Does it REALLY need to go there?

Reply

  #1  
Old 03-18-05, 12:29 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 28
Does it REALLY need to go there?

I had an electrician come out to take a look at a wiring job for
my new home theater. We went and I showed him the breaker box.
Mind you the house was built in 62' and the box is in a closet. After
seeing that he wanted to see where the line comes in from the outside
pole. Upon taking him outside he responded to what he saw as and I quote,
"pathetic." He recommended getting a new breaker box and doing some rewiring.
The thing that struck me as odd was he said that new codes require that the breaker box be put on the outside of the house. Is this true? I think it would be
a pain to have to go outside whenever a breaker is tripped. Let me know what you think. I live in Texas. If the codes are different from state to state.

Thanks!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 03-18-05, 02:08 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
There are a lot of codes for panel placement, but "outside of the house" is not one of them, at least not in the national codes and probably not in the local codes either. It is true that panels can no longer be in clothes closets, and there are strict limits on how far the main disconnect can be from the point of entry (usually no more than 5 feet).

A 1962 house is about as safe as a 1962 car. Okay but not great. If you have a couple thousand dollars extra, it might be a good idea to upgrade.
 
  #3  
Old 03-18-05, 02:35 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 28
The wife and I are in agreement to get the wiring update as soon as possible.
Should I ask the electrician to see the code book or something? Or argue about placing the breaker box inside the garage or something?

Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 03-18-05, 04:54 PM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,455
In many areas it is required to have a main DISCONNECT outside, not the main panel. I do know in California they do put the main panels outside quite often. IMO this is stupid. I have worked with exterior panels and it is a complete pain.

A disconnect I can can somewhat see. Again, it would strictly be a local code if this were the case.
 
  #5  
Old 03-21-05, 05:06 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: North Virginia
Posts: 192
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
In many areas it is required to have a main DISCONNECT outside, not the main panel. I do know in California they do put the main panels outside quite often. IMO this is stupid. I have worked with exterior panels and it is a complete pain.

A disconnect I can can somewhat see. Again, it would strictly be a local code if this were the case.
I have never heard of a main panel being required outside, but in the areas I have worked that required the main disconnect outside, they did so because the fire department wanted an easy way to kill power to the entire house if they had to respond to a call there. I can't tell you if they ever actually used them, but that was the logic behind the placement.
 
  #6  
Old 03-21-05, 05:46 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 188
I haven't heard of a main panel being "required" outside either (residential). In fact, in cases where the typical old rat's nest has been outside near the meter (usually a rusty old 60 amp cartridge fuse mess), it has been relocated indoors in a sensible and acceptable location. If circuits need to be extended, so be it. I did one last summer that had an old three single copper wire drop coming in from the can. The power company was thrilled to get that cleaned up.

A typical scenario is to meet with a "planner" from the local power company to discuss the new service-sometimes just a simple phone discussion-then at the scheduled hour meet with the linecrew and do the hookup or changeover. The site electrician signs off on an inspection form. Unless an outside disconnect is requested by the customer it is not typical-unless the main service panel (inside) is further than one wall away from the meter. Also if there are conditions that deem it necessary the service is customized to meet any of those requirements.
 
  #7  
Old 03-21-05, 02:22 PM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,455
I never said a panel outside was required. I said I have heard of it being done.
 
  #8  
Old 03-21-05, 02:59 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 132
We usually use a meter/main combo that contains the meter base, the main disconnect and 8 slots (up to 16 circuits). From this we feed a 30 slot (up to 40 circuit) panel inside. Costs more, but it provides some spaces for outside applications while keeping everything else inside (or in the garage).
 
  #9  
Old 03-21-05, 04:47 PM
Rainbird's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: California
Posts: 373
I think you should put that guy on ice and get another electrician's opinion.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'