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 Post subject: Holes in the control panel
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:39 pm
Posts: 1
I recently started at a power plant. There are many holes in the control panels in the Control room where meters used to be (MW, MVAR, FREQ, etc.). Not to mention some doors are not even on the back of these panels. Voltages range from 24vdc-125vdc to 120vac. Apparently this condition has been like this for many years. A few of us trying to make a change are trying to get these holes properly filled but are met with a good deal of resistance from the "higher ups" (its been like that for a long time, why is it a problem now?). There is the ability to reach into these holes and or missing door and contact terminal strips, back of meters, and switch terminations. Is there any code or regulation that we can bring to thier attention to stop them from dragging thier feet? Thanks for the reply!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:06 am
Posts: 136
Location: Michigan
NEC 110.12(A) Unused Openings

The [url="http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/AboutTheCodes.asp?DocNum=70"]National Electrical Code[/url] has requirements for this in article 110.12(A). "Unused openings, other than those intended for the operation of the equipment, those intended for mounting purposes, or those permitted as part of the design for listed equipment, shall be closed to afford protection substantially equivalent to the wall of the equipment. Where metallic plugs or plates are used with nonmentallic enclosures, they shall be recessed at least 6mm (1/4") from the outer surface of the enclosure."

[url="http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9880"]OSHA[/url] also has similar requirements in 29 CFR 1910.303(b)(7)(i) and this is one of the things they love to cite during inspections. "Unused openings in boxes, raceways, auxiliary gutters, cabinets, equipment cases, or housings shall be effectively closed to afford protection substantially equivalent to the wall of the equipment."

This is not only an electrical hazard to personnel but detrimental to equipment life. Keeping all unused openings closed protects the equipment from contamination by foreign materials (dirt, oil, etc in the air) and critters.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:52 am
Posts: 110
Location: Yankton SD/ Lead SD
NEC article 110.12(A) Unused Opening would be a good starting point. You might also point out to management atricles 110.3 Use of Equipment, and 110.27 Guarding of Live Equipment.


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