Mounting load center to concrete block wall

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Old 04-13-11, 02:35 PM
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Mounting load center to concrete block wall

I will be replaceing a 100A Zinsco panel with a GE TM3210CCU, I'm open to suggestions on the panel have not bought yet.

I'm doing my research and picked up a book from the library "For Pro's by Pro's" printed 2007.

It states that a panel should be mounted on 1 1/2" stock on the block wall. Of course the pictures in the book of mounted panels are mounted directly to the block!

What is the best way or NEC approved to mount to a block wall? This is Florida if it matters, so it is an above grade exterior wall with the meter mounted directly outside.
JIm 0311
 
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Old 04-13-11, 02:52 PM
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Mounting on the wall directly is acceptable, I am guessing, but I like the idea of having a thermal barrier in case there is high humidity and condensation might form on the blocks.

I have 2x4s laid on the block wall, and I used those .22 fasteners to attach them to the wall. Then a 4x8 sheet of 3/4 plywood screwed to the 2x4s. The load center is attached to the plywood. The remaining space on the plywood is used for low voltage stuff.

If I did it again, I might spray some foam insulation between the 2x4s before I put up the plywood. I suppose I could still do that.
 
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Old 04-13-11, 03:09 PM
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As far as the NEC is concerned, any strong and corrosion-resistant method is acceptable. You can stand the panel off the wall using treated lumber or steel channels, but you do not have to. It can be mounted right on the masonry with toggles, lead anchors, tapcons, etc. The panel should have some dimples poking out the back to keep it from sitting completely flat on the surface wall whatever method you use.

If you're also mounting a meter can, the power company may have an installation standards document for meters and service entrance conduits. Mine has some requirements about anchor size, screw type, strength of framing, etc; but it basically boils down to common sense stuff: don't use drywall screws, make sure you hit a stud, and use treated if it's outdoors and so forth.
 
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Old 04-13-11, 03:12 PM
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Unistrut chanel togelbolted to the concrete block and the panel to the Unistrut with Unistrut fasteners.
 
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Old 04-13-11, 03:47 PM
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In my area, panels are usually mounted on a piece of plywood screwed directly to the concrete, block, or stone usually using tapcons.
 
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Old 04-14-11, 07:18 AM
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Thanks for all the responses, greatly appreciated. This use to be so easy, just drive to a new development and see what the pro's were doing. Now there is no building in this area! Cape Coral FL.

The wires are not fastened to the wall above the load center, they are in a wood box bundled together. When accessible I have always fastened wires. Do the wires need to be fastened in a box.


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Old 04-14-11, 07:22 AM
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electric pictures by jjrbus - Photobucket

Picture link disappeared again?
 
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Old 04-14-11, 07:39 AM
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You should staple the cables within 12" of the panel.

You have some bad clearance issues! Code requires a panel to be clear, floor to ceiling, 30" wide and 36" in front of an electrical panel. electric :: garage.jpg picture by jjrbus - Photobucket
 
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Old 04-14-11, 08:04 AM
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Perhaps not only access clearance issues but also you have running water, and a washer right at the panel. I don't think an inspector would close his eyes to that. One or the other will likely need to be relocated.
 
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Old 04-14-11, 08:25 AM
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Leaning over a grounded, steel, cube of a clothes dryer is not how you want to maintain/reset breakers, etc on a load center. It looks tight in that garage, but that dryer needs to move; consider a stackable set.
 
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Old 04-14-11, 10:16 AM
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Yeah I think the only way to make that clearance issue okay with the electrical code is to use stackable washer and dryer and keep them to the right of the panel. Sometimes the inspector will allow minor incursions into the clearance zone when space is tight, but usually not a complete obstruction by an appliance.

Perhaps it would make sense to convert the old panel to a big junction box and mount a the panel in a better location with a few conduits running to this one? What's on the other side of the wall?
 
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Old 04-15-11, 07:25 AM
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Thanks for the responses.

The other side of the wall is the meter. I considered an outside load center, but gets into way too much work.

I am reading what I can here and do not see where a load center cannot be located next to a washer? Not saying its not there, I just cannot find it!

HOw about the washer and dryer are in the shed when the inspector shows up?

JIm 0311
 
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Old 04-15-11, 08:36 AM
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Answers.com - Clearance around an electrical panel

I think the dryer recept and amount of lint in the area might be a giveaway!
 
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Old 04-15-11, 09:27 AM
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Thank you for the link and response. It was mentioned that the wash machine (water) is too close to the panel and an inspector would not overlook it. I cannot find any reference to water near a load center?

ibpooks said to use a stack-able washer and dryer. If I can have a washer next too the load center while maintaining the 30" clearence, the stack-able units would be the rational solution. Thanks ib.
JIm 0311
 
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Old 04-15-11, 11:58 AM
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There is no restriction about distance between the washer and the panel. The restriction is that the panel cannot be obstructed, but that rule applies to anything whether it be appliances, storage racks, cabinets, etc.
 
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