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Thread: Canadian breaker panels.

  1. #1
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    Canadian breaker panels.

    Does anyone know why they mount the breaker panels horizontal instead of vertical like we do? Is the door supposed to lift up or open down? I think I have seen it both ways. Just wondering.

  2. #2
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    Not sure we do, not an electrician but don't recall any of the 1/2 dozen panels I've come across being horizontal.

  3. #3
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    Outlets mounted horizontally have to be with the ground to the left. This means Neutral is in top. Same safety reason as ground should be on top of a vertical outlet.
    Bill D

  4. #4
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    From what I have seen in TV shows and YouTube videos I am talking about the actual circuit breaker panel box being mounted horizontal.

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    You occasionally see a horizontal camera, but vertical is by far most common. Any horizontal panels have been in older houses. I can't think of a good reason to put it horizontal.

  6. #6
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    Understand why the ground should be up but can't recall ever seeing them installed that way and my research finds that neither the CEC or NEC say anything about orientation.

  7. #7
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    Cananda being closer to the North Pole, and further around the curvature of the earth from the US, they mount them this way so the electricity doesn’t spill out.

    you’re welcome!

    …but seriously, this is new to me, but I would put the door so it falls down so you don’t have to hold it up.

  8. #8
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    Actually most panels don't have doors, they kept freezing up so we remove them.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Plummer View Post
    Does anyone know why they mount the breaker panels horizontal instead of vertical like we do? Is the door supposed to lift up or open down? I think I have seen it both ways. Just wondering.
    I have never mounted a distribution panel sideways, it’s a real space waster…. Rod

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Schweizer View Post
    Cananda being closer to the North Pole, and further around the curvature of the earth from the US, they mount them this way so the electricity doesn’t spill out.

    you’re welcome!

    …but seriously, this is new to me, but I would put the door so it falls down so you don’t have to hold it up.
    Haha, post of the week…Rod

  11. #11
    It's not prohibited by the CEC, but Canukistani service panels are different then ones used in the US, the SE cables & the main breaker is in a separate compartment and branch circuit wiring is not allowed to be routed through it, sometimes it might be advantageous to mount the panel sideways. A panel could be mounted sideways where under the NEC but 1/2 the panel would be unusable as the NEC requires a vertically mounted circuit breaker for the "ON" position be up, plus a inspector would turn it down because what if Doofy the wannabe electrician wanted to add a circuit in all those nice empty spaces, but really they can't inspect to "what if's" only to the installation as it exists, I am playing the devil's advocate here as personally don't care for horizontally mounted panels.

  12. #12
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    I did mount a 600A service entrance and distribution panel sideways to get it out of the high flood level.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Plummer View Post
    From what I have seen in TV shows and YouTube videos I am talking about the actual circuit breaker panel box being mounted horizontal.
    Holmes on Homes is a Canadian TV program on home restoration and inspection. To my recollection they have never installed an electrical panel mounted sideways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    Understand why the ground should be up but can't recall ever seeing them installed that way and my research finds that neither the CEC or NEC say anything about orientation.
    Most often I see them in hospitals and other types of service environments. I also notice the screws on the wall outlets and switches are 'clocked' or 'timed' to be vertical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    I did mount a 600A service entrance and distribution panel sideways to get it out of the high flood level.
    There seems to always be an exception to any rule.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. #14
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    As I said earlier, I'm not an electrician but most if not all the panels I've seen are vertical. A Google search found this web page https://homeinspectioninsider.com/or...els-canada-us/. Which says "The sideways installation is that Canada experiences more extreme weather conditions than the US. The panels are less likely to be damaged by snow or rain if installed horizontally. In fact, in some parts of Canada, it is required by law to have electrical panels installed this way due to the high potential for damage from severe weather."

    No idea of the credentials of this website but I suspect they don't know what they are talking about. Seems to me the only severe weather which would impact a panel would be flooding. When it comes to flooding, the worst weather in Canada, typically a blizzard, pales in comparison to a hurricane which is much more common in the US than Canada. Plus when it comes to cold weather Alaska is more severe than most of Canada or at least the part of Canada where 90% of the population lives.

  15. #15
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    I've watched a lot of Mike Holmes's shows on TV. He normally uses an outfit called Solutions Electrical for his electrical work. From what I remember, most of the new panels they mount are horizontal, usually in some type of cabinet. They don't typically have covers on them, from what I've seen. I thought it was a Canadian thing, as I don't see horizontal panels in residential homes here in the states.

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