subpanel inverted?

rob432September 10, 2012

A simple question, I hope.

I am putting a subpanel about 25 feet from my main. I will be using a double 60 amp breaker at the main, then run 2-2-2-4 aluminum to my subpanel.

The feed wire is coming out of a crawlspace, then up to my subpanel. As I looked at how to route the wire (run it up to the top of the box to access the lugs, or from the bottom and bend the wires around to conform to the lugs and ground and nuetral bars), I wondered if I could just install the subpanel upside down. A 180 degree turn. That way my wires would go right up and easily access if my lugs were on the bottom.

Can this be done? If not, why, please.


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With newer panels there is no top or bottom.
Most newer main breaker panels have a breaker that moves side-to-side so even those can be mounted with the main breaker at the bottom.

The issue is that breakers cannot be installed where "OFF" is in the up position and "ON" is in the down position. Side-to-side motion is fine.
This applies to the US. I don't think this is a code issue in Canada.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 8:18PM
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Ron Natalie

The rules say that when the handles are oriented vertically, ON shall be up.
As pointed out a panel with horizontal breakers can be put in either way.
The instructions will generally also tell you the allowable installation orientations.

Every house in the development I grew up in (as well as everyone else built by the same builder) had the old PUSHMATIC panels installed upside down ... the supposition as it saved a lot of money even back then on the service conductors being three feet shorter. Of course the breakers read "NO" when on.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 6:49AM
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I totally remember our panel saying "no" when I was a kid!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 2:09PM
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Thanks, guys.

Sorry, shoulda said I was in the US.

The box I have has the breakers laying horizontally.

I guess I will be OK with it "upside down".

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 5:29PM
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Ron Natalie

Was it a Levitt house?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 9:23PM
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