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Some questions for the Canadian guys

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    Some questions for the Canadian guys

    Figured I'd start off the new forum section with a few questions for our neighbors to the north:

    1) for those familiar with the Canadian electrical code and the NEC, how similar are they, what major differences have you noted?

    2) do you guys have 480 / 277 like us, or is it all 600 / 347v? I have read that both have similar arc flash potentials, the higher voltage seems desirable as, all other things being equal, one would have 25% more current capacity for the same size wiring. Thoughts and comments?
    Electricians do it until it Hertz!

    #2
    I worked in Colombia on a project and we were using North American wiring standards and devices. The head electrician was Canadian, so we had to use red, black, blue for phase coloring instead of black, red, blue that the rest of us were used to. I think he told me it was actually Code for them to do so up there, but I didn't sharpshoot him on it.

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      #3
      Originally posted by JFletcher View Post
      Figured I'd start off the new forum section with a few questions for our neighbors to the north:

      1) for those familiar with the Canadian electrical code and the NEC, how similar are they, what major differences have you noted?

      2) do you guys have 480 / 277 like us, or is it all 600 / 347v? I have read that both have similar arc flash potentials, the higher voltage seems desirable as, all other things being equal, one would have 25% more current capacity for the same size wiring. Thoughts and comments?
      Never worked as an electrician in Canada, but I had a panel shop in Seattle where some of our customers were in Canada, so I had to become CSA certified. The codes are almost identical, just a few minor little differences, mostly additions. One thing that constantly bit me was that when you had something in a steel box, the door had to be grounded across the hinge by a wire, they don't consider the hinge itself a reliable ground path. My shop would forget that over and over so our panel would get rejected and I had to drive to BC or Alberta just to put on a freaking little green wire...

      When a lot of lumber mills in the US started going under in the 80s and 90s, many of them were bought as surplus by Canadians and moved, lock stock and barrel, to BC and Alberta. They wouldn't change all of the motors, it was cheaper to just buy transformers. Some oil patch companies in Calgary and Edmonton AB did that too, bringing stuff up from Texas and Oklahoma. So there is a LOT of 480V in use in those areas. I remember one sawmill in BC that had the entire office complex done in 600/347, then the mill behind it was all 480/277. But if you get outside of BC and AB, it's mostly 600/347 for industrial / commercial. residential is all 120/240V exactly like us.
      __________________________________________________ ____________________________
      Many people are shocked when they discover I am not a good electrician...

      I'm in California, ergo I am still stuck on the 2014 NEC... We'll get around to the 2017 code in around 2021.

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        #4
        So why are the load centers sideways in housing?

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          #5
          One thing they do correctly is the name of the bonding conductor...theirs is correctly named as a bonding conductor while ours is incorrectly named as a grounding conductor (EGC).
          Don, Illinois
          (All code citations are 2017 unless otherwise noted)

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by sameguy View Post
            So why are the load centers sideways in housing?
            In Canada the main breaker is isolated from the rest of the panel so entering the panel with branch circuits or feeders is not possible from the top of the panel. Hence the sideways setup.
            They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
            She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
            I can't help it if I'm lucky

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              #7
              Originally posted by JFletcher View Post
              the higher voltage seems desirable as, all other things being equal, one would have 25% more current capacity for the same size wiring.
              ?????

              25% more watts, maybe................

              Comment


                #8
                Huge sidetrack here, but today I worked in an old vacant textile mill building with a 600 volt ungrounded delta. Those used to be very common here once upon a time and this is one of the few that now remain.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
                  In Canada the main breaker is isolated from the rest of the panel so entering the panel with branch circuits or feeders is not possible from the top of the panel. Hence the sideways setup.
                  Think that was inherited from UK codes... the main feeder is kept covered. Or separated.. so cannot touch those wires while servicing the breakers themselves... loads of stuff done concerning safety and touch covers over the wires.. even testers and tools have more insulation requirements now..
                  Student of electrical codes. Please Take others advice first.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by JFletcher View Post
                    Figured I'd start off the new forum section with a few questions for our neighbors to the north:

                    1) for those familiar with the Canadian electrical code and the NEC, how similar are they, what major differences have you noted?

                    2) do you guys have 480 / 277 like us, or is it all 600 / 347v? I have read that both have similar arc flash potentials, the higher voltage seems desirable as, all other things being equal, one would have 25% more current capacity for the same size wiring. Thoughts and comments?
                    The times I've worked in Canada it was all 600V 3-phase, 60 Hz. But that was all on ships. Icebreakers. I don't know that is standard for other electrical systems in that great country. I don't recall 347V single phase. I'm pretty sure they use 120V for that.
                    Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
                      In Canada the main breaker is isolated from the rest of the panel so entering the panel with branch circuits or feeders is not possible from the top of the panel. Hence the sideways setup.

                      I don't think I could do horizontal installation of panel. Its just not right. Keep the panel vertical & put the MAIN on the bottom side if I had to work in Canada.
                      Electricity is Color Blind
                      Leave the shirt pocket rules in your pocket.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
                        In Canada the main breaker is isolated from the rest of the panel so entering the panel with branch circuits or feeders is not possible from the top of the panel. Hence the sideways setup.
                        Then we would run into 240.81.
                        Master Electrician
                        Electrical Contractor
                        Richmond, VA

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by LarryFine View Post
                          Then we would run into 240.81.
                          Good catch, larry. Ive never paid too much attention to that paragraph. And can't recall it ever coming up in any inspections.

                          For any canadians reading this 240.81 says "where circuit breaker handles are operated vertically rather than rotionally or horizontally, the "up" position of the handle shall be the "on" position.


                          Materials question... what is the voltage rating of the conductors used for 600/347 systems? Are you using conductors rated for up to 600 volts? Or do you max out that rating?



                          Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by WarrMann View Post
                            Good catch, larry. Ive never paid too much attention to that paragraph. And can't recall it ever coming up in any inspections.

                            For any canadians reading this 240.81 says "where circuit breaker handles are operated vertically rather than rotionally or horizontally, the "up" position of the handle shall be the "on" position.


                            Materials question... what is the voltage rating of the conductors used for 600/347 systems? Are you using conductors rated for up to 600 volts? Or do you max out that rating?



                            Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
                            so that may be why the multiple bus panels in Europe look the way they do..so all the breakers are on in an upward position... but think there is some other part of USA code that stops us from using European Three and four row panels in NEC areas... something about multiple bus systems... I have wired as many as six separate bus groups in a panel over here... even with two phase to them once..lol... since we started using the split bus systems with an RCD to a group of like five breakers...
                            Student of electrical codes. Please Take others advice first.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              600/347 is very common. Lighting and heat are 347, motors, elevators are 600.

                              new builds tend to stay with 208/120 for lighting due to the lower demand of led’s

                              Sideways panels are due to our service conductors having to be separated. Ressi panels that have a main breaker come with a barrier separating the service conductor section from the rest of the panel. We can not run any wiring in the service conductor area so mounting a panel sideways is common when we replace old fuse panels that had wires exiting the top of the panel. Otherwise we would have to junction and extend the circuits so they enter the side or bottom.

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