butt splice wires in a panel --- allowed?

When the walls of my house were open I wired two exterior lights and left a coil of 12-2 in what was then a rather inaccesible basement area. The inaccessible area is now accessible and I have brought the 12-2 to my panel. It is 1.5" feet short... gets in the panel about five inches beyond strain relief but not to the busses.
I can splice the 12-2 to a piece of 12-2 in a box outside the panel. But, does code allow me to butt splice inside the panel? I would butt split black, green, and white 12ga wire to the 12-2 coming in. This seems pretty simple but I am not sure if code allows this. Does it?
Another option would be for me to take the 12-2 from the exterior lights and feed this from an existing fixture in the basement. I'd rather not do this---I do not want to combine exterior lights and basement lights on the same circuit. I do not know if code allows this but it seems messy to me.
Thanks,
mh
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I would install a workbox or add a outlet for convenience!
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Yes, you can splice extensions on to the short wires in the panel

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Mike wrote:

The panel is a great big junction box. You can do anything inside it that you could do in any other junction box.
The inspector might not like it if he's an asshole, but that's his problem not yours. Try to make it look as "workmanly" as possible (just don't trim things too tight trying to make it look neat.)
Make sure you use UL listed connectors.
Best regards, Bob
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zxcvbob ( snipped-for-privacy@charter.net) said...

Well, his problem becomes yours in such a case.
However, it is not likely the inspector will have a problem in a case that is rework.
In a new installation, there is really no reason why something should have to be spliced this way, unless you really were not thinking and/or planning properly. A blatent example of not thinking/planning like that in the panel is a red flag that there are other issues in the rest of the job and tends to bring out the fine toothed comb for the rest of the inspection.
In rework, it is not uncommon for a situation where something is a little short and a splice is needed. Inspectors see this all the time and know it is a fact of life.

Things run a little too neat can be an issue. I had nice neat conductors in our main panel and where all the neutrals ran up to the bus, the inspector pointed out that being a little too neat and running them all together can be an issue for heat buildup.
Keep them neat, but spread out so that some air can circulate between the wires.
--
Calvin Henry-Cotnam
"I really think Canada should get over to Iraq as quickly as possible"
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Calvin Henry-Cotnam wrote:

The point I was trying to make (and did a really poor job of it) was that the inspector won't like the splices in the panel, but he won't fail you for it nor make you change it. It may bring out his latent hostility as he inspects the rest of your work. ;-)
Bob
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