 12/26/10 06:03 PM
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Posts: 599
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JBD Offline
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As far as UL and the NEC care, this is no difference between a panelboard and a load center.

For your installation, the only major differences include:
Load centers are designed to fit inside of stud cavities so they are about 3-1/2" d and 14"w. Panelboards cabineets are usually 5-3/4"d and 20"w.

Loadcenters breakers are normally plug-in style while panelboards are more often, but not always (i.e. NQB), bolt-in style.


Re: Panelboard vs. Loadcenter [Re: JBD] #197896 12/26/10 08:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 329
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Steve Miller Offline
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The NQOD gives you more space (in the form of depth) for the stuff they'll call you to add later. The real question is who's paying for it? NQOD is a lot more, especially if you use the bolt ins.

Re: Panelboard vs. Loadcenter [Re: Steve Miller] #197897 12/26/10 09:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 362
Obsaleet Offline
Member
Steve,
I prefer the panelboard in this situation. Unless you have space considerations. If you have a contract w/sq D and they are on it, they can be quite cost effective. I usally use the qo snap in cb but you could use the bolt on its a nice option. More room is better in my opinion.

Ob


Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.
Re: Panelboard vs. Loadcenter [Re: Obsaleet] #197901 12/27/10 11:34 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 136
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cgw Offline OP
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I'm just looking for reasons to not use a load center.
Usually I would use a panelboard unless there were just a few circuits or I had to fit it in a 2X4 stud wall.
In this case though it is for the house loads in a very small (10 unit) senior apartment building and is single phase. On the other hand it is pretty full (about 37 circuits).


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