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Thread: NEC 408.4 (A) panel requirements

  1. #1
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    NEC 408.4 (A) panel requirements

    Good Morning Everyone,

    I have a question regarding panel labeling requirements. We are working with a new industrial electrical contractor on a couple of new machine installs. The contractor is insisting that the distribution panels do not require proper labeling of any form as outlined in NEC 408.4 (A). They are maintaining that since the panel and breaker #s are being field labeled at the machine or connecting junction, the NEC 408.4(A) provisions no longer apply. I am not a code expert by any means, but I can't locate a single code reference that would grant such an exclusion. It just seem this would have significant inherent safety risks associated with this approach.

    Can anyone confirm if such an exclusion actually exists? I just want to do our due diligence to maintain our current building wide code compliance when this installation is finished.

    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
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    They are out of their mind

    408.4 Field Identification Required.
    (A) Circuit Directory or Circuit Identification.
    Every
    circuit and circuit modification shall be legibly identified as
    to its clear, evident, and specific purpose or use. The identification
    shall include an approved degree of detail that
    allows each circuit to be distinguished from all others.
    Spare positions that contain unused overcurrent devices or
    switches shall be described accordingly. The identification
    shall be included in a circuit directory that is located on the
    face or inside of the panel door in the case of a panelboard
    and at each switch or circuit breaker in a switchboard or
    switchgear.
    No circuit shall be described in a manner that
    depends on transient conditions of occupancy.

  3. #3
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    I agree with Bob (I have to say that from time to time ). But I suggest looking at the first sentence of 408.1. A distribution panelboard is, in fact, a panelboard. So the article does apply to such animals.

    Welcome to the forum.
    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    But I suggest looking at the first sentence of 408.1. A distribution panelboard is, in fact, a panelboard. So the article does apply to such animals.
    My take on it is the EC labeled the load equipment with a panel and circuit number and feel that satisfies the NEC requirements.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwire View Post
    My take on it is the EC labeled the load equipment with a panel and circuit number and feel that satisfies the NEC requirements.
    That is likely to be what the EC believes. But the EC would be wrong. I would agree that if today's task is to do work on a machine, and if I can see on the machine the panel name and breaker number that feeds that machine, I would not need a circuit directory on the panel itself to know how to safely de-energize the machine. But that is not the only reason for having a circuit directory. One thing the directory can be used for is to determine which spare breaker (or blank position) would be the best one to use for adding a load to the panel (i.e., to help maintain an overall load balance). Another possible use would be if you see a breaker in the off or trip free position, and you would like to know what machine (if any) has lost power, or whether this is just a spare breaker.

    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwire View Post
    My take on it is the EC labeled the load equipment with a panel and circuit number and feel that satisfies the NEC requirements.

    Thanks for the feedback, so to be clear, this approach would never actually satisfy the NEC 408.4(A) code requirement?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MN-Automation View Post
    Thanks for the feedback, so to be clear, this approach would never actually satisfy the NEC 408.4(A) code requirement?
    How can it? Look at the part I made red in the code section.

    The identification
    shall be included in a circuit directory that is located on the
    face or inside of the panel door
    "Shall be" is mandatory language, if there was an exception it would have to be in 408.4

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwire View Post
    How can it? Look at the part I made red in the code section.



    "Shall be" is mandatory language, if there was an exception it would have to be in 408.4

    Thanks, I just wanted to be sure as I have no previous knowledge of code interpretation . I really appreciate the help and feedback everyone!!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MN-Automation View Post
    Good Morning Everyone,

    I have a question regarding panel labeling requirements. We are working with a new industrial electrical contractor on a couple of new machine installs. The contractor is insisting that the distribution panels do not require proper labeling of any form as outlined in NEC 408.4 (A). They are maintaining that since the panel and breaker #s are being field labeled at the machine or connecting junction, the NEC 408.4(A) provisions no longer apply. I am not a code expert by any means, but I can't locate a single code reference that would grant such an exclusion. It just seem this would have significant inherent safety risks associated with this approach.

    Can anyone confirm if such an exclusion actually exists? I just want to do our due diligence to maintain our current building wide code compliance when this installation is finished.

    Thank you for your time.
    I would suggest they are wrong if I am understanding what you are saying correctly.

    One might argue that if the panels in question are part of the equipment that they could be correct in their interpretation.
    Bob

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by petersonra View Post
    I would suggest they are wrong if I am understanding what you are saying correctly.

    One might argue that if the panels in question are part of the equipment that they could be correct in their interpretation.

    In this case, all of the distribution breaker panels are remotely located and will feed the machines via conduit to several different locations.

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