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Author Topic: Breaker panel code? Need Help!!  (Read 3015 times)
DR
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« on: December 29, 2007, 09:57:59 AM »

Hello everyone,  I've heard many different opinions for location of the breaker panel. For code sake should the breaker panel be located in the living area or can it be located in the bay area along with power supply, transfer switch, etc...  Please advise per code, or is there a code for this?  Thankyou for the help!!   Happy New Year!!  DR
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jjrbus
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2007, 11:14:09 AM »

Not aware of a code, but do you really want to go out to the bay at O darkthirty in a thunderstorm, surrounded by rabid grizzly bears to reset a breaker?
 There was a code for the incomeing shoreline, had to have circut protection within 18 inch of entrance to coach. That braker is also accessible from inside my coach.

                           HTH Jim
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Dallas
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2007, 11:39:58 AM »

Hmmm, I didn't know about the 18" rule for circuit protection after entrance!

Now I'm gonna have to change things.

Rats.

Dallas
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2007, 11:45:12 AM »

Not aware of a code, but do you really want to go out to the bay at O darkthirty in a thunderstorm, surrounded by rabid grizzly bears to reset a breaker?
 There was a code for the incomeing shoreline, had to have circut protection within 18 inch of entrance to coach. That braker is also accessible from inside my coach.

                           HTH Jim

Well in over 40 years of RV'ing, I have never had to reset a breaker at 0 Dark thirty, let alone during a thunderstorm and surrounded by rabid grizzly bears. LOL

Put it where it is convenient for you and for overall wiring. The odds of having to re-set a breaker are very low.

Richard
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Kristinsgrandpa
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2007, 12:16:19 PM »

The new (2005) NEC book is pretty lax about locations, as compared to the old one (2002).

Article 551.45 (B) Location. The distribution panelboard shall be installed in a readily accessible location. Working clearance for the panelboard shall be not less than 24" wide and 30" deep.

There are 2 exceptions:
1. If it is installed in an aisle, the working clearance dimensions can be reduced to 22".
2. Compartment doors to access a generator compartment can be lockable.

There are a lot of things that don't make sense in the NEC. but it was written mostly for commercially made motorhomes.

IIRC the old code book required it to be within 18" of the entrance point into the coach, which put you on your hands and knees, to reset a breaker, if it came in through the floor.

The article covering RV's is only about 10 pages long and could easily be copied and posted but it is copyrighted and permission is needed to copy. The NFPA wants to sell as many copies of the whole book as possible, at $60 a copy and it is revised every 3 yrs. making the old copys obsolete.

Also it occasionally refers to other sections of the book so the whole book is sometimes needed.

Ed
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2007, 12:46:33 PM »

Hi DR,

My next coach will have all the operateing systems panels and marine curcuit panels  over the drivers area...

Too many times allready, I had to pull over off the side of a freeway and either check or reset something..

Try and telling your wife or kids to flip this or turn that on when your driving.  Angry Not Happening!

Happy New Year!
Nick-
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Kristinsgrandpa
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2007, 01:03:09 PM »

Art. 551.46 Means for Connecting to Power Supply

This contains 2 items, Separable and Permanent.

Separable basically covers approved attachment plugs and caps.
(see Nicks diagram in a previous post, thanks Nick)
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=6750.msg65226#msg65226

Permanently attached covers the fact that the wire has to be sized right and wall and floor penetrations have to be in conduit with bushings on each end, apparently the main breaker in your distribution panel covers the disconnect and overcurrent protection requirements.

If you use one 15 or 20 amp circuit to feed your coach then it has to be a GFCI.

Cords have to be at least 25' and have factory molded cord caps.

Ed
« Last Edit: December 29, 2007, 01:27:03 PM by Kristinsgrandpa » Logged

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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2007, 03:47:02 PM »

I'm with Richard - in 4 years I don't think we have ever tripped a breaker on the bus panel.  If your circuits are properly planned and layed out that should be a rare occurence.  Tripping the park panel - yes but the bus panel, not very likely.  I'd put the box in the bay if it was me.  YMMV

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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2007, 03:59:39 PM »

How many times have you tripped a breaker in your house? Likely not often. If you do something is wrong, weak breaker or overloaded circuit. Ours is mounted in one of our bays, circuits well laid and loads spread out. Seems to work for us.

Good Luck and Be Safe.
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rcbishop
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2007, 05:13:15 PM »

Right on the money, Richard....as usual.  I have a rear bay....amidships engine...my 12 volt stuff is there as well as the main ( 18 inch reference).  Balance of breakers are inside.  Not once, that I remember , has it been necessary to " go to the rear, outside.  Smiley  Six years on this conversion and who knows how many on other motor homes.

Make it easy for the entire wiring situation as far as I am concerned.

FWIW

RCB
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Stan
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2007, 05:23:33 PM »

Ed:
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Cords have to be at least 25' and have factory molded cord caps.

Do you know if 4-6 SO is readily available with a molded plug or is this only applicable to the 30 amp service cords?
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belfert
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2007, 05:30:53 PM »

My 12 volt, 24 volt, and 120 volt panels are in the basement.  Only once has a 12 volt fuse blown and that because someone plugged one of those jumpstart battery packs in to recharge on 12 volt.  The 12 volts outlets are wired with 10 guage wire and 30 amp fuse so no idea why fuse blew.  A typical cigarette lighter outlet is fused at less I believe.

The only issue with the panels in the basement is maintaining clearance in front of them.  My bus was designed to maximize usable bay space to haul stuff so the panels get in the way.

To get a factory molded plug you'll have to buy your cord from an RV place with the plug attached.  If doing 50 amp you could probably find a range cord with a molded plug, but it will only be 6 feet at most.  Lowes does sell the special 30 amp RV plugs, but they are really cheaply made and I doubt tehy would last.  I put one of those marine type threaded twist lock receptacles on my bus and then bought the matching RV cord off Ebay.  Lots of regular RVs are going this route.
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2007, 05:44:27 PM »

I should have searched before I asked the question. 50 amp 125-250 volt cable assembly with molded plug only $422.92. They should do a good business with the new code book. All those high end conversions with the SS marine connectors will have to change to meet code (and have bragging rights).

http://www.ecovantageenergy.com/catalog/items/item3210.htm
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2007, 05:51:14 PM »

I should have searched before I asked the question. 50 amp 125-250 volt cable assembly with molded plug only $422.92. They should do a good business with the new code book. All those high end conversions with the SS marine connectors will have to change to meet code (and have bragging rights).

http://www.ecovantageenergy.com/catalog/items/item3210.htm


Hi Stan,
Always check out favorite e place first...   # 320201698727
About 1/10th that price
Nick-
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« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2007, 06:06:25 PM »

I should have searched before I asked the question. 50 amp 125-250 volt cable assembly with molded plug only $422.92. They should do a good business with the new code book. All those high end conversions with the SS marine connectors will have to change to meet code (and have bragging rights).

http://www.ecovantageenergy.com/catalog/items/item3210.htm


I bought a very similar cable for $90 off Ebay from an RV surplus dealer.  Mine only has the molded plug on the park end, but not the RV end.  On the RV end they used a regular marine type connector that is not molded to the cable.  Are separable cables supposed to have molded connectors on both ends?

Camping World has the same cable as Ecovatange Energy for $300.  You can buy 36 foot 50 amp cords with molded plug on one end and loose wires at the other end for $60 plus shipping on Ebay if you want a permenant connection.

Nick, that Ebay listing is the same one I mentioned above, but Stan's price was for a Marinco cord with Marinco connector on the RV end and those are generally quite expensive.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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