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Mini split air handler over breaker box

Discussion in 'Electrical Codes' started by Yikes, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. Yikes

    Yikes Gold Member

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    I have a project where there was a mini-split air handler installed on the wall, located over a recessed circuit breaker panel.
    I don't have an actual photo of the condition, but in the picture of the room shown below; just imagine the recessed circuit breaker panel at about 5' AFF, located right below the unit, where the book shelves are now.

    The air handler has an internal condensate pump, so there are no exposed pipes over the breaker box.
    The owner said that a home safety inspector told them the air handler is not allowed to be over the breaker panel, because if the condensate pump fails the water will eventually drip down into the panel. (These units usually have a shutoff switch if condensate is not being drained properly.)

    Q: Does the installation as described meet code? If not, what code does it violate?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Nearly-Complete

    Nearly-Complete Registered User

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    Going off memory so I apologize if any errors...

    If you can make a strong enough case to the AHJ that leaks cannot be a problem, they can approve it. So you really need to ask the AHJ what they think. We would require something passive that will positively direct any leaks away from the panel in case of a leak. One of our inspectors doesn’t even accept that unless the CBO makes the call.
     
  3. Yikes

    Yikes Gold Member

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    i should clarify that this project received its C of O years ago. An employee at the facility had a friend who is an inspector who visited the facility and made the comment that the setup does not meet code.
     
  4. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    How many years ago?
     
  5. Yikes

    Yikes Gold Member

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    C of O in 2014.
     
  6. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    110.26 Spaces About Electrical Equipment. Access and working space shall be provided and maintained about all electrical equipment to permit ready and safe operation and maintenance of such equipment.

    (A) Working Space. Working space for equipment operating at 600 volts, nominal, or less to ground and likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized shall comply with the dimensions of 110.26(A)(1), (A)(2), and (A)(3) or as required or permitted elsewhere in this Code.

    (1) Depth of Working Space. The depth of the working space in the direction of live parts shall not be less than that specified in Table 110.26(A)(1) unless the requirements of 110.26(A)(1)(a), (A)(1)(b), or (A)(1)(c) are met. Distances shall be measured from the exposed live parts or from the enclosure or opening if the live parts are enclosed.

    (2) Width of Working Space. The width of the working space in front of the electrical equipment shall be the width of the equipment or 762 mm (30 in.), whichever is greater. In all cases, the work space shall permit at least a 90 degree opening of equipment doors or hinged panels.


    (3) Height of Working Space. The work space shall be clear and extend from the grade, floor, or platform to a height of 2.0 m (61⁄2 ft) or the height of the equipment, whichever is greater. Within the height requirements of this section, other equipment that is associated with the electrical installation and is located above or below the electrical equipment shall be permitted to extend not more than 150 mm (6 in.) beyond the front of the electrical equipment.

    Exception No. 1: In existing dwelling units, service equipment or panelboards that do not exceed 200 amperes shall be permitted in spaces where the height of the working space is less than 2.0 m (61⁄2 ft).
     
  7. north star

    north star Sawhorse

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    & ~ & ~ &

    Yikes,

    FWIW, ...we install dozens of these Air Handlers in
    Commercial settings, and I can assure you that even
    though these Air Handlers do have shut offs sensors if
    the pump stops working, there will be overflow down
    the walls.......We have these occurrences regularly.
    I am located in a high humidity state.


    & ~ & ~ &
     
  8. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    ICE got it.....110.26 violation, one of the most commonly cited....
     
  9. chris kennedy

    chris kennedy Sawhorse

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    If the refrigerant lines or condensate line are in the same stud bay as the PNL then IMO it’s a violation 110.26(E)(1)(a).
     
    jar546 likes this.
  10. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    I dont see that. Code calls for clear to 2 m or height of the equipment. The air cond is 2 ft above thd panel so it is outside the restricted zone.
     
  11. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    If it’s all behind the wall finish I don’t see it as a working space violation.
     
    jar546 likes this.
  12. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    The liquid lines would have to be directly above the electrical panel in the same stud bay, otherwise it is not a violation. If the panel if flush (inside the wall studs) and the split pack is surface mounted, there is not a problem because the equipment is not in the dedicated electrical space. 110.26(E)(1)(a) is the answer:

    (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.
     
  13. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    Ok, thats clear.
     
  14. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    yes, that space does not include anything in front of or behind the panel, only what is directly above the thickness of the panel. There is no violation unless the split pack tubing uses the same stud bay OR it is less than 6-1/2' above the floor.
     
  15. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    less than 6-1/2' above the floor
    Sorry ... disagree on that ... based on 110.26(E)(1)(a) which calls for 6 ft above the equipment.
     
  16. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    equal to the width and depth of the equipment..... keep reading
     
  17. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    I was thinking surface mounted panel....I have failed this in elevator machine rooms and other equipment rooms....Remember that this also applies to fused discos as well, just not switches....
     
  18. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    Ok, i'm missing something. If there is some overlap between the 6-1/2 ft space above the electrical panel and the a/c unit ... doesnt that create a fault?
     

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