200A Panel with 150A Main Breaker

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techtonix's picture
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Joined: 2017-03-25

I am writing this question because of how this combination Load Center didn't pass through Inspection with my local electric utility due to the manufacturer's inconsistency in marking and labeling. Let me explain.

The 150A load center shares the same body as the 200A model made by this particular manufacturer. On the body itself the load center is listed at 200A, however, the permanent / factory installed main breaker is rated at 150A as the serial number and description also agree with. Because the main breaker and serial number say 150A and because this is what I pulled a permit for, I sized the overhead conduit and wiring to 1.5 in. diameter, which is appropriate as per their specs. The utility inspector saw the 200A rating on the body of the box and failed the inspection stating that the conduit should be 2 in. diameter. This means I have to buy entirely new hardware and copper wiring throughout, and re-do everything costing me easily $300 and setting construction back two weeks. This is all the result of a typo or economized factory specs. City and utility inspectors can't even agree on this and I'm stuck with a residential construction site with no electricity.

So what gives, which inspector is right?

Paul Abernathy's picture
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Joined: 2012-12-21

Greetings techtonix,

Firstly, I am sorry you are experiencing an issue. However, the manufacturer is not at fault here. The fact the local utility may have specific rules or desires that possibly outweigh the manufacturers intent of the simple fact the inspection authority doesn't understand that it is perfectly acceptable to have a 150A OCPD within an enclosure that has an overall rating of 200A.

I could "technically" have a 100A OCPD in an enclosure with a rating of 200A if that is how the product is ordered. As long as the OCPD does not exceed the rating of the enclosure then no harm and most certainly no foul.

So, direct that anger towards the inspection authority for their lack of understanding how the process works. The fact that a 150A OCPD is installed in a 200A enclosure was cited as an issue shows their lack of understanding how products are listed and how they can be used under the manufacturers intent.

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