Service Panel Used As Junction Box

Inspected a home yesterday that had a new addition added to the back, the old service panel is being used as a junction box as a new service was installed in the addition. This is a new one on me and not sure if this can be done or not, what do you think?

I have seen it done in the past as well. Before I did home inspections. I saw it in a home over in Hazel Park, MI.

I don’t know the rules about this but would like to know what others think.

So long as it’s covered, it’s not a problem. Was there a hinged cover in addition to the dead front?

It is done quite often by DIYers and often suggested to them for some reason.
I don’t care for this practice AT ALL and do not know why it is done so often.
To me it reeks of DIY, but if covered properly and not overloaded there is nothing illegal or unsafe about it.

Yes a hinged cover was attached to the dead front. Not sure how well the dead front even with a loosly latched cover would contain a fire with out breakers helping to seal the can.

I don’t like the looks of it either and certainly a dyi er at work. All those wire nuts made me alittle nervous as well. thought crimped connections would have been a better option.

Is there not a general provision in the code that prohibits the use of equipment for anything other than its designed purpose?

I would not say that at all. A correct wire nut plice is as sound as anything else.
Crimping is the stuff of larger service conductors and stranded low-voltage wiring.

Yes, there is, and there is some contention as to whether or not splices and wire nuts are allowed in a panel board. It really comes down to the interpretation by the AHJ.

Typically, the conductors for the new service equipment are spliced at the existing panel (which is gutted) to the circuits. This is done by licensed EC’s quite commonly.

It is alright here, and in Commercial applications I liked to install, and use terminal strips. They look so much better

It is done by electricians all the time here.

Jeff, the panelboard was removed so this is just an enclosure. I have heard of AHJs who want the hinged cover screwed shut tho.

I know Greg, I was referencing the post by James where he commented on “listing and labeling.” This used to be a “panelboard” enclosure and has been modified into a “junction box,” which (technically) goes against its “listing and labeling.”

Every time I have seen this condition, the hinged cover has been screwed shut as well.

It was and still is a “CABINET” and according to its Listing and purpose is not a “JUNCTION BOX” and violates 110.3(B).

If further clarification is needed, the UL site includes a telephone number that can be called to clarify my personal opinion.

The Panelboard was removed from a Cabinet and although a common practice, is legally considered to be a conflict.

2006 UL White Book (large file - 5MB)

See Cabinets

It is quite common here when Old houses that had fuse boxes are up dated to current standards. How ever the old fuse box is removed and a 6 x 6 x 3 metal box with screwed on cover is installed. Licensed Electricians and Electrical Inspectors have approved this so I do not question it.
Usually there are two or more circuits from the new panel connected inside the new box.
I do however wonder about the rule that forbids more then one circuit inside the same junction box.

Enclosures are referred to as “cabinets” when they are equipped with a hinged door as their means of access.

Once this door is sealed, by means of “permanent” fasteners (screws), is it still considered a “cabinet?” It seems to me that it would now be simply considered an “enclosure.”

See Article 312. I agree and if this was noted on the report the Home Inspector would be giving an opinion that is recognized by the electrical industry and scholars who spend countless hours helping them out with only one thing in mind, SAFETY.

The old cabinet used as the splice box here should be covered with a cover that is screwed on, and so noted as a “Splice Box”

PS: Keep in mind that someone, :roll: someday may say Duh! I am gonna restore this cabinel and put in this old panelboard I found in the flea market! :smiley: :smiley: !

Over 29 years of home inspecting in the Denver, CO area, I have seen hundreds of old fuse boxes and obsolete breaker panels gutted out and used for junction boxes to extend the existing circuits to the the new panel. The wire nut joints must comply with the requirements of the NEC. The city electrical inspectors approve these every day and insist on two things:
The box must remain accessible, and the cover must be screwed shut.

This is exactly what is required around here by the local AHJ’s.

Thanks for all of your help guys, I appreciate it