Code question

jeffalaskaFebruary 10, 2010

I recently purchased a home that had gone through foreclosure and the prior owners had done a little sabotage on their way out the door.

All the breakers in a 2002 upgraded 200amp Square D QO panel had been removed and all distribution wiring was cut in the panel. Some on the wire was left a length that it still reaches the breakers and neutral/ground bars, most doesn't.

It's all of a length that it could be nutted and extended in the panel. With additional ground bars installed high in the panel, no neutrals or grounds would have to be spliced.

All the wiring leaves the top of the panel and is accessible from the attic.

Can splice boxes be installed in the attic or is splicing in the panel suitable?

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There is another thread going right now discussing the issue. According to my local inspector's interpretation of code, it is completely acceptable to extend wires in the panel in this circumstance. You might want to touch base with your local inspector to confirm that he interprets it the same way though.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 10:55AM
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Thanks Bill, I scrolled back 6 or 7 pages and couldn't identify the other thread you mentioned, do you recall the header line?

As much as I despise nutted wires in a breaker panel, it's the easy way out in this situation. It's also more accessible if there were a problem down the road.

Personally, I'd like to do a series of J-boxes in the attic and run all new wire from there to get a cleaner panel but it would mean cutting the rock over the panel box which I'd like to avoid.

I'll just settle for what the inspector is going to want to see for now...

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 7:29PM
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dual wires on a circuit breaker

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 8:20PM
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The only issue with extening wires in the panel is filling the gutters up.

Since most are pretty roomy it is not really much of an issue.

If someone chopped the wires off so short there is not enough for a wire nut you may be able to rearrange cables entering to free up some slack, or even remove the cable staple and pull in some slack in the cable.

Staggering the lengths of the wires from a cable can also help spread out the wire nuts, and sometimes every inch counts.

You should also check every circuit in case the conductor size at the panel is reduced in the branch circuit wiring.

The #14 circuits are obviously not an issue, but each #12 and any other large or 240 V circuits should be checked.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 8:46AM
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Thanks GR..
The wiring is in great order and easily traceable. Only a few of the conductors were so short I had to pull slack to get them nutted.
Only a couple of #12's and 10's in the panel, it's mostly #14.
It appears the bandits who did the cutting didn't have a decent pair of dyke's so they couldn't cut through anything larger than 10ga. Good deal for me the Central air and Range wiring is intact....

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 6:40PM
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