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Thread: Dedicated Electrical Space above equipment

  1. #1
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    Dedicated Electrical Space above equipment

    Happy Friday all!

    I have a question on dedicated electrical space, based on 2008 NEC, section 110.26.F.1.a. I know there's other threads on this, but couldn't find my particular questions.

    1) The space equal to 6 feet above electrical equipment, where there can't be any foreign equipment in this space... does this apply to panels in apartments / dwelling units? I assume it does. There is central AC, so ductwork is present in some areas, and we're looking at placing the panels on the wall with ductwork penetrating the wall above... I have room to move the panels left or right to avoid the ductwork, but just wanted to check if this section applies here.

    2) As an extension of the question above, if we recess the panels into the wall, with ductwork above, are we still in violation of 110.26.F.1.a? Not sure if recessing panels gets you around the problem.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I only have my 2011 handy. It say no ducts shall be in the zone above the panel. It also says the zone is equal to the width and depth of the panel so a recessed panel with a duct in front of it (but not over it) sounds OK.

  3. #3
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    Recessing the panels does not get around the situation if the ducts or pipes are in the vertical wall space above it.
    If they just run next to the wall it would be a potential working space violation instead.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grouch1980 View Post
    Happy Friday all!

    I have a question on dedicated electrical space, based on 2008 NEC, section 110.26.F.1.a. I know there's other threads on this, but couldn't find my particular questions.

    1) The space equal to 6 feet above electrical equipment, where there can't be any foreign equipment in this space... does this apply to panels in apartments / dwelling units? I assume it does. There is central AC, so ductwork is present in some areas, and we're looking at placing the panels on the wall with ductwork penetrating the wall above... I have room to move the panels left or right to avoid the ductwork, but just wanted to check if this section applies here.

    2) As an extension of the question above, if we recess the panels into the wall, with ductwork above, are we still in violation of 110.26.F.1.a? Not sure if recessing panels gets you around the problem.

    Thanks!
    Did not look to verify, but seems it mentions the six feet but also only applies up to the "structural ceiling". If duct were in the structural ceiling but less then 6 feet above, it would still be permitted to be there, could require leak protection if it were something that may leak though.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDigger View Post
    Recessing the panels does not get around the situation if the ducts or pipes are in the vertical wall space above it.
    If they just run next to the wall it would be a potential working space violation instead.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    I was afraid that was the answer... recessing the panels doesn't get around the violation.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coppersmith View Post
    I only have my 2011 handy. It say no ducts shall be in the zone above the panel. It also says the zone is equal to the width and depth of the panel so a recessed panel with a duct in front of it (but not over it) sounds OK.
    yeah, I figured the section would apply to apartments as well. thanks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    Did not look to verify, but seems it mentions the six feet but also only applies up to the "structural ceiling". If duct were in the structural ceiling but less then 6 feet above, it would still be permitted to be there, could require leak protection if it were something that may leak though.
    ductwork is below the structural ceiling unfortunately.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grouch1980 View Post
    ductwork is below the structural ceiling unfortunately.
    And because of that word, structural, building a chase around the ductwork does not help.
    Ducts between the rafters, even though below the horizontal ceiling/floor plane would be OK IHMO.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    Did not look to verify, but seems it mentions the six feet but also only applies up to the "structural ceiling". If duct were in the structural ceiling but less then 6 feet above, it would still be permitted to be there, could require leak protection if it were something that may leak though.
    The way you worded this has me confused over what you intended to say. So let me say it this way:

    • If the structural ceiling is less than 6 feet above the top of the panel, then no ducts or pipes can be above the panel.
    • If the structural ceiling is more than 6 feet above the top of the panel, then a duct or pipe can be run over the panel, so long as it is more than 6 feet above the top of the panel, and so long as you install a drip shield.


    Is that what you were trying to say?

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

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    The way you worded this has me confused over what you intended to say. So let me say it this way:
    • If the structural ceiling is less than 6 feet above the top of the panel, then no ducts or pipes can be above the panel.
    • If the structural ceiling is more than 6 feet above the top of the panel, then a duct or pipe can be run over the panel, so long as it is more than 6 feet above the top of the panel, and so long as you install a drip shield.


    Is that what you were trying to say?

    I don't see it that way.

    2014 - 110.26(E)(1)(a):

    Dedicated Electrical Space. The space equal to the width and depth of the equipment and extending from the floor to a height of 1.8 m (6 ft) above the equipment or to the structural ceiling, whichever is lower, shall be dedicated to the electrical installation. No piping, ducts, leak protection apparatus, or other equipment foreign to the electrical installation shall be located in this zone
    Structural ceiling is the bottom of joists or trusses above you on the level of the building you are on. A foreign system can run in the space above the structural ceiling even if the equipment requiring dedicated space is right up to the structural ceiling. Might not be a good idea design wise but is NEC compliant.

    If that foreign system is subject to leaks, condensing, etc. you would still need to provide protection from such things, but such protection can not be within the dedicated space - so the protection would also need to be within the structural ceiling on many low ceiling applications.

    Exception that follows allows suspended ceilings with removable panels in said zone but they are not part of the structural ceiling, so the dedicated space extends past a suspended ceiling.

    ADD:

    A panel in a basement of a house could have foreign system less then six feet above it if that foreign system is "within the floor joists", as those floor joists is the structural ceiling.
    Last edited by kwired; 08-06-17 at 11:38 AM.

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