Does "wet location" have anything to do with the interior of an outdoor disconnect/en

sanscow

Member
Location
Nashville TN
Does "wet location" have anything to do with the interior of an outdoor disconnect/en

/enclosure?

Hello,

On a different forum, we were discussing wiring HVAC disconnects and the common practice of bringing Romex through the back of the disconnect and then using THHN from the disconnect to the unit.

My belief has always been that the inspectors simply allow this because it would be a pain to transition to a wiring method for wet locations before entering the disconnect.

I was told that while the disconnect is in a wet location, the interior of the enclosure is a dry location, so the install is just fine. This position makes no sense to me because all of the location definitions have nothing to do with wiring methods; just where the installation is located.

What say you fine people?
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
Don't give "them" and ideas :D
The NEC specifically spells out the interior of a raceway in a wet location is considered a wet location. I do not believe there is any such reference to the interior of an enclosure in a wet location so an inspector would be hard pressed to give you a Code reference.

Welcome !
 

packersparky

Senior Member
Location
Wisconsin
Don't give "them" and ideas :D
The NEC specifically spells out the interior of a raceway in a wet location is considered a wet location. I do not believe there is any such reference to the interior of an enclosure in a wet location so an inspector would be hard pressed to give you a Code reference.

Welcome !
I sure hope the interior of outside enclosures are not wet locations, or else millions of outside panelboards with breakers in them would be a violation. :D
 

ritelec

Senior Member
Location
Jersey
Visiting a couple other forums a few years ago, others insisted that the wire has to be change to exterior rated wiring before going out to exterior receptacles, disconnects, lighting.. I never had issues in Jersey with Rx going to external boxes....... But then again, I see primary service conductors sleeved in schedule 40 pvc in areas subject to damage... (just to mention, I see a new service that went in, the electrician did this funky terrible looking bend at the service head on seu to make it perpendicular to the cable, but installs the schedule 40 in the driveway ???)
 

sanscow

Member
Location
Nashville TN
I sure hope the interior of outside enclosures are not wet locations, or else millions of outside panelboards with breakers in them would be a violation. :D
I think the manufacturers breakers are listed for use in both dry location and wet location rated enclosures.

Interestingly enough, Eaton makes a series of interlocks that fit inside those same enclosures. One set it rated for indoor use and another set is rated for outdoor. This would suggest that even the manufacturer thinks the interior of their weatherproof enclosures is not dry a location.

Pure logic would indicate that the interior of an outdoor enclosure is probably the most similar to the damp location definition and as such would violate 334.12(B)4 if wiring with Romex.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
The 3R rating permits the inside of the enclosure below any live part to be wet and requires drain holes.
Then they put entry hub in top center of the enclosure so that any raceway you connect to it will drain right onto any components you place in the enclosure:blink:

Seen many main lugs and main breakers fail over years because of this.
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
I would say that rules for wiring methods don't apply to the inside of enclosures, in general.

The cable is a wiring method that gets from one enclosure to another. It could be a type of conduit instead. Either way, the rules for that wiring method stop when you get to the enclosures. When you bring the cable into the box and you remove the sheath and separate the conductors to land on various terminals, you are no longer using a cable as a wiring method. There are plenty of rules that apply to the enclosure, which take over. Just as if I bring conduit to a box, there are fill and derating rules that apply in the conduit and then as soon as the conductors enter the box those rules end and there are different rules for fill, etc.
 

Carultch

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Don't give "them" and ideas :D
The NEC specifically spells out the interior of a raceway in a wet location is considered a wet location. I do not believe there is any such reference to the interior of an enclosure in a wet location so an inspector would be hard pressed to give you a Code reference.

Welcome !
In the OP's situation, I would anticipate a small stub of raceway sleeveing the cable as it exits the building envelope and enters the disconnect enclosure. Would that small stub of raceway also qualify a "wet location", because it technically is a raceway in a wet location?
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
As I recall, that's exactly the situation with coming into the back of an outdoor service panel on the side of the house with all the home runs. We talked about this before and I think some kind of wire enclosure under the panel was being used so that you would bring your wiring out, up and into the bottom of the panel instead of into the back and this thing would go over your wiring creating a dry location.

I just recommended making outdoor service panels illegal. :happyyes:

-Hal
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
As I recall, that's exactly the situation with coming into the back of an outdoor service panel on the side of the house with all the home runs. We talked about this before and I think some kind of wire enclosure under the panel was being used so that you would bring your wiring out, up and into the bottom of the panel instead of into the back and this thing would go over your wiring creating a dry location.

I just recommended making outdoor service panels illegal. :happyyes:

-Hal

I can tell you this- NC has had exterior panels for as long as I have been here and longer (1978) and there has never been an issue with the nm cable being inside the panels.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
I can tell you this- NC has had exterior panels for as long as I have been here and longer (1978) and there has never been an issue with the nm cable being inside the panels.
I never expected there would be but some inspectors don't like that 1/4" or less between where it exits the siding and goes into the connector on the back of the panel. They say it's a wet location because water can get behind there.

-Hal
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I never expected there would be but some inspectors don't like that 1/4" or less between where it exits the siding and goes into the connector on the back of the panel. They say it's a wet location because water can get behind there.

-Hal
And some sort of enclosure to come out and into bottom of panel can get just as wet or even more wet than 1/4" or less into the back of a panel I would think. This is just an area for nit-pickers to dwell on when they can't find anything else to nit-pick.
 
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