2 Shut offs for exterior A/C

The exterior A/C had the normal shut off mounted on the siding. Then at the Main panles a second shut off box was added.

Am I correct in thinking that the second box was added so that didnt have to add a breaker to the FPE box?? The shut off was improperly taped.

I recommended sparky to evaluate and she should plan for a new update & eliminate the second box and the indivdual main shutoff.

In this setup is the FPE now considered a sub?



83006 Shaker 029 (Small).jpg

83006 Shaker 029 (Small).jpg

83006 Shaker 027 (Small).jpg

83006 Shaker 026 (Small).jpg

The double tap in the main is troubling. Yes these are all now sub-panels past the main. (isolated neutral, 4 wire feed etc) Ther AC noes not need a neutral so 3 wire is fine there.

Some people are concerned about the safety involved in removing a cover from an FPE panel. There is no issue with an FPE per se–it’s the FPE **“STAB-LOK” **that is questionable.

RRay provided a discaimer for the FPE stab lock that I add to my reports. I used to take of the covers but know I dont &n add the disclaimer & recommend a sparky. The % of FPE in this area seems to be almost 25%

Thanks for the responses.


The water pipe above the equipment is not allowed, and the metal bushing for 4 AWG or larger is a defect too. I see many other items and feel that the services of an electrician will be the best advice.


I see water pipes & shut offs above panels on may occasions.

What is the NEC code for water pipes/shut offs by panels?

Thanks for your time



It has to do with the Dedicated Space associated with the electrical equipment. The NEC Article in reference here is Art. 110.26(F)(1)(a)-(d)

**[FONT=Times-Bold]size=2 Dedicated Equipment Space.

All switchboards, panelboards,
distribution boards, and motor control centers
shall be located in dedicated spaces and protected from

*Exception: Control equipment that by its very nature or

because of other rules of the Code must be adjacent to or
within sight of its operating machinery shall be permitted
in those locations.

**(1) Indoor.

Indoor installations shall comply with
110.26(F)(1)(a) through (d).

(a) Dedicated Electrical Space. The space equal to the
width and depth of the equipment and extending from the

floor to a height of 1.8 m (6 ft) above the equipment or to
the structural ceiling, whichever is lower, shall be dedicated
to the electrical installation. No piping, ducts, leak protection
apparatus, or other equipment foreign to the electrical
installation shall be located in this zone.

Exception: Suspended ceilings with removable panels shall
be permitted within the 1.8-m (6-ft) zone.

(b) Foreign Systems. The area above the dedicated
space required by 110.26(F)(1)(a) shall be permitted to contain
foreign systems, provided protection is installed to
avoid damage to the electrical equipment from condensation,
leaks, or breaks in such foreign systems.

© Sprinkler Protection. Sprinkler protection shall be
permitted for the dedicated space where the piping complies
with this section.

(d) Suspended Ceilings. A dropped, suspended, or
similar ceiling that does not add strength to the building
structure shall not be considered a structural ceiling.

This gets touchy, what edition of the Code do you want to discuss from 1965 on?

The issues related to the "foreign systems’ have been argued, and the rules have changed many times when this subject comes up.

If only Bill Hogan was still around!

I for the life of me would not know when this actually started to be listed…Joe might have that as he collects the old books.

As our old friend “the Caper” used to point out “foreign systems” may not be able to avoid in an “historic” house. That really didn’t become well defined until fairly recently.
Look at what is likely to actually leak.
A water filter that get’s replaced sometimes … bad
A pipe with no joints in it … maybe not so much.


Caper is a Class Act! Yes, I agree, but we could also consider and review any documentation related to this subject starting with:

PS: I am prepared to discuss these types of buildings as they relate to old wiring including wooden raceways.

NFPA 914 Code for Fire Protection of Historic Structures 2007 Edition

Will answering this stop it from popping up to the top every day

No, every time someone votes in the poll or posts a reply iit will “pop” to the top again.