What is maximum distance between the service box and the breaker panel?

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Posted by: from Mississauga
12/16/2014 at 7:35:01 PM

My 100 amp service has a fused service switch box and a separate breaker panel immediately next to it, both on a basement exterior wall. I will leave the service box where it is (as req'd by code, shortest distance to outside meter) but would like to move the breaker panel approx. 20 feet to another exterior wall. The existing location is planned to be a rec room with the ceiling joists left exposed. Unfortunately, most of the heavy electrical load is on the opposite side of the house, resulting in a mass of cables running along the exposed joists. I would like to clean this up before finishing the rec room.

Question: Is there an Ontario code requirement for the maximum distance between the service box and the breaker panel?

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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time12/16/2014 at 8:18:23 PM

No distance, providing it meets very firm code rules. However, it must be done with a permit from the ESA and highly recommend a licensed Electrical contractor to do the work. A regular electrician is NOT qualified to do this work for you.

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Dave from Nemco in Cambridge
Date/Time12/16/2014 at 9:37:54 PM

The only thing you would have to worry about is calculating voltage drop for distances exceeding 100 ft or more which doesn't apply to your situation. Be aware of numerous codes regarding extending existing cables, junction box location, access requirements and maximum wire fill. Not a job for the inexperienced.

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Date/Time12/17/2014 at 7:35:56 PM

As stated there is no set distance for the application that you are describing. Having said that you may be violating other codes based on your renovation plans if you are repurposing the space.

There are pretty specific conditions on where you can put a panel and disconnect; generally they are together for a reason.

Rule 6-206 of the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) states where it is permissible to have service equipment and rule 26-402 states where panels may be located.

So you may not be violating any "distance" code but you may be violating a "location" code. The advice that others have provided that it would be well worth the experience of an Electrical Contractor to determine the correct options for your project.



John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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