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    Thread: Is it normal to have the fusebox OUTSIDE the house?

    1. Member DSG-TDI's Avatar
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      11-24-2008 10:29 AM #1
      My aunt and uncle bought a new house in Tuscon last year and their fusebox was outside their house beside the garage. We've never seen this before, and they found it odd as well, but their developer (Lennar) said it was normal for Arizona homes to have the fusebox outside the house. It has a small notch in the metal case for a padlock, but I thought it was still relatively easy for someone to turn off the power inside the house from the outside. Just for my own curiosity, why was/is this a building trend in AZ?

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    3. Geriatric Member Hostile's Avatar
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      11-24-2008 11:12 AM #2
      I've never seen that before. It seems really wierd. I have a buddy that lives in Phoenix, I've got a PM in with him. My uncle in Tucson used to be an architect. I'd ask him but he's wierd and I don't really like talking to him.
      iain

    4. Member 90Carat's Avatar
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      11-24-2008 11:30 AM #3
      Yeah, my fusebox is outside of the house. In case of a fire, it is easy access.
      At first I thought it was weird, and it is kinda a PITA, but I get why it is there.

    5. Senior Member ChrisMD's Avatar
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      11-24-2008 01:25 PM #4
      Quote, originally posted by DSG-TDI »
      but I thought it was still relatively easy for someone to turn off the power inside the house from the outside.

      This is the first thing I thought of:

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      11-24-2008 01:51 PM #5
      Ours is on the outside as well.
      When the builder showed me where it was I instantly asked, "Isn't that a little strange?" He told me that is how a lot of them are being built now.
      Seems to me that they could have just reversed it, so that it was on the INSIDE of the wall in the corner of the garage.
      I still need to put one of my small padlocks on it. The water coming into the house is also right on the front corner. That doesn't bother me nearly as much, but it still bothers me to have things right out where people can get to them.
      There is an outlet on the front porch as well. Though it has a cover and spot for a lock.
      Call me paranoid, but I'd rather people not be able to come by and screw with my power, water and electricity all on the outside of the house.....
      Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?

    7. Member InSaNeBoY's Avatar
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      11-24-2008 02:50 PM #6
      yup both my houses in Tucson had the circuit panel outside. first place had it on the back of the house so it was secure enough. second place had it on the side, way easy for someone to come and monkey with.
      not something i have to worry about any more, current place has a real basement!
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      11-24-2008 09:07 PM #7
      i think it's best if the fusebox is inside. . .

    9. 11-24-2008 10:58 PM #8
      Nebraska & Kansas are inside. Our house in Colorado was outside. It was local code by the fire department.

    10. Senior Member BHB's Avatar
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      11-24-2008 11:18 PM #9
      my home in CA has the fuse panel outside as well... in the back yard, relatively secure.
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    11. Geriatric Member Dan Halen's Avatar
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      11-25-2008 11:53 AM #10
      It's luck of the draw in this neighborhood. Mine is inside the garage, but if the plan had been flipped, it would be on the outside of the living room. It's a function of the room to the interior wall and the side on which the utilities are run. Luckily, I chose to have my plan oriented in a manner that allowed the panel to be inside the garage.
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    12. 11-25-2008 09:52 PM #11
      We can have panel inside the home, as long as it's not in a bedroom (?), but there has to be a main disconnect outside the house.

    13. Member eluwak's Avatar
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      11-26-2008 02:18 PM #12
      Quote, originally posted by 1781ccT »
      We can have panel inside the home, as long as it's not in a bedroom (?), but there has to be a main disconnect outside the house.

      I was going to ask if this is the main shutoof or the actual fusebox we're talking about in here?
      Here we have the mains outside and the regular breakers inside.
      <insert comment here>

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      11-27-2008 09:07 AM #13
      Quote, originally posted by 1781ccT &raquo;
      We can have panel inside the home, as long as it's not in a bedroom (?), but there has to be a main disconnect outside the house.

      My mother-in-laws panel and disconnect are both in her bedroom closet. This was OK a long-long time ago.
      Next edit by onebadbug; tomorrow at 10:13 AM.

      What you get isn't always what you see.

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      11-27-2008 11:03 AM #14
      I don't know anyone in Colorado that has them inside.

    16. Member Patrick's Avatar
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      11-28-2008 09:37 AM #15
      My house in Arizona has it on the outside... just adding to the list

    17. 11-30-2008 12:24 PM #16
      The house I'm renting in Tempe, AZ has the box outside, as did the house we owned in Savannah, GA. I think the reason for the latter was that the house was built in 1862, and there wasn't really a handy place to put it inside when it was renovated. Not sure what the deal is with the AZ house.

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      11-30-2008 12:57 PM #17
      Both of our houses in AZ have had the boxes outside the garage on the side of the house. We put a padlock on it, but I would think that if anybody really wanted in there, they could get in....

    19. Member DSG-TDI's Avatar
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      11-30-2008 01:52 PM #18
      So why are they placed outside?

    20. Member isoprene's Avatar
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      11-30-2008 04:38 PM #19
      I think in Canada they're all inside. My last house had the main panel in the detached garage (just the master 200A breaker and a few small ones for the garage) and a subpanel inside the house.
      Quote Originally Posted by Vegeta Gti
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    21. Geriatric Member Dan Halen's Avatar
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      11-30-2008 05:25 PM #20
      Quote, originally posted by DSG-TDI &raquo;
      So why are they placed outside?

      Logistics. Outside > smack in the middle of the living room wall.
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    22. 11-30-2008 06:45 PM #21
      I'm not buying the 'logistics' answer.
      At least not in favor of the homeowner.
      Seems like it's more beneficial to the electrician than anybody else.

    23. Member DSG-TDI's Avatar
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      11-30-2008 06:59 PM #22
      Quote, originally posted by BRM10984 &raquo;
      Logistics. Outside > smack in the middle of the living room wall.

      That's a really terrible design if it's in your living room. In almost every home I've been in where the fusebox panel is indoors, it's either inside the garage or somewhere indoors that's out of the way, like the laundry room.
      Is the fusebox placement a code enforcement thing or an arbitrary design feature based on the electrician/architect?

    24. Member isoprene's Avatar
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      11-30-2008 09:36 PM #23
      Quote, originally posted by BRM10984 &raquo;
      Logistics. Outside > smack in the middle of the living room wall.

      I don't get that. During construction the box can go *anywhere* it's allowed to by code. I don't understand any spatial restriction that would require it to be on the outside of the house. If it's not in a place that makes sense then I smell builders cutting corners by saving 5m of wiring here and there on every house in a development.
      Quote Originally Posted by Vegeta Gti
      I lose brain cells coming in here everyday.

    25. Member Patrick's Avatar
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      11-30-2008 11:05 PM #24
      If I recall correctly my fuse box is located on the outside immediately above the main electrical service coming to the house. If they were to mount it in the same location on the inside it would in fact be smack dab in the middle of the living room. Maybe that's why? I don't really know

    26. Geriatric Member Dan Halen's Avatar
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      12-01-2008 09:28 AM #25
      Quote, originally posted by isoprene &raquo;
      I don't get that. During construction the box can go *anywhere* it's allowed to by code. I don't understand any spatial restriction that would require it to be on the outside of the house. If it's not in a place that makes sense then I smell builders cutting corners by saving 5m of wiring here and there on every house in a development.

      Fine, so then it's a cost-saving (and effort-saving) logistics issue. The utility runs the service arteries before a single house is built, and at least in my neighborhood, service is grouped in pairs on property lines.
      When selecting a lot and a plan, you can request that the plan be "flipped" on the lot (as I did). If the orientation of the plan is such that the garage is on the property line opposite the utility, the box ends up on the exterior wall. Luckily, by flipping my plan, I put the garage on the utility side.
      Add in the fact that most of the houses have rear-load garages (with utilities still coming in from the front street), and it's easy to see why some houses end up with panels on the outside.
      While it may be an issue of laziness with the builder, I doubt it. What's more likely is that the cartel that runs utility service here says that meters must be at or near the place where the service connects to their lines. They're pretty anal like that.
      Edit: No, I'm not saying meter = panel. I suppose that's where the cost-savings comes in, but for the amount of fluff we get for the price from our builder, something as small as this is really not worth quibbling over. This may be different for others in other situations, though.


      Modified by BRM10984 at 8:39 AM 12-1-2008
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