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#198716 02/02/11 10:52 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
This post might apply to my friends north of us. I watch Holmes on Homes on TV and I know that the show is filmed in Canada. I see where most of the service panels are installed sideways. I was just wondering why they do it that way? Is it force of habit? Or is it as per NEC? Or just preference?

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,283
Likes: 3

I noticed that also, while jumping thru channels!

Let's see if our Canadian members have an answer (CEC required?)

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
It's strictly a matter of convenience. CEC does not require that 'down' mean 'off.'

You'll also see a number of other differences, especially regarding specific GFCI and AFCI requirements. You'll often hear that it's required to remove / disconnect knob&tube. You'll hear of a limit on the number of lights or receptacles on a circuit.

You'll learn that it's OK to wire-nut aluminum to copper using what appear to be ordinary wirenuts (specific nuts are approved for the use). You'll see new FPE-like panels being installed. Panel-mounted surge protecters are described as 'necessary.'

And I'm sure there are other differences ...

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
They do this because Canadian code requires a separate sealed compartment to contain the feeders and main breaker. This is to protect people from exposure to the mains. Because of this, the branch circuits must enter the panel through the sides or the bottom. By mounting it sideways, all (or most) of the cables can come straight down, thus reducing labor required to dress and fasten them.


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,283
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You got responses from 'Blue Collar Country' and Va, and after reading both, I see the reasoning.

Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 19
Well i can tell you this living in Canada, the only code requirement regarding panels is the height, no breaker can be mounted higher than 5 feet...i see panels upside down and right side up but very rarely do we see them sideways..i guess some guys can't dress a panel properly and do it that way for speed...

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 913
Likes: 1
Horizontal panel in Canada = Just fine. smile

Horizontal panel in the USA = Hack work. grin

Just another difference in codes & practices, the Canadian practices w/ the main seems to be a bit of overkill, but I would like to see the line side of the main guarded a bit better.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,672
Likes: 7
I think putting the main at the bottom would be a good compromise if you wanted the top clear for entering the branch circuits.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 367
His show is based in Ontario so I wonder if its more of a regional preference. Here in Manitoba I don't see that many mounted sideways.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233

I was thinking the same thing, I have seen where things are common in certain areas. A type of panel, or a way of wiring up of equipment.

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