Resi panel has all branch circuit entering through 1 MA

Dansos

Senior Member
Location
PA
So I walked into a job for a service call and when I took the panel cover off I saw every wire (38) running into the panel through (1) 3” PVC MA at the top of the panel. No conduit connected to it, just an MA. What is NEC stance on this?
ALL wires ARE staples to joists within 12” of enter.
 

Dansos

Senior Member
Location
PA
Yeah if you could please site the NEC number so I can read that. Not arguing, but I’m curious to know. I tried to find something but nothing really pertained to that specific install (anything I read anyways)
 

102 Inspector

Senior Member
Location
N/E Indiana
I am still on the 2008 and although the example given would not be approved, 312.4(C ) has been used with 18 riser "nipple" from MA. Specific requirements to use this section though.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
This may be permissible if you had 18" of raceway attached the the terminal adapter but the panel would also need to be surface mounted.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
For years this was acceptable but never compliant. Many contractors in this area did it and somehow it passed
Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, you're faced with the job of replacing an old exterior panel. When you pull the old one, you find a hodge-podge of NM, MC, BX, etc. poking through one large hole through the old wood siding, all with sheaths too short to pull out enough to bring into the bottom of the panel to be covered later.

How do you compliantly land all of those conductors in the back wall of the panel?
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, you're faced with the job of replacing an old exterior panel. When you pull the old one, you find a hodge-podge of NM, MC, BX, etc. poking through one large hole through the old wood siding, all with sheaths too short to pull out enough to bring into the bottom of the panel to be covered later.

How do you compliantly land all of those conductors in the back wall of the panel?

First off, there should never be mc and bx going thru a large hole. They need to be connected to the panel.

There is never a good way to do this compliantly. IMO, I would leave it except for the bx and mc and fill the connector with some sealant.

Why would you want to go thru the bottom of the panel. An outdoor panel cannot have nm cable run to it if the nm is exposed.

I have argued this with Iwire many years ago. He insisted you could drill individual holes and bring them into the back of a panel. I would love to see someone install 30 circuits, with 30, 40 and 60 amp conductors on some, and get it into the back of a panel.

Imo, if you don't allow the installation thru the back then the outdoor panel is worthless. You could always install a JB on the back side of the panel and run individual wires thru a 2" conduit. That would work if you came out the back into a crawl area.... That just creates a tremendous amount of extra work
 

mikeames

Senior Member
Location
Germantown MD
Occupation
Teacher - Electrician - 2017 NEC
Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, you're faced with the job of replacing an old exterior panel. When you pull the old one, you find a hodge-podge of NM, MC, BX, etc. poking through one large hole through the old wood siding, all with sheaths too short to pull out enough to bring into the bottom of the panel to be covered later.

How do you compliantly land all of those conductors in the back wall of the panel?
Maybe get a 3R gutter, bring them into the back of the gutter, then splice new on and go to panel?
 

tortuga

Senior Member
Location
(44.057116, -123.103394)
Occupation
field supervisor
There should be a 'sticky' on this.
As its
one of the most surprisingly controversial, passionately debated, and
exhaustively studied topics in the history of CMP 9” --
Frederic P. Hartwell Code making Panel 9 member.



He insisted you could drill individual holes and bring them into the back of a panel. I would love to see someone install 30 circuits, with 30, 40 and 60 amp conductors on some, and get it into the back of a panel.
We do that all the time for exterior panels, we just never use a trailer panel.

A fitting like this helps:
1589940451189.png

I have seen guys bend the rules and use a 1" two screw romex connector and put 3 romexes in it.
But the PVC T/A into a wall is just plain code violation, fire hazard and should be re-done:

1589941218611.png
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
So if you have a boat load of those fittings you would have to butcher the outside wall to get all those fittings into a panel. Basically one would have to make a mess behind the panel. Sealing it would be difficult unless you have access from behind the panel.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
So if you have a boat load of those fittings you would have to butcher the outside wall to get all those fittings into a panel. Basically one would have to make a mess behind the panel. Sealing it would be difficult unless you have access from behind the panel.
Dennis,
I'm not sure I understand the logic of the outdoor panel, if you cannot install the cables correctly because one would have to butcher the wall and create a problem with sealing then maybe you would need to rethink putting the panel there in the first place.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Trevor we don't install outdoor panels except as a main disconnect. This was an old method many used, I did also, but the only time it is an issue for us is when we change a service that was done this way.

Imo, putting 2- 2" pvc connectors or couplings is the best install for these panels although it is not compliant.

It has been done all over the country and I have never heard of an issue with the install.
 
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