pumps control panel above 2'x2' acoustical hung ceilng

victor.cherkashi

Senior Member
Is it permitted by NEC to place pumps control panel above 2'x2' acoustical hung ceilng? cooling water pumps are also located above the ceilng.
Control panel energizes two 1HP,3ph,208V water pumps (one standby).
Control panel will alternate pumps each week, will have status lamps and mode selector/rotary switch on front door.
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
No.

First off, I can't see how that could satisfy 110.26, "Working Space" requirements, especially (A)(3), Height of working space, above and below. Then also;

Article 100, section I, Definitions:
Accessible, Readily (Readily Accessible). Capable of being
reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections
without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite
to actions such as to use tools, to climb over or remove
obstacles, or to resort to portable ladders, and so forth.
Then assuming there are OCPDs in that pump panel, it would violate 220.24(A)
Accessibility. Overcurrent devices shall be readily accessible
and shall be installed so that the center of the grip
of the operating handle of the switch or circuit breaker,
when in its highest position, is not more than 2.0 m (6 ft
7 in.) above the floor or working platform...
The concept of "readily accessible" applying to a Pump Panel will also crop up in 430.107
 

drktmplr12

Senior Member
Is it permitted by NEC to place pumps control panel above 2'x2' acoustical hung ceilng? cooling water pumps are also located above the ceilng.
Control panel energizes two 1HP,3ph,208V water pumps (one standby).
Control panel will alternate pumps each week, will have status lamps and mode selector/rotary switch on front door.
is there not a better location for the panel than in the ceiling?
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
is there not a better location for the panel than in the ceiling?
My guess is aesthetics; the end user doesn’t want to have to look at that “ugly” grey box... I’ve seen it many times. “Is there someplace else you can put that where I don’t have to look at it?”

Or when I go to troubleshoot something and they say “Oh, we had them install it down the hall in that janitorial closet because it was so ugly. Hope that doesn’t make it harder to fix it.”
 

victor.cherkashi

Senior Member
Thank you for detailed response. It's existing office space, we're adding these pumps, tenant doesn't want to give us any space on wall or closet. The only way is remote installation, outside of the office space.
 

victor.cherkashi

Senior Member
No.

First off, I can't see how that could satisfy 110.26, "Working Space" requirements, especially (A)(3), Height of working space, above and below. Then also;

Article 100, section I, Definitions:


Then assuming there are OCPDs in that pump panel, it would violate 220.24(A)


The concept of "readily accessible" applying to a Pump Panel will also crop up in 430.107
just for the forum record. it's section 240.24(A) not 220.24(A)
 

Adamjamma

Senior Member
I have been in offices where the doors to the panels were covered by pictures that were hinged to uncover the panels when necessary... not sure how legal that was but it sure looked nice and the pictures did not get in the way at all. Even had one office that you hit a button and the tv lifted up out of the way to give access to the panels...
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
I have been in offices where the doors to the panels were covered by pictures that were hinged to uncover the panels when necessary... not sure how legal that was but it sure looked nice and the pictures did not get in the way at all. Even had one office that you hit a button and the tv lifted up out of the way to give access to the panels...
Seen that too and I’ve never questioned its legality. Wish I had taken a photo of it, but I had one customer who framed a poster of a lighthouse and positioned it so that the red “Run” light on the panel was poking through on the top of the lighthouse like a navigating beacon!
 

kwired

Electron manager
problem with 110.26 is "likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized" leaves this wide open for interpretation.

How many AHU's with controls and even overcurrent protection have you seen above a ceiling?

If the pump is above the ceiling, doesn't it need a disconnecting means within sight? Does that disconnect need to comply with 110.26?

110.26 doesn't really specify any particular kind of "equipment" either, though many limit what is enforced here to switchboards, panelboards, motor controllers and similar items. If you want to take it literally, nearly everything "electrical" in any way needs to comply with 110.26, and us electricians can throw away our ladders, scaffolds, lifts, etc.:cool:
 
Top