Upside down panel

Other than possibly not being “workmanlike,” is there anything in the NEC that prohibits a panel from being installed upside down? Upside circuit breakers read “NO” instead of “ON” and “FFO” instead of “OFF,” which I don’t consider workmanlike, of course.

I remember a post about a panel being installed sideways and the sparkies said it was OK. Were Dr. Quervo and Mrs. Margarita assisting you with this inspection???:stuck_out_tongue:

**240.81 Indicating.
**Circuit breakers shall clearly indicate whether they are in the open “off” or closed “on” position. Where circuit breaker handles are operated vertically rather than rotationally or horizontally, the “up” position of the handle shall be the “on” position.

Ms Margarita and Dr Cuervo thank you, Jeff.

By the way, what’s the status on the Woodland Hills inspection? Anything?

I don’t think they’ve fully committed to that property at this point, and may start shopping again.

There is no such thing as an upside down panel, unless this is an older panel with an “up/down” main breaker.
Most modern panels have a side to side motion main breaker so it can be installed either way.
Even some no-so-new panels have side/side mains but all the writing and labels are readable with the main up. Putting the main down in this case is still acceptable. Nothing unworkmanlike about it.

Well, apparently we do have upside down panels here in California, or at least in San Diego. A California-licensed electrician agreed with me that this panel was upside down, and he put that agreement in writing on his company letterhead, and signed and dated it. He also provided an estimate of $145 to correct the problem by rotating the panel 180°, an estimate which the sellers took him up on and which my Clients asked me to come re-inspect (as well as other fixed electrical problems, to the tune of $229 for my re-inspection fee).

Looks like I’ll have to post the picture later; the message board ain’t cooperating.

I guess it was one of those up/down breakers I had mentioned.

All the breakers, as well as the panel itself, were upside down.

Yeah, the message board is working again.

Here’s the picture.

01 ep sub.jpg

Yes, that most definitely qualifies as an upside down panel.

This panel was upside down as indicated by to sticker on the lower left. The breakers were installed with the correct orientation.


I really like to have Peter Parker on my side once in a while. :slight_smile:

What makes that panel upside down IS the sticker.
If the mfg states a specific orientation then we must follow it, even though that panel cannot be considered upside down according to the breakers.
The NEC only cares about the “up/down=on/off” issue.

110.3(B) Installation and Use
Listed or labeled equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with any instructions included in the listing or labeling.

…applies here.

*So guess I have to recant my statement above about no upside down panels.

Yep, well done Peter.

Guys…most panels today can be either direction…the fact is you are still going to put the breakers in at the CORRECT direction anyway…so it makes no real difference.

We install many upside down if you would like to call it that…does not matter.

Now as Speedy stated…if it is an old panel with clear UP labeling and it should be installed as the manufacturer intended…but not the case really on the newer models.

AS for sideways or Horizontal panels…it is fine IF it is a single throw disconnect and such where the ON/OFF is left to right like a typical breaker…but as you see alot with Zinsco’s…where it is sideways and the ON is actually not visible because of the orientation of the breaker…then that is a violation of Sec 240.81

The NEC actually states in Sec 240.33 that "Enclosures containing OCPD’s devices SHALL BE mounted in a “Verticle” position unless this is impractable. Circuit Breaker enclosures CAN BE installed horizontally, IF the circuit breaker is installed in accordance with 240.81.

With that said…Sec 240.81 states " Circuit Breakers shall clearly indicate whether they are in the open " OFF" position or closed 'ON" position. When the handle of a circuit breaker is operated vertically, the “UP” position of the handle shall be the " ON" position.

If I recall NEC [240-33] had to do with the “horizontal” issue where the breaker switch in the down position gave a false indication to being “off” when it is actually still in the “on”

Yes it does…BUT I gave BOTH to clarrify the difference

See above

Gottcha, thanks Paul