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Service panels #198716 02/02/11 11:52 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
harold endean Offline OP
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?

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Re: Service panels [Re: harold endean] #198717 02/02/11 12:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,109
HotLine1 Offline

I noticed that also, while jumping thru channels!

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

Re: Service panels [Re: harold endean] #198720 02/02/11 12:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
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 ...

Re: Service panels [Re: harold endean] #198723 02/02/11 01:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
EV607797 Offline
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."
Re: Service panels [Re: harold endean] #198725 02/02/11 02:57 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,109
HotLine1 Offline
You got responses from 'Blue Collar Country' and Va, and after reading both, I see the reasoning.

Re: Service panels [Re: harold endean] #198744 02/02/11 11:02 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 19
candyman Offline
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...

Re: Service panels [Re: harold endean] #198754 02/03/11 12:34 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 884
NORCAL Online Content
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.

Re: Service panels [Re: harold endean] #198772 02/03/11 03:09 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,389
gfretwell Offline
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
Re: Service panels [Re: harold endean] #198778 02/03/11 07:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 350
mbhydro Offline
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.

Re: Service panels [Re: harold endean] #198790 02/04/11 11:21 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
harold endean Offline OP

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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