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Thread: Residential vs. Commercial Breaker Panel

  1. #1
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    Residential vs. Commercial Breaker Panel

    If a breaker panel's listing includes "residential and commercial use" (the panel has an AIC of 22 kA and the breakers listed for it have a 10 kA rating), is there any reason that this panel could not be used in a commercial installation if the available fault current is less than 10 kA? Could you please cite the applicable Code article other than 110.9 " Interrupting Rating" if there is one?

    If a panel does not specifically mention residential or commercial in its description or listing, does that change the above?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by richwaskowitz View Post
    If a breaker panel's listing includes "residential and commercial use" (the panel has an AIC of 22 kA and the breakers listed for it have a 10 kA rating), is there any reason that this panel could not be used in a commercial installation if the available fault current is less than 10 kA? Could you please cite the applicable Code article other than 110.9 " Interrupting Rating" if there is one?

    If a panel does not specifically mention residential or commercial in its description or listing, does that change the above?
    I don't know of any that specifically state they are for residential or commercial use.

    The ones sold as a complete unit with panelboard and cabinet (cover type may be optional/sold separately) are usually called "loadcenters". They are marketed more toward residential installations, but are not limited to residential either.

    NEC kind of overlooks available fault current to some degree at dwellings, partly because the available fault current often is low at dwellings. You still are responsible to determine whether or not what you have installed is below the available fault current though. In the case of a home with a high capacity service and the source being near the service equipment, you may want to look harder at available fault current. It probably is still below the typical 22kA rating of a main breaker, but has a much better chance of being in the upper half of that rating then most dwelling applications.

    Also remember typical loadcenter with a 22 kA main is normally series rated to install 10 kA branch breakers in that panel, so you are fine as long as the available fault current doesn't exceed 22 kA. If you are more then 25-30 feet from the source you usually won't have that high of fault current on a 120/240 single phase supply.

  3. #3
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    I did forget about the series rating aspect. Yes, there many brands which identify their panels as "residential and commercial".

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    Quote Originally Posted by richwaskowitz View Post
    I did forget about the series rating aspect. Yes, there many brands which identify their panels as "residential and commercial".
    Many brands? there are basically four manufacturers left making everything that is currently available today. Siemens, Schnieder, Eaton, and GE.

  5. #5
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    OK. You got me there. Should have said all of the ones I looked up on some website. I did not look up Eaton.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by richwaskowitz View Post
    I did forget about the series rating aspect. Yes, there many brands which identify their panels as "residential and commercial".
    You can use a 100 amp "homeline" loadcenter in a 300,000 square foot industrial facility if you want. as long as its voltage and AIC are approproate.
    Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

    "You can't generalize"

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the confirmation.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrofelon View Post
    You can use a 100 amp "homeline" loadcenter in a 300,000 square foot industrial facility if you want. as long as its voltage and AIC are approproate.
    "Homeline" is maybe marketed for residential, but like you say there is no restriction to only use it for residential. As long as it is applied with nor more then maximum rated voltage and within available fault current ratings and in appropriate cabinet type for the application there is nothing stopping you from using it.

    Homeline does further limit itself to some extent by the fact they don't have a three phase panelboard or three pole breaker, but that is only because they market the thing for residential not because it can only be used in residential.

    If I were to guess Eaton's BR series only has three phase equipment because it already had them when they acquired that product line. If they would have developed that line on their own like Square D did with the Homeline series, I bet they would have made it in single phase only as well.

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