Installing dual Load Centers

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Old 01-07-08, 12:54 PM
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Installing dual Load Centers

I need to install (2) 200 Amp load centers (Siemens G4040B1200CU). This is new construction, 4000sf home. I have two questions about installing the load centers.

1) Can I install the panels inverted? That is, with the main breaker at the bottom. My inspector told me the NEC required the main breaker to be located at the top of the panel. I could not find this anywhere in the NEC 2005 code.

2) The load centers (LC1 and LC2) and meter box will be mounted back-to-back on the same wall. I plan to install the meter box behind LC1. A 3 inch nipple, about 9 inches long, will interconnect the Meter box and LC1. I will run (6) 2/0cu SE cables from the Meter box into LC1. (3) of the 2/0 cables will terminate in LC1 - two hots, and one neutral. The other (3) - 2/0 cables will pass through a short nipple between LC1 and LC2, feeding LC2. Hope this description makes since!

Q. Is this an acceptable arrangement? I am concerned that using LC1 as a pass through for the LC2 service may violate code.


I would appreciate your comments, suggestions and thoughts.

Thanks!
 
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Old 01-07-08, 01:10 PM
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If you invert it, and there is a main or service disconnect installed in the panel, will it meet NEC 240.81: "Indicating. Circuit breakers shall clearly indicate whether they are in the open “off” or closed “on” position. Where breaker handles are operated vertically rather than rotationally or horizontally, the “up” position of the handle shall be the “on” position. "?
 
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Old 01-07-08, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ezEddie View Post
Can I install the panels inverted? That is, with the main breaker at the bottom. My inspector told me the NEC required the main breaker to be located at the top of the panel.
The panel may be installed upside-down as long as the main breaker switch operates side-to-side. If the main breaker moves up and down, then up must be the ON position.

Is this an acceptable arrangement? I am concerned that using LC1 as a pass through for the LC2 service may violate code.
I would exit the meter box via an LB fitting off each left and right side into the back of each panel so you don't have to do the pass-through. The main panel shouldn't be used as a raceway or gutter for other conductors unless it has a rating as such. (312.8)
 
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Old 01-07-08, 08:30 PM
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Thanks for the quick responses.

The breaker on this panel operates side-to-side so it looks like I can invert it.

One more question. What type of conduit should I use for the nipples and LB's. PVC or EMT or ?

Thanks again,
eddie
 
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Old 01-08-08, 08:39 AM
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Many places don't allow sch 40 PVC for the service entrance. Usually Sch 80 PVC, EMT, rigid metal are all okay. Check with the inspector first though, many jurisdictions have unique requirements to meet local or power company standards for sizing and material of service conduit.
 
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Old 01-08-08, 09:00 AM
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BTW, if you are installing on a wall and inverting these so that the disconnects are closer to the floor, keep in mind that the center of the highest breaker must be no more that 79" from the floor.
 
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Old 01-08-08, 09:21 AM
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Thanks everyone! That's great information.
 
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Old 01-08-08, 03:55 PM
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Around here if you have over a 200 amp service you must install a CT cabinet the the outside of the building. You have that if your are running 6 wires off your meter socket. The meter socket is only rated for 200 amps. You better check with the power co.

If you are running nipples or conduit between your meter and the panels why not just individual conductors? It will be much easier to pull in.

If you use a metal conduit you will need to use bonding bushings to bound around the concentric knock outs and bond the meter can. I would suggest Sch 80 PVC.
 
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Old 01-10-08, 09:34 PM
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In my area a 320 amp meter socket is allow to feed 2-200 amp panels.

Are you suggesting that I don't use any conduit between the panels? That would be great if I don't have to.

Thanks for your comments.

Another question: Is it acceptable to drill another hole in the meter box? My meter box has only 1 KO in the back. A second hole would allow me to line up the meter box directly opposite both load centers. I could then feed both load centers through separate conduit runs between the panels. This would make things nice and neat.
 
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