That's for _access_ to the panel. Does -not- mean that 'nothing' can be there.
"premesis" panel in the kitchen of a condo. 'drop leaf' counter mounted on
the wall under it. outlets on wall a line about halfway between counter line
and bottom of box. one 3" to the right of the right edge of the panel, another
about 10 " to the left of the panel. City inspector had -no- problems with it.
(locale: a Chicago suburb, inspectors knowledgable and strict. Had some
minor quibbles over a few nuances of interpretation, but when they explained,
I had to agree their logic made sense. And I then did things their way.
(helped a lot that I double-checked _before_ doing, when of in 'nooks and
crannies' of the code. <grin>)
Minimum distance is about two box fittings. <grin>
I updated my wiring diagram and posted the new one in the same place in case
it might be of interest to anyone.
BTW, the "doubly-ganged C-B" is evidently referred to as "Tandem" if you
haven't already seen them
on your grocer's shelf! : )
I did the following to mine:
(1) Double the number of 120 outlets
(2) use quad outlet boxes at 120 locations (dahikt)
(3) Put ALL electrical in conduit on outside of walls.
The reason for the external wiring is that every shop
tends to get moved around from time to time and you
can move stuff MUCH easier with it in conduit.
re: "use quad outlet boxes at 120 locations"
480 outlets? Yeah, that oughta be enough for most shops. ;-)
Thank you Pat Barber who first mentioned this in this thread and DerbyDad03
who brought it up again.
For some reason the idea of having pairs of duplex outlets didn't take until
I considered it while standing
in the shop area. It sounds like a good idea! You never know where things
will end up, battery rechargers and such.
I even ended up with a small "shop refrigerator" already (and I never was
serious about having one..).
A little more action on the project: today I took down and demolished about
6 1970's vintage kitchen
cabinets which are in the way. I referred to them earlier as "hideous" and
I won't be missing them.
I confess that the act of smashing them up with a big crowbar was almost
more fun than it should have been. : )
1. Ceiling duplex outlets for every light fixture but two circuits
splitting duplex outlets into Switched (plug in your light) and steady/
always on and one breaker for each "side"
2. Locate wall outlets at convenient height(s) so as not to fall
behind benches, tool chests etc. and consider two duplex outlets at
each location with the upper left outlet SWITCHED and on its own
circuit. (These outlets are dedicated to plugging in those little wall
modules that you should unplug when leaving the shop as they eat power
24/7 and get hot and can burn/start fires).
3. Switches for lighting and ceiling and upper left at each ingress/
egress point (one, two, three or four-way switches as appropriate.
4. Remotely-switched circuit for air compressor (ao you need not be
wakened at 3AM by wife complaining of the noise "it's waking our
5. Extend outlets to front edge of fixed work bench(es).
6. Consider COAX, POTS, and CAT5 cables brought in from main house in
case TV, phone or Computer Network application later become more
important than they, now, may seem.
+I+ would run _10_ ga. (minimum) to the 240 outlets. It's only trivially
more cost initially, and 'in the future' it makes it much easier to support
something that needs more power (just change the breaker and the plug).
One can never have enough 120v outlets. I'd put a quad box at each of the
three locations, with two circuits (one for each duplex outlet pair).
If it is a strictly ONE MAN shop, two circuits for all the 120V is likely
enough -- the 'one man' feature will limit how much gear is running at any
IF NOT, I'd want a minimum of 3 circuits for the 120v, with 'staggered'
availability. i.e. circuit1/2 at the first box, circuit2/3 at the
second box, and circuit 3/1 at the third box..
Also, you'll find out _real_quick_ that you need more outlets by the work-
bench. recommend 3 quad boxes along -that- wall as well.
Lastly, I'd put in GFI _outlets_, and use regular breakers, where I could.
_IF_ something trips, it will kill that outlet only, and -not- take out
'something else' that might be running on the same circuit. More of a
consideration in a 'more than one person' shop, but it's along the same lines
as why you don't put _anything_ else on the 'lighting' circuit -- localize
the 'surprise factor' as much as possible.
Note: if you look for 'em, you can find _20_ Amp rated 120v GFI duplex
outlets. They're practically the same cost as the stock 15A ones, but the
attachment points are sized for the bigger wire gauge, and give the potential
for _safely_ supporting a higher-draw 120v device.
email@example.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote in
Many of the GFCI outlets I've seen have a little indicator light that
turns on when tripped. Simplifes the whole "did my lamp burn out or is
the outlet dead?" question. Just another small reason to use GFCI
Never teach your apprentice everything you know.
Nothing ... you should not have more than one GFCI protection device on
a branch circuit; either a GFCI c'bkr protecting the circuit at the
panel, or a "GFCI receptacle" as the first receptacle in the branch
circuit that protects the rest of the run.
He was merely saying that, in some instances, that first GFCI receptacle
is in the same room making it easy to see if it has tripped.
That is not always the case in a residence, however, where the GFCI
receptacle for the branch circuit may be in a different room, in a
closet, on the wall under a cabinet, on in some instances, outside ...
it's why I carry a GFCI circuit tester in my pocket, particularly when
accompanying an inspector on an electrical inspection of one of my
houses under construction, something which I _always_ do.
"because". <grin> See my self-follow-up article where I clarified everything.
You demonstrate you don't know what you don't know.
'protected' outlets downstream from a GFI outlet are wired in _series_ with
the GFI device. (This doesn't mean that the loads are in series, they're not,
but current-sensing _requires_ a sensor in series with the load.) Even a
'clamp-on' ammeter uses a sensor in series with the load. *grin*
You have a pair (hot/neutral) of 'line' terminals for the feed from the panel,
and an _isolated_ pair of terminals for feeding the protected outlets. If you
use _either_ the hot or neutral from the panel to the downstream outlets rather
than the isolated ones from the GFI, there is *no* protection.
Clarification -- this *is* somewhat unconventional, I realize it needs more
A standard GFI outlet has two pairs of isolated wiring points. One (hot and
neutral) for upstream ['line'], the other (ISOLATED hot / ISOLATED neutral)
for additional outlet(s) [load] to be protected.
Typical ("series") wiring is hot/neutral from panel to GFI 'line', GFI 'load'
(isolated) hot/neutral to next outlet and on to next (repeating as needed)
making sure that the isolated neutral is 'continuous' from GFI to end of run.
NEC has specified that neutral must be a continuous conductor back to the panel.
*PRESUMABLY* there's an exception to this for 'downstream' GFI protection, as
the downstream outlet (isolated) neutral has to be wired to the GFI load neutral,
*NOT* to the panel neutral bus.
What _I_ first did, motivated by the fact that (1) I was putting only 2 duplex
outlets on a breaker, (2) the 2 duplex outlets were located 'distant' from each
other (idea being to have 'as many as practical' different circuits 'within
reach' at any given point), _and_ (3) as a result of (2), the outlets were
usually in _opposite_directions_ from the panel. Each hot came out of the panel
and into an immediately adjacent 'distribution box' where it was joined to a
_separate_ wire going to each outlet (shorter to do 2 runs, then out to one
outlet, back, and out to 2nd outlet.) (3 conductors in the wire-nut -- one to
each outlet, and the 'common' back to the breaker) -- one to each outlet,
and the 'common' back to the breaker) Neutral from each outlet was run all the
way back to the panel. no breaks, no splices. This called for a GFI breaker
at _each_ location. since neither 'downstream' of, or protected by the other.
(Note: electrical inspector _did_ wonder at, and question, *all* those neutrals
at the panel. more neutrals than circuits! :)
Subsequently, I've been able to find GFI receptacles for _not_ much more money
than a quality duplex outlet. So, I treat the in wall wiring (hot/neutral) like
a 'buss'. and pigtail off a tap on -each- one at each outlet. which connects
to the _line_ side of a GFI outlet at each location. 'load' side goes unused.
Each GFI can see only it's own pigtail and trips only if a device plugged into
it fails. When it trips, it kills only the pigtail, and any other independently
protected outlets on the 'buss' are still active.
There is an additional, but subtle, advantage to this set-up, _if_ there is a
possibility of (young) children around. Since you've got a _separate_ GFI at
-each- outlet position, you can disable the outlets, by hitting the 'test'
button on all of them, and only resetting when actually needed for use.
Outlets with switches 'built in' are *handy*. Especially when it's not
particularly obvious that they _are_ switches. *GRIN*
As I understand it, the grounded conductor may not be interrupted by a device;
words, you must pigtail the grounded conductor rather than pass it through the
receptacle or use the receptacle as a terminal strip to join the upstream
and downstream grounded conductor. I wonder if there is an exception here for
a GFCI device when protecting the downstream devices, tho.
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