Sub Panel in Attic

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guschash

Senior Member
Location
Ohio
Is there any restrictions in having a sub panel in the attic. I was house just now and the home was showing me around his house. He has been doing some remolding work and wanted to know what I thought. The attic has a pull down ladder and he has a small sub panel up there. Alot of room in attic but not big enough to add any type of room. I was just wonder if it was ok. What article # can I find this under. Does meet the reqiurment of being accessible.

gud
 

LJSMITH1

Senior Member
Location
Stratford, CT
I have one in my house, which was built in 1993. Love it - especially when a crappy hairdryer occasionally pops the breaker (prior to them having GFCI's on the cordsets). I don't have to go down to the basement. Adding a new circuit on the 2nd floor is easier too..

Mine is right at top of the pull down attic stairs.

No violation that I am aware of.:cool:
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
110.26(A)(3), 110.26(F) and 110.26(D) often times crop up with attic panels, but there is no specific prohibition.
 

gndrod

Senior Member
Location
Ca and Wa
attic panel

attic panel

Is there any restrictions in having a sub panel in the attic. I was house just now and the home was showing me around his house. He has been doing some remolding work and wanted to know what I thought. The attic has a pull down ladder and he has a small sub panel up there. Alot of room in attic but not big enough to add any type of room. I was just wonder if it was ok. What article # can I find this under. Does meet the reqiurment of being accessible.

gud
Running a 4-wire feeder to the attic remod is a more economical way of extending multiple BC's especially when the new addition includes a bathroom. rbj
 

guschash

Senior Member
Location
Ohio
I quess my biggest concern was if there was adquate working space. There was plenty of room to mount this panel so that you could stand up and work but whoever did it make so you have work on your knees. Alright for young guys but not so easy for us older guys. I know it makes sense mounting this panel in this attic because of all the reasons given here. I thought the same thing when I was looking at but I wasn't sure about the pull down stairs. Thanks again.

Gus
 
What about ampacity correction of conductors as per the bottom of Table 310.16?

What about the trip factor of Circuit breakers installed in very warm to very hot Attics?

I have worked in attics in NY that have reached temperatures of more than 120F...On hot summer days/nights, the temperature in an attic may not cool down much.
 

guschash

Senior Member
Location
Ohio
You are right about that Pierre. He is thinking about changing the panel that is there now to a larger one for the new addition he wants to do. I will being that up to him. That is the good thing about our forum, you can post here and gather in all this information that doesn't comes to you right away when you are looking at the job. Thanks

gus
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
All I can say is I have installed panels in attics in NC and not had a problem with it. I have never installed one where a pull down stair is necessary.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
All I can say is I have installed panels in attics in NC and not had a problem with it.
That does not surprise me and the fact the HO in this case has already had a panel in the attic for years would make it a hard sell to say a replacement panel would be a problem. :)
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Dennis
What do you mean by this statement?
What I was saying is that all my panels had direct access without having to pull down stairs. I don't find a pull down as a great way to get to a panel. I realize the code allows it but I don't like it. The panels that I have installed in attics either have permanent stairs or just a door into an attic from the same floor.
 
Okay, I understand now.

what is the difference if it is a pulldown set of stairs or a built-in set of stairs?


What about the elevated temperature up in the attic? Do you account for that when sizing the conductors to the panel/branch circuits?





*notice my use of the term "elevated". I do not mean elevated as in height, but in terms of higher temperature. ;)
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Okay, I understand now.

what is the difference if it is a pulldown set of stairs or a built-in set of stairs?

What about the elevated temperature up in the attic? Do you account for that when sizing the conductors to the panel/branch circuits?

*notice my use of the term "elevated". I do not mean elevated as in height, but in terms of higher temperature. ;)

Generally the panel in the attic only supplies lighting and recep. load on that particular floor or the floor below. There is not a whole lot of load involved. I also tend to wire my circuits on the light side so temp. does not seem to be an issue and no I never even thought about it in the past. This is not my preference but on rare occasions I have had to install panels in attics.

I think a pull down is a bit of a pain in the ( well you know) so I have not installed a panel with that as an access.
 

rbwsparky

Senior Member
Location
Sewickley,PA
We just did a similar install of a 200amp attic sub but the attic was air conditioned and you could sit on a cushioned bench while working.Motorized stairs also. Let the electicians alone and we can make a bad situation good, with an understanding homeowner and a large budget
 
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Generally the panel in the attic only supplies lighting and recep. load on that particular floor or the floor below. There is not a whole lot of load involved. I also tend to wire my circuits on the light side so temp. does not seem to be an issue and no I never even thought about it in the past. This is not my preference but on rare occasions I have had to install panels in attics.

I think a pull down is a bit of a pain in the ( well you know) so I have not installed a panel with that as an access.

It is Christmas, and I am not trying to bust anyone's chops, but where does the load come into account when applying temperature correction or ampacity adjustment?
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Does anyone really account for attic temperatures when running circuits in attics without panels?

In areas that mount panels on the exterior of a home does anyone take into account the temperature the inside of the panel may reach in direct sun?

How about HVAC disconnects?

Point being there has always been a large gap between the code and the real world.
 

electricmanscott

Senior Member
Location
Boston, MA
Does anyone really account for attic temperatures when running circuits in attics without panels?

In areas that mount panels on the exterior of a home does anyone take into account the temperature the inside of the panel may reach in direct sun?

How about HVAC disconnects?

Point being there has always been a large gap between the code and the real world.
Of course not. I'm sure some guys will say they do but some guys will also say they see aliens.

The gap will remain and thankfully so. The NEC (of course there are other codes too ;) ) does not and can not account for all situations. The difference between a good electrician and , well other kinds, is the good one can fugure out what to do without a book to tell him, or her.
 
Of course not. I'm sure some guys will say they do but some guys will also say they see aliens.

The gap will remain and thankfully so. The NEC (of course there are other codes too ;) ) does not and can not account for all situations. The difference between a good electrician and , well other kinds, is the good one can fugure out what to do without a book to tell him, or her.

...and you have not seen aliens? ;)


What has occurred in the last 15-20 years is the realization that so many buildings were being built, and there was so much new technology and construction advancement that more eyes started to watch what was going on.
Codes have been around since Hammurabi's time, maybe even before that.
As the technology and the advancements in construction evolve, the codes seem to be "piling up". With more people watching, it seems that it is all about the codes. I see it as a mixture of people of the old school are not happy about the code scrutiny and others do not care about the changes as long as they are making money. As more time passes on, it will be like written laws - more added each cycle.
If the contractors do not make money, then we shall see...maybe we will start to see more aliens. ;):D
 

nakulak

Senior Member
I don't understand your statement Pierre. If the load only draws x amps, then that would be a factor in sizing the wire, since after derating and adjustment you would need to have x amps available on the conductor.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
...and you have not seen aliens? ;)


What has occurred in the last 15-20 years is the realization that so many buildings were being built, and there was so much new technology and construction advancement that more eyes started to watch what was going on.
Codes have been around since Hammurabi's time, maybe even before that.
As the technology and the advancements in construction evolve, the codes seem to be "piling up". With more people watching, it seems that it is all about the codes. I see it as a mixture of people of the old school are not happy about the code scrutiny and others do not care about the changes as long as they are making money. As more time passes on, it will be like written laws - more added each cycle.
If the contractors do not make money, then we shall see...maybe we will start to see more aliens. ;):D
IMO more people are unhappy about codes being a changed just as a matter of companies selling products and covering their rear end.

All this new push for further derating, .... roofs... cables through sill plates ... SE treated at 60C ... etc has been based entirely on people covering their rear and selling more products and not on a history of real application issues. That, to me erodes the integrity of a 'safety code'.
 
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