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Thread: Does a 1200A switchboard have to be freestanding or can it be wall mounted?

  1. #1
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    Does a 1200A switchboard have to be freestanding or can it be wall mounted?

    I am in Chicago, spoke to a city's electrical inspector and he said it used to be required in the past that a switchboard over 2 sections must be freestanding.
    He referred to section 384 of the Chicago Electrical Code (CEC), but I couldn't find it anywhere.
    Now that Chicago has adopted the NEC with amendments, I still can't find a requirement for free standing switchboards.
    My question are:
    1. If this was indeed an old Chicago requirements, which year and which code section was it, I can't find any?
    2. Is a 1200A switchboard required to be free standing based on NEC 2017?

    Thank You

  2. #2
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    https://chicagocode.org/18/18-27/

    ยง 18-27-384.8
    Clearances
    a.
    From Ceiling. A space of not less than 3 ft (914 mm) shall be provided between the top of the switchboard and any combustible ceiling.

    b.Around Switchboards. Clearances around switchboards shall comply with the provisions of Section 18-27-110.26 and Section 18-27-384.4.

    c. Free Standing. Switchboards over two sections wide or over 30 in. (762 mm) deep shall be free standing and shall have a minimum of 24 in. (610 mm) end clearances to walls or adjacent switchboards.
    Bob

  3. #3
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    Anyone want to take a shot at what this actually means?

    c. Free Standing. Switchboards over two sections wide or over 30 in. (762 mm) deep shall be free standing and shall have a minimum of 24 in. (610 mm) end clearances to walls or adjacent switchboards.
    Rob

    Moderator

    All responses based on the 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted

  4. #4
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    I checked the 2011 NEC, I dont have access to the 2014 or 2017 NEC.
    It's moved to section 408.18. (A) and (B) are still there, (C) which is the freestanding note, is deleted.
    I suppose wall-mounted switchboards are OK, unless the experts here disagree.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by infinity View Post
    Anyone want to take a shot at what this actually means?
    Seems faily straightforward to me.
    Bob

  6. #6
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    So the switchboard is 36" wide it cannot be mounted to a the wall if it's on the floor?
    Rob

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    All responses based on the 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by infinity View Post
    So the switchboard is 36" wide it cannot be mounted to a the wall if it's on the floor?
    it does not say that at all.

    It says if it is over 30" deep or more than 2 sections wide it must be free standing and have 2 feet clear space on each end.

    I think a good definition of free standing is that it is not up against anything else such as a wall. Interestingly, it does not say how much clearance is required behind the free standing switchboard, so likely they enforce the clearances mentioned earlier in the requirement.
    Bob

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by petersonra View Post
    it does not say that at all.

    It says if it is over 30" deep or more than 2 sections wide it must be free standing and have 2 feet clear space on each end.

    I think a good definition of free standing is that it is not up against anything else such as a wall. Interestingly, it does not say how much clearance is required behind the free standing switchboard, so likely they enforce the clearances mentioned earlier in the requirement.
    That was kind of my point it says nothing about being against the wall behind it and the OP asked about wall mounted. I agree that the words free standing mean that it's sitting on the floor and the wall behind it can be there but it doesn't need to be.
    Rob

    Moderator

    All responses based on the 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted

  9. #9
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    The language does not match what I was told when working on a job under the Chicago code. What I was told is that they wanted clearance on the back side of the gear, to allow access.

    Taking a quick look at their 2018 code, which is the 2017 NEC with 150 pages of amendments, I don't see any amendments to Articles 110 or 408.

    I only took a quick look, so I could have missed it. You can view the ordinance showing the amendments from a link on this page. This version of their code became effective in March of this year. The Chicago code is now published by the NFPA and can be purchased from them.
    Don, Illinois
    Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity. Dr. Rick Rigsby
    (All code citations are 2017 unless otherwise noted)

  10. #10
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    Makes me wonder what sort of hack job someone did to make them require this to be stated...
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