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Thread: What is a cutout box?

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    What is a cutout box?

    I am sorry if this has been answered specifically. I did a search I found a couple things related but a lot of chaff. I couldn't get it refined down.

    So, I came across this definition and i am struggling with exactly what it is. I think there are two things that I may not completely grasp. One is "telescoping with" and the other is surface only as opposed to surface or flush for a cabinet

    Please help. After research I think that a cutout box is basically any enclosure that has a hinged lipped cover, so the NEMA 3 Square D iLine wall mount panel enclosures would be a cutout. Virtually any disconnect I can think of the enclosure would be a cutout. A standard NEMA 1 panelboard would be a cabinet. However if all this is true then now I wonder what is the difference between a cabinet and a junction box. Oddly, it looks like the NEC doesn't define a junction box as long as a hinged cover is an available accessory?

    Last thing. reading article 312, it looks like the intent of a cabinet vs. a junction box is that a cabinet is intended to have wires terminating in it and a junction box is intended for wires passing through, but I don't see that distinction. Very confused. Am I the only one?


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    UL has the following definition (UL White Book CYIV):
    This category covers sheet-metal boxes and nonmetallic boxes. Cutout boxes are provided with a door secured by hinges and one or more fasteners and are intended for surface mounting. A cabinet consists of two parts:
    a cabinet box and a mating cabinet front that contains a door. A cabinet may be flush mounted or surface mounted. These boxes are intended for installation in accordance with Article 312 of ANSI/NFPA 70, ‘‘National Electrical Code.’’
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    Quote Originally Posted by augie47 View Post
    UL has the following definition (UL White Book CYIV):
    This category covers sheet-metal boxes and nonmetallic boxes. Cutout boxes are provided with a door secured by hinges and one or more fasteners and are intended for surface mounting. A cabinet consists of two parts:
    a cabinet box and a mating cabinet front that contains a door. A cabinet may be flush mounted or surface mounted. These boxes are intended for installation in accordance with Article 312 of ANSI/NFPA 70, ‘‘National Electrical Code.’’
    Cool, that gets a long way toward answering my question, however, let's say I use a cabinet per the above description, then I am not subject to the 6 times eight times requirements of article 314 as far as I can tell. That doesn't seem intentional merely because the cover is equipped with hinges.

    [edit] or would it be an issue of intent. Since I can see that a panel may be in cutout box enclosure, so would the cutout box or cabinet used as a junction box be subject to the provisions of article 314. that makes sense as I type it.


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    your edit expresses my thoughts better than I can
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    it doesn't matter what you call the box, if you are using it as a pull box with conductors 4 AWG and larger, 314.28 applies.
    314.1 Scope. This article covers the installation and use of all boxes and conduit bodies used as outlet, device, junction, or pull boxes, depending on their use, and handhole enclosures. ...
    Don, Illinois
    (All code citations are 2017 unless otherwise noted)

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    Going back to the days when I worked in NYC on fire alarm systems a "fused cutout box" was a metal JB with a hinged cover and inside there was a 3-pole fuse block. The outer two slots had cartridge fuses for the un-grounded conductors and the center had a removable neutral (usually a piece of copper tubing). Now I know you didn't mention fuses but my understanding for the use of a cutout box is a JB where you are able to disconnect power from the load. I could be 100% wrong on this.

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