Box to code?

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  #1  
Old 10-20-07, 09:01 AM
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Box to code?

Hi All,

I am in the process of selling my home and have a question regarding my circuit breaker box.

The inspector stated that I needed to install a 50 AMP breaker for our electric stove. I hired a licensed electrician through my Realtor and he installed the 50 AMP breaker. The breaker is on the top part of the box and is separate from the main 100 amp shut off for the bottom of the box.

The home inspector came back and said that when you shut down the main 100 amp breaker, everything in the house should shut off including the stove. He failed me on the second inspection holding up the sale of my home and causing me to need a third inspection for another $150 to sell the home.

My electrician who has been in the business for years says the box is a split bus and that putting the 50 amp breaker for the stove on its own circuit is up to Pennsylvania State Code...

HELP!

I don't want to spend more money just to spend money...

Who is right on this one?

Thanks,

John
 
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  #2  
Old 10-20-07, 09:10 AM
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Home inspectors can have some strange ideas. He probably learned his trade on newer panels. Split bus panels are probably legal where you are. Call your local electric inspector.

My main concern would be is the wiring to the stove #6 copper (#4 Al). What (how) was the stove hooked to before?
 
  #3  
Old 10-20-07, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Home inspectors can have some strange ideas. He probably learned his trade on newer panels. Split bus panels are probably legal where you are. Call your local electric inspector.

My main concern would be is the wiring to the stove #6 copper (#4 Al). What (how) was the stove hooked to before?
That I am not sure of...

That’s what my Electrician said. He says that it’s an older split bus box and up to code. Meanwhile I am not sure how to handle this.
The inspector has no problem with the wiring used. If I remember, I think it’s copper (Gold color).

John
 
  #4  
Old 10-20-07, 09:34 AM
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Like others have siad it appears that the HI has no experience with split buss panels.

Split buss panels had the large load circuits up top along with a 2 pole breaker that shut off the smaller branch circuits in the bottom of the panel.

To shut off all the power to the house you would have to flip no more than 6 throws of the hand, ie the larger 2 pole breakers up top. This panel type was legal when installed, but is no longer used for new installs.

Your HI should reimburse you for the cost of the second and unnecessary inspection. They should know what they are talking about or defer to the expert in that subject matter.
 
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Old 10-20-07, 09:35 AM
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The inspector is full of it and needs to go back to inspector school!
They love making mistakes and holding up sales of homes in typically good condition.

Split buss panels are STILL legal, if they were still sold. You can have up to SIX "main breakers" before you need a single main disconnect.
Your stove breaker is one of those six.
 
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Old 10-20-07, 10:21 AM
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The inspector has no problem with the wiring used. If I remember, I think it’s copper (Gold color)
The same inspector who knows squat about split buss. Was the breaker you replaced a 40a or a 50a. If the wiring was sized for a 40a (# 8) you can't just increase the breaker size. If it was a 50a breaker why was it replaced. Was it a 60a breaker and the HI claimed it was too large? If so it may not have needed replacing depending on wire size and stove specs.
 
  #7  
Old 10-20-07, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
The same inspector who knows squat about split buss. Was the breaker you replaced a 40a or a 50a. If the wiring was sized for a 40a (# 8) you can't just increase the breaker size. If it was a 50a breaker why was it replaced. Was it a 60a breaker and the HI claimed it was too large? If so it may not have needed replacing depending on wire size and stove specs.

It was 60 AMP and in a stand alone box. Electrician said 60 AMP was fine for our stove but he changed it for me anyway to 50 AMP service. These people are through some Fellowship Grant for first time buyers or something and they are the ones who somehow require this stuff for the Grant.

I think the requirment is simply that it's up to state code and nothing more...
 
  #8  
Old 10-20-07, 12:45 PM
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It's legal. It meets code. You have done all you need.

I suppose if there is space you could simply move it to the lower part of the box to please them.
 
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Old 10-20-07, 01:26 PM
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The only thing I can see is if it is a two space breaker enclosure fed off the line side of the main breaker. An improper sub-panel if you will.

If it is not that then you are fine.
 
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Old 10-20-07, 01:58 PM
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even that is acceptable in most circumstances as long as you are within the 6 throw rule and as long as the seperate panel is bonded and grounded properly and marked properly.

As most know, I do commercial/industrial so I see a few things most resi guys don't. I have had 5 service panels in one location with each having a main breaker. Those 5 panels were the main service. It was and still is legal. Actually they could have had 6 panels and still been legal.
 
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Old 10-20-07, 02:14 PM
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If done properly it could be legal of course.
I meant if it was tapped off the line side lugs of the main breaker. We have all seen this done and it is a big violation.
 
  #12  
Old 10-20-07, 04:51 PM
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Thanks guys! I appreciate your prompt replies. I will get word back from the home inspectors boss. If he says the configuration is legal then no problems if not then I will need to get an independent codes inspector to come out and certify it.

Meanwhile possibly postponing my close...

I will let you know what happens Monday...
 
  #13  
Old 10-20-07, 05:13 PM
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The work the electrician did probably should have or did have a permit pulled. If it passed that inspection they can not dispute that.
 
  #14  
Old 10-21-07, 12:56 PM
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If switching two breakers to the "Off" position will completly isolate ALL the house wiring from the meter, the arrangement is Code -compliant with a POSSIBLE execption-- The two breakers should be indentified as "Main" or "Service Dis-connect"

"Main" decals are available - better to lable the 2nd breaker as "Main", instead of "Range"
 
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Old 10-23-07, 11:29 AM
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I'm not up on NEC references, but maybe someone can provide a code reference the 6-throw rule which may help the OP prove that the electrician is correct in his installation.
 
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Old 10-23-07, 11:44 AM
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Art 230.71 Maximum Number of Dis-connects
 
  #17  
Old 10-25-07, 10:01 AM
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Just an update...

So far the person in charge over at the inspection company is not able to determine that our box is up to code. They are still researching the PA code.

They say that if it's up to code, they will require the folks purchasing our home to sign a statement saying that they will need to shut off all the main breakers (Stove and Main) before all power to the house is cut.

How could the inspection company be held liable if the damn box is up to code???

One thing is for sure, I wont be using them for my next house...
 
  #18  
Old 10-25-07, 10:11 AM
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Just my opinion but at this point I'd be asking for my money back. Even your original configuration for the stove may have been grandfathered. Is there a state licensing board for inspectors you could send a complaint to?
 
  #19  
Old 10-25-07, 12:07 PM
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It shouldn't take much research. All need to do is talk any REAL electrical inspector not home inspector.
 
  #20  
Old 10-25-07, 02:23 PM
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It shouldn't take much research. All need to do is talk any REAL electrical inspector not home inspector.

......and there's the real problem. Home Inspectors and inspections in general. They aren't electricians, they aren't plumbers, they aren't roofers or furnace techs. Last month they may have been flipping burgers or selling used cars.

My daughter hired one when she purchased a new home. His response to just about every question we asked was "well it's a new home so it's probably OK". $300 for about an hour and a half of dumb.
 
  #21  
Old 10-30-07, 08:21 AM
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Looks like everything is worked out and I will not be required to make any changes. Everything is up to code and good...

Funny, I would think that a well established inspection company like the one the people who are buying my home used would have known that a split bus box is legal in my state.

I guess that every other time they ran into this that the home owner simply upgraded their box or something rather then question them...
 
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