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Standard for

Installing and Maintaining


Switchboards
NECA 400-2007
Published by
National Electrical
Contractors Association
A M E R I C A N N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D

Standard for
Installing and Maintaining
Switchboards
NECA 400-2007
An American
National Standard
Published by
National Electrical
Contractors Association
NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT
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i I
Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .iii
1. Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
1.1 Products and Applications Included . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
1.2 Regulatory and Other Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
2. Switchboard Receiving, Handling, and Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
2.1 Receiving the Switchboard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
2.2 Handling the Switchboard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
2.3 Storing the Switchboard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
3. Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
3.1 Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
3.2 Foundation Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
3.3 General Installation Instructions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
3.4 Installing Vertical Sections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
3.5 Joining Switchboard Sections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
3.6 Anchoring the Switchboard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
3.7 Installing Cables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
3.8 Installing Interconnections Between Switchboard Sections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
3.9 Ground Bus Splice Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
3.10 Grounding and Bonding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
3.11 Busway Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
3.12 Conduit Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
3.13 Cable Pulling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
3.14 Cable Terminations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
4. Pre-Energizing Checkout Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
4.1 Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
4.2 Insulation Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
4.3 Current Transformers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
4.4 Circuit Breakers and Fusible Switches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
4.5 Ground-fault Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
4.6 Interconnections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
4.7 Power Fuses and Control Power Disconnects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
4.8 Clean-up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
4.9 Close-up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Table of Contents
I ii
5. Energizing the Switchboard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
6. Switchboard Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
6.1 Routine Inspections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
6.2 Safety Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
6.3 Cleaning and Inspections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
6.4 Maintenance and Testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
6.5 Insulation Resistance Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
6.6 Re-energizing Switchboards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
7. Adverse Circumstances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
7.1 Inspection Following a Short-Circuit or Ground-Fault Condition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
7.2 Replacing a Switchboard Soaked by or Submerged in Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
7.3 Inspecting and Re-energizing a Switchboard Sprayed or Splashed
with Clean Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
8. Recommended Torque Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
9. Switchboard Insulation Resistance Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
10. Operations and Maintenance Documents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
Annex A: Reference Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
NECA 400 Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards
iii I
National Electrical Installation Standards

(NEIS) are
designed to improve communication among speci-
fiers, purchasers, and suppliers of electrical construc-
tion services. They define a minimum baseline of
quality and workmanship for installing electrical prod-
ucts and systems. NEIS are intended to be referenced
in contract documents for electrical construction pro-
jects. The following language is recommended:
Deadfront distribution switchboards rated 600
volts or less shall be installed and maintained in
accordance with NECA 400, Standard for
Installing and Maintaining Switchboards (ANSI).
Use of NEIS is voluntary, and the National Electrical
Contractors Association assumes no obligation or lia-
bility to users of this publication. Existence of a stan-
dard shall not preclude any member or nonmember
of NECA from specifying or using alternate con-
struction methods permitted by applicable regula-
tions.
The installation and maintenance practices recom-
mended by this publication are intended to
comply with the edition of the National Electrical
Code (NEC) in effect at the time of publication.
Because they are quality standards, NEIS may in
some instances go beyond the minimum safety
requirements of the NEC. It is the responsibility of
users of this standard to comply with state and local
electrical codes when installing electrical products
and systems.
Suggestions for revisions and improvements to this
standard are welcome. They should be addressed to:
NECA Standards & Safety
3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 657-3110 telephone
(301) 215-4500 fax
www.neca-neis.org
neis@necanet.org
To purchase NEIS, contact the NECA Order Desk at
(301) 215-4504 tel, (301) 215-4500 fax, or
orderdesk@necanet.org. NEIS can also be purchased
in PDF format from www.neca-neis.org/standards.
Copyright 2007, National Electrical Contractors
Association. All rights reserved. Unauthorized repro-
duction prohibited.
National Electrical Installation Standards, NEIS, and the
NEIS logo are trademarks of the National Electrical
Contractors Association. National Electrical Code and
NEC are registered trademarks of the National Fire
Protection Association.
Foreword
(This foreword is not a part of the standard)
Revision History
NECA 400-1998 09/1998
NECA 400-2007 07/2007
I iv
1 I
1.1 Products and Applications Included
This standard desribes installation procedures for
deadfront distribution switchboards rated 600 volts
or less. This standard also covers periodic routine
maintenance procedures for switchboards, and spe-
cial procedures to be used after adverse circum-
stances, such as a short circuit, ground-fault, or
immersion in water.
1.2 Regulatory and Other Requirements
a) All information in this publication is intended to
conform to the National Electrical Code
(ANSI/NFPA 70). Installers should always follow the
NEC, applicable state and local codes, manufacturers
instructions, and contract documents.
b) Only qualified persons familiar with the con-
struction and installation of motor control centers
should perform the work described in this publica-
tion. It is recommended that all work be performed
in accordance with NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical
Safety in the Workplace.
c) General requirements for installing electrical
products and systems are described in NECA 1,
Standard Practices for Good Workmanship in Electrical
Construction (ANSI). Other National Electrical
Installation Standards provide additional guidance for
installing particular types of electrical products and
systems. A complete list of NEIS is provided in
Annex A.
1. Scope
2.1 Receiving the Switchboard
a) Unload carefully, observing all packing label
warnings.
b) Use forklifts or other loading equipment only for
palletized shipments.
c) Leaving protective coverings in place as much as
possible, open and inspect the switchboard complete-
ly for shipping damage. Undamaged material should
be carefully repacked unless intended for immediate
installation.
NOTE: Depending on company policy or project cir-
cumstances, it may be necessary to receive, unpack, and
check all material at the company shop or other staging
area, in which case, careful repacking is essential.
2.2 Handling the Switchboard
Switchboards are typically large, bulky pieces of
equipment weighing several hundred pounds or
more. The packing provides the actual weight of
each item. Handle the switchboard properly to avoid
injury to personnel and damage to equipment. Prior
to receiving the shipment, verify the type of truck
making the delivery and that the lifting capacity of
the handling equipment is more than the shipping
weight. Delivery on an open truck at the job site is
recommended.
Suitable protection against the weather must be pro-
vided if the equipment is designed only for indoor
installation (NEMA Type 1).
There are two primary ways of lifting the equipment:
with lifting straps and without lifting straps, using a
sling instead. Using the manufacturers lifting straps
is the preferable method when these are supplied.
2.2.1 Handling with lifting straps
Switchboard manufacturers provide lifting straps as
standard equipment when the weight of the switch-
board section(s) does not exceed the recommended
capacity of the lifting straps. Use a rigid spreader or
a spanner beam to provide vertical lift on the lifting
straps (see Figure 1), and avoid damage to the frame
or finish. Follow lifting warning labels on the switch-
board.
2.2.2 Handling without lifting straps
Lifting straps are not furnished on switchboards
when the weight of the section(s) exceeds their
capacity, or when the lifting straps would cause stress
to the switchboards. They also are not provided
when the design does not permit, such as NEMA
Type 3R outdoor equipment with overhangs. These
switchboards can be handled by either slings, fork-
lifts, rollers, or a combination of these means.
Typically, a handling warning is provided on those
switchboard sections for which lifting straps are not
provided.
a) Sling: A crane or suitably rigged equipment with
a chain arranged in a sling, or wire cable with safety
hooks and shackles, should be used to lift a switch-
board shipping section not equipped with lifting
2. Switchboard Receiving, Handling,
and Storing
I 2
Spreader Beam
Lifting Straps
45 minimum angle
Figure 1: Handling switchboards with lifting straps
straps. Rig the sling completely around the switch-
board and shipping stringers (see Figure 2), and use a
forklift or jacks to lift the switchboard vertically off
the floor to attach the sling.
b) Forklifts: Forklifts are an alternate method for
handling switchboards. Verify that the capacity of
the forklift is more than the weight of the load to be
lifted. Always ensure that the form lengths extend
under the entire switchboard and extend beyond the
opposite side (see Figure 3).
c) Rollers: If equipment is not available for lifting
the switchboard, or the ceiling is not high enough,
rollers suitable for the application may be used to
move the switchboard into position. A forklift or
jacks can be used to initially lift the switchboard and
position it on the rollers. Rollers should be posi-
tioned approximately every 18 inches (457 mm), and
be at least the width of the switchboard for stability.
Extreme care should be taken when using rollers due
to switchboard height and weight. Rollers are most
suitable for moving switchboards on a level surface;
use a winch or chainfall to prevent runaway where
inclines must be traveled.
2.3 Storing the Switchboard
a) Cover the switchboard with a tarp or plastic to
keep the equipment from getting wet and accumulat-
ing dust or debris (cement dust can be corrosive and
cause insulation breakdown when it accumulates
across insulators). The cover should be heavy
enough to keep from tearing during wind gusts at the
storage location.
b) To reduce condensation within the switchboard
enclosure, store the switchboard indoors whenever
possible.
c) Install a minimum of 250 watts of heat per verti-
cal section, even for outdoor enclosures. Remove all
loose packing or materials that could catch fire prior
to applying the heat.
Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards NECA 400
3 I
SECURE MOTOR CONTROL
CENTER TO FORKLIFT WITH
SAFETY STRAP HERE.
FORKS
UNDER ENTIRE
MOTOR CONTROL
CENTER
Figure 3: Handling switchboards with forklift
1/2 A
or more
A
Blocks
Spanner Bar
(channel)
45 min. angle
Stringer
Do not pass ropes or cables
through lift holes. Use slings
with safety hooks or shackles.
4x6 in
102x152 mm
Switchboard
(front or rear)
Figure 2: Handling switchboards without lifting straps
Proper installation is essential to the proper opera-
tion of all switchboard components. Thoroughly
study associated instruction manuals, literature, and
drawings before attempting to install the switch-
board. In most cases, this information will already
have been requested prior to the shipment of the
switchboard to enable advanced planning.
3.1 Location
a) The floor plan of the structure for an inside
switchboard, or the site plan for an outdoor switch-
board will show the area where the switchboard is to
be installed. The location of the switchboard should
comply with all building codes, and at a minimum,
should meet the working space requirements of the
NEC 110.26.
NOTE: Provisions for temporary ramps or installation
hoists may require working clearances greater than
NEC minimums.
b) Consult the switchboard drawings to determine
where accessibility is required for the switchboard
(e.g., a rear access switchboard cannot be placed
against a wall).
c) Indoor switchboards in damp locations require
shielding to prevent moisture and water from enter-
ing and accumulating. If the room temperature
around the indoor switchboard is not between 77
104F (25 40C), use a minimum of 250 watts of
heating per vertical section until the suitable environ-
ment can be provided.
d) In locations where a sump pump is required, the
pump should be properly working before the switch-
board is installed to prevent accumulation of water
that may seriously damage the switchboard and its
internal components (see Section 7, Adverse
Circumstances). The sump pump should be connect-
ed to a standby power source.
3.2 Foundation Preparation
a) The floor or foundation on which the switch-
board will be installed needs to be strong enough to
support the weight of the switchboard without bow-
ing or sagging. A concrete surface is preferred.
b) In special instances where earthquakes may occur,
4000 psi concrete should be used along with specific
anchoring means, such as stud anchors, sleeves
anchors, or concrete anchor bolts (anchoring hard-
ware is not supplied as a standard item with most
switchboards). Performance of the switchboard
under earthquake conditions is directly related to the
foundation preparation.
NOTE: Local building codes may have seismic require-
ments that affect switchboard installation. Installers
should consult these codes or coordinate with the gener-
al contractor prior to installing switchboards.
c) A level mounting pad raised four inches (100
mm) above the general floor level is typical with the
surrounding floor area gently sloping toward a drain.
To ensure correct bus bar alignment within the
switchboard, and to enable bolting vertical sections
together, it is critical that the mounting pad or floor
be smooth and level.
NOTE: Provisions for temporary ramps or installation
hoists may require working clearances greater than
NEC minimums.
d) If floor channels are embedded in the concrete
pad, they should be level over the entire length of the
switchboard in order to avoid distortion of the
switchboard structure.
3. Installation
I 4
e) Before pouring the concrete for the pad, install all
conduits including future conduits required for bot-
tom entry into the switchboard. Consult the bottom
view switchboard drawing during this process to ver-
ify that the conduit layout matches the available con-
duit entry area into the switchboard. The manufac-
turer will already have taken into account the NEC
and product listing requirements for conduit entry.
f) Embedded conduits typically project above the
finished pad approximately 2 inches (50.8 mm). If
embedded conduits project more than 2 inches (50.8
mm) above the concrete pad, it may be necessary to
lift each shipping section vertically into place using a
crane, timbers, jacks, or forklift. After the sections
are installed, and approximate extension sleeves
added to the conduits, the maximum projection
should be 3 inches (76 mm); NEC Section 408.5 pro-
hibits projections greater than 3 inches (76 mm).
3.3 General Installation Instructions
a) Clean dirt and debris from the pad and surround-
ing area where the switchboard will be located before
moving the switchboard into its final position.
b) Remove the shipping skids before installing the
switchboard on the pad.
c) If the switchboard is equipped with bottom clo-
sure plates, temporarily remove these plates and set
them aside. Cut holes for the conduits entering the
bottom of each enclosure in the bottom plates (if
supplied). Once the vertical sections have been
installed, reinstall the bottom closure plates.
d) Block the opening of each conduit with material
that rodents will not be able to gnaw through,
squeeze through, or push out of the way. Bottom
closure plates will not keep out rodents that come in
through the conduits.
3.4 Installing Vertical Sections
3.4.1 Initial placement
a) If the switchboard has incoming cables or busway
near or in its center, start with that vertical section
first and work outward on each side.
b) If the switchboard is left-feed, start from the left.
If right-feed, start from the right.
c) If the switchboard is close-coupled to a trans-
former, start at the transformer and work away from
the transformer.
3.4.2 Positioning
Position each shipping section carefully, following the
instructions in 2.2, Handling the Switchboard. Level
with shims if necessary, and align each section with
the previous section. Proper alignment will make
joining the structures and through-bus easier.
NOTE: Improper alignment of the through-bus may
result in property loss, death, or serious injury.
3.4.3 Lifting straps
Remove lifting straps or slings so that vertical sec-
tions can be joined flush. Leave lifting straps or
hardware on the switchboard if their removal is not
required to join adjacent sections flush together.
3.5 Joining Switchboard Sections
a) Open or remove the front, and, if necessary, the
rear door or panels that provide access for bolting
adjacent shipping sections together.
b) Torque the bolts based on the manufacturers
instructions.
NOTE: The authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) may
require that all bolts connecting bus sections be inspect-
ed for proper torque prior to closing up the switch-
board.
3.6 Anchoring the Switchboard
Switchboard sections are freestanding structures, but
hard bumps or shifting movements can result in
damage to interior components, conduit hubs, and
cable/busway connections. Therefore, each vertical
section of the switchboard is anchored to the floor.
Some manufacturers provide formed base channels
that run the entire length of the switchboard, mount-
ing holes in the structure base, or both (see Figure 4).
Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards NECA 400
5 I
I 6
Anchor each section using the hardware recommend-
ed (but not usually supplied by) the switchboard
manufacturer and torque the bolts to their recom-
mended value.
3.6.1 Seismic considerations
Carefully follow the plans and specifications when
anchoring a switchboard for seismic conditions since
the top of the switchboard structure can move as
much as 3 inches (76 mm) in any direction.
NOTE: Local building codes may have seismic require-
ments that affect switchboard installation. Installers
should consult these codes or coordinate with the gener-
al contractor prior to installing switchboards.
3.7 Installing Cables
Install the incoming services conductors and load-
side cables after all switchboard sections are properly
joined together and the entire switchboard structure
is anchored to the floor. If the switchboard is in a
seismic environment and cables or busway enter at
the top of the switchboard, it is necessary to take into
account the motion of the top of the switchboard
during a seismic occurrence.
NOTE: If the switchboard consists of only one shipping
section, proceed to Section 3.10.
3.8 Installing Interconnections Between
Switchboard Sections
Switchboard vertical sections are electrically connect-
ed together using either through-bus or cables.
3.8.1 Through-bus splice connections
Through-bus splice connections are extremely
important to the performance of the switchboard,
since these connections are expected to carry the full
current intended for their operation. Failure to
properly make through-bus splice connections may
result in property damage, death, or serious injury.
a) Through-bus splice kits are provided by the
switchboard manufacturer when more than one sec-
tion is required to be electrically connected together
by through-bus.
b) Splice kits may come in separate boxes, be
installed on the through-bus of one or more vertical
sections, or be stored inside the sections to be spliced.
c) Follow the proper sequence of hardware installa-
tion, as specified in the manufacturers installation
instructions. Install conical washers such that their
convex or top side is against the nut (see Figure 5).
d) Torque the splice bolts to their recommended val-
ues. Mark each torqued connection with a perma-
nent marker.
e) The through-bus of some switchboards is covered
with an insulating material. Follow the manufactur-
ers instructions for installing insulation on each
through-bus splice connection.
3.8.2 Cable Interconnections
Install the interconnection cables (which may or may
not be supplied by the manufacturer) between sec-
tions as shown on the manufacturers drawings.
NECA 400 Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards
Figure 5: Proper positioning of conical washers
Hex Nut
Bolt Head
Washer
Marked Top
Washer
Marked Top
1.13 in
(29 mm)
Switchboard Frame
Secure the switchboard to the
mounting surface using the holes
closest to the surface.
Formed Base Channel
Mounting Surface
Diameter hole in each
corner for anchoring.
Figure 4: Anchoring the switchboard
Torque all connections to the manufacturers recom-
mended values.
3.9 Ground Bus Splice Connections
Ground bus splice kits are provided by the switch-
board manufacturers when more than one section is
required to be electrically connected (see Figure 6).
Proper installation of ground bus splice connections
is essential to providing a low-impedance path to
ground for temporary current resulting from phase-
to-ground faults.
a) Splice kits may come in separate boxes, be
installed on the ground bus of one or more sections,
or be stored inside the switchboard sections.
b) Follow the proper sequence of hardware installa-
tion, as specified in the manufacturers installation
instructions. Install conical washers such that their
convex side is against the nut.
c) Torque the splice bolts to the recommended value.
Mark each torqued connection with a permanent
marker.
3.10 Grounding and Bonding
3.10.1 Ground systems service-entrance
switchboards and switchboards used on sepa-
rately derived systems
NEC 250.64 describes complete grounding require-
ments for grounded separately derived systems.
a) Run a grounding electrode conductor from the
grounding electrode at the installation site to the
grounding electrode conductor connection, com-
monly called a ground lug, located on the switch-
board ground bus (see Figure 7).
b) NEC 250.67 describes requirements for ground-
ing electrode conductor material, installation, and
size.
c) Torque the ground lug binding screw based on the
manufacturers recommendation or crimp in accor-
dance with the crimp tools instructions.
d) For service entrance equipment, or a switchboard
used on a separately derived system, install the sys-
tem bonding jumper between the neutral bus and the
ground bus. A label on the front of the switchboard
will identify the section(s) that incorporate the sys-
tem bonding jumper(s).
e) Torque the hardware of the main bonding jumper
in accordance with the manufacturers recommenda-
tions.
f) Equipment ground-fault protection will be ren-
dered inoperative if the system is grounded down-
stream from the ground fault sensor.
g) For switchboards with multiple sources of power,
there will be two or more main bonding jumpers to
install.
Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards NECA 400
7 I
Figure 6: Ground bus splice connections Figure 7: Ground lug
3.10.2 Ungrounded systems service-entrance
switchboards and switchboards used on sepa-
rately derived systems.
NEC 250.64 describes complete grounding require-
ments for ungrounded separately derived systems.
a) Run a grounding electrode conductor from the
ground electrode at the installation site to the
grounding electrode conductor connection, com-
monly called the ground lug, located on the switch-
board ground bus (see Figure 7).
b) NEC 250.66 describes requirements for ground-
ing electrode conductor material, installation, and
size.
c) Torque the ground lug binding screw based on the
manufacturers recommendation or crimp per the
crimp tools instruction.
3.11 Busway Connections
Power is often distributed from switchboards using
busway, also called bus duct. Busway is provided in
different configurations by different manufacturers;
one typical configuration is shown in Figure 8.
a) When connecting busway, install conical washers
so the convex side of the washer is against the nut.
b) Confirm proper phasing of the busway before
energizing the busway run.
c) Do not use the switchboard to support the weight
of the busway. Support the busway independently of
the switchboard.
3.12 Conduit Area
a) The switchboard conduit entry drawings show the
available conduit entry for the switchboard. External
circuit cables for each section should be routed into
and through these designated conduit areas, then
routed internally to their designed termination areas.
b) Do not use the switchboard to support the weight
of the conduits. Support the conduits independently
of the switchboard.
c) If a bottom plate is furnished, remove it to cut
holes for the conduit and cable entry. Bottom plates
with holes are not furnished as a standard item.
Reinstall the bottom plates after the holes are made.
Saw kerf between conduit holes in bottom plate for
installations where conduits, such as duct bank risers,
carry phase conductors from only one phase (isolated
phase arrangement) to prevent a magnetic loop from
causing overheating within the switchboard.
d) Under seismic conditions, the top of the switch-
board may move up to 3 inches (76 mm) in any
direction. Any cables entering the top of the switch-
board need sufficient slack to accommodate this
motion. If the floor of the switchboard is designed
for movement during a seismic event, the cables
entering the bottom of the switchboard should also
have enough slack to accommodate this motion.
e) Use approved hubs and ring connectors to protect
the cables and prevent condensation from entering
the switchboard through the conduits.
f) Bond all conduits, stubs, and ring connectors to
the switchboard enclosure following the manufactur-
ers recommendations.
NECA 400 Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards
I 8
Figure 8: Busway connector (bus duct)
9 I
Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards NECA 400
3.13 Cable Pulling
Switchboard components are arranged to provide
clearance and wire bending space for both line and
load cables. Each cable should be pulled into the
switchboard to conform to the arrangement specified
on the switchboard drawings.
a) Verify that the lugs correspond to the switchboard
cable schedule and are suitable for the cables being ter-
minated. Consult the markings on overcurrent pro-
tective devices to determine that the conductor size
range is correct and the temperature rating is appro-
priate. Conductors rated 194F (90C) are permitted
to be used with most connectors and terminals, but
only at 167F (75C) ampacity. Some overcurrent pro-
tective devices, mostly those listed for operation at 100
percent of rated ampacity, require the use of 194F
(90C) conductors sized at 167F (75C) ampacity.
b) Consult NEC Article 310 to calculate the proper
size and number of conductors for the loads served.
c) Prior to pulling the cables into the switchboard,
plan ahead as to which overcurrent device to cable
first. This is particularly important for group-
mounted constructions.
d) Cable pulling lubricants should not be allowed to
drip or come into contact with overcurrent devices
and/or plating of the bus bars. Remove all pulling
compound from the interior of the switchboard prior
to energizing the unit.
e) Position the conductors in the switchboard enclo-
sure so they are not subject to physical damage. If
any conductors are in contact with structural mem-
bers, place suitable protective material at the contact
point to protect the cable insulation.
f) NEC 300.20(A) requires that all phase and
grounded conductors of the same circuit pass
through the same metal opening together.
Otherwise, a magnetic loop will be created causing
overheating within the switchboard.
g) Where required, brace or lace the conductors in
accordance with the manufacturers instructions or
consulting engineers specifications.
h) Train cables within wire gutters of switchboards
in a neat and workmanlike manner.
3.14 Cable Terminations
Terminating and tightening cable connections to the
manufacturers recommended torque value is imper-
ative to a satisfactory connection. Follow these steps
when terminating conductors at the switchboard:
a) Strip a sufficient length of insulation from the
cable end to fit into the full length of the lugs barrel.
Use a proper insulation stripping tool to avoid nick-
ing conductor strands. Stripping cable too long
should be avoided since the through-air clearance
could be reduced below the minimums required by
the NEC.
b) Mechanical lugs (set-screw type) are the most
common type of connector furnished with switch-
boards. Torque these lugs in accordance with the
manufacturers recommendations to avoid stripping
threads or cracking the lug body.
c) When compression lugs are used to terminate alu-
minum conductors, remove oxides from the conduc-
tors and apply an antioxidant compound to the alu-
minum conductor before inserting into the lug body.
Oxides on aluminum conductors are poor conductors
and will cause abnormal heating at the connection.
d) Remove compression lugs from their point of ter-
mination in order to crimp them onto cables. Follow
the manufacturers recommendation as to the proper
number of crimps and their position on the lug. Use
the recommended sealant. Reinstall the crimp lugs
to the lug pad and torque the hardware used with the
lugs.
4.1 General
Conduct a complete inspection of the switchboard
before it is energized to ensure that the components
within the switchboard function properly.
a) Check all field-installed bus bar connections for
correct torque value.
b) Check all accessible connections for tightness.
c) Check all factory and field-installed lug termina-
tions for the correct torque value.
d) Visually check the bussing insulators for cracks
and supports for damage.
e) Check to ensure that dents or other damage to the
enclosure have not resulted in clearances that violate
NEC requirements.
f) Remove foam blocks, packing material, and tem-
porary cushioning from the switchboard and compo-
nents inside the switchboard.
g) Check all relays, meters and instrumentation
device wiring, and terminations.
4.2 Insulation Test
Perform a direct current (DC) insulation test on the
switchboard and record the value for future mainte-
nance tests; a switchboard insulation resistance chart
is shown in Section 9. Values less than 1 megohm are
typically unacceptable. Prior to this test, remove
control power fuses and any other equipment that
should not be subjected to this level of potential.
4.3 Current Transformers
Ensure that current transformers secondary termi-
nals are connected to a load or are shorted together
using shorting straps or terminal block shorting
screws.
CAUTION: Open secondary terminals may have
high voltages, which could be a hazard to people or
equipment.
The shortening means are removed when the current
transformers operate normally with their intended
load.
4.4 Circuit Breakers and Fusible Switches
a) Manually open and close all circuit breakers and
fusible switches to ensure proper operation.
b) Adjust the magnetic trip on thermal magnetic cir-
cuit breakers to their proper setting based on the sys-
tem study or switchboard schedule. A setting too low
for a load that has a high peak inrush current will
trip the circuit breaker on start-up.
c) Electronic circuit breakers have functions such as
long-time, instantaneous, short-time, and ground-
fault, which require initial adjustment. Settings typi-
cally are provided in a coordination study prepared
by the consulting engineer or other persons responsi-
ble for the switchboard set-up.
NOTE: These values typically are not found on the
drawings supplied by the switchboard manufacturer.
If values are not provided, consult the manufacturers
circuit breaker instruction manual for values that will
set the electronic circuit breaker functions to emulate
thermal magnetic circuit breaker characteristics.
4. Pre-Energizing Checkout
Procedure
I 10
11 I
Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards NECA 400
4.5 Ground-fault Protection
a) The trip and time-delay on ground-fault protec-
tive equipment are typically set by the manufacturer
at their lowest settings. Adjust these settings based
on information provided in a coordination study
prepared by the consulting engineer or other persons
responsible for the switchboard set-up.
b) Some ground-fault protection systems require
field connections at the job site. Consult the switch-
board interconnection wiring diagram for details.
c) Check the ground-fault circuitry and establish
that there are no grounds on the neutral downstream
from the service entrance point.
d) The NEC requires that the ground-fault protec-
tion system be performance tested when first
installed, and that a written record of this test be
available to the AHJ. A testing group with experience
in switchboard ground-fault testing should perform
an injection test.
4.6 Interconnections
Verify that all interconnecting wiring between
switchboard sections has been connected.
4.7 Power Fuses and Control Power
Disconnects
Replace all control power fuses removed in the
Insulation Test (see Section 4.2) and turn on all con-
trol power disconnects.
4.8 Clean-up
Vacuum all scrap, wire, dust, and other debris from
the switchboard. Do not use compressed air to blow
debris out of the switchboard, since debris may
instead settle inside devices and impair their ability
to function.
4.9 Close-up
Replace all covers. Check for any pinched wires and
close all doors. Make sure that the enclosure parts
are properly aligned and fastened securely.
WARNING: Arc flash, arc blast, and shock hazards
exist when energizing switchboards. Switchboards
should only be energized by qualified persons, following
work practices defined in NFPA 70E.
If a short circuit or ground-fault condition, caused
by damage or poor installation practices exists, and
this is not detected and corrected during the check-
out procedures, serious personal injury and/or dam-
age to the switchboard can result when the switch-
board is first energized. Follow the steps below to
energize the switchboards; read all steps before pro-
ceeding.
Step 1 Turn off all downstream loads. No load
should be on the switchboard when it is first ener-
gized.
Step 2 Use remote operators, if available, to close
devices and energize switchboards and loads for the
first time.
Step 3 Prior to energizing any circuit that supplies
rotating machinery, verify that the phase sequence is
correct. Serious damage can result to motors and
similar equipment rotating in the wrong direction.
Step 4 One by one, close each circuit breaker or
fusible switch in the switchboard.
Step 5 Proceed to energize (turn on) the down-
stream loads (lighting circuits, contactors, heaters,
motors, etc.) one at a time.
5. Energizing the Switchboard
I 12
Periodic maintenance of switchboards extends ser-
vice life and increases reliability. Cleaning, inspec-
tion, maintenance, and testing should only be per-
formed by qualified personnel on switchboards to
which power has been turned-off, disconnected, and
electrically isolated, unless required for testing, so
that no accidental contact can be made with ener-
gized parts. Follow all manufacturers warnings and
instructions.
The interval between maintenance checks varies
depending on the environment, such as ambient
temperature and conditions in the switchboard
room, and usage of the equipment. For switchboards
energized and in service, perform periodic routine
inspections, such as making limited visual observa-
tions and recording operational data.
Perform cleaning, inspections, maintenance, and test-
ing of switchboards at least annually, but as often as
the operating environment requires keeping switch-
boards clean. Perform the first inspection and main-
tenance no more than one year after the original
installation. Plan cleaning, inspections, maintenance,
and testing to minimize outages.
In accordance with manufacturer recommendations,
clean, inspect, maintain, and test switchboards fol-
lowing any unusual operating condition, such as
whenever an overcurrent protective device opens, or
a phase-to-phase short circuit or ground-fault occurs
(see Section 7.1).
6.1 Routine Inspections
Inspect areas and spaces around switchboards for any
accumulation of dirt or dust. Remove any accumula-
tions of dirt or dust. Remove trash, combustible
material, and other debris from areas around switch-
boards. Use the rate of accumulation of dust and
moisture on visible surfaces as a guide for scheduling
cleaning, inspections, maintenance, and testing.
Inspect switchboards for external signs of overheat-
ing. Measure and record the ambient temperature.
Check equipment installed near switchboards that
might be an external source of heat. Eliminate exter-
nal sources of heat to switchboards. Check the oper-
ating temperature of switchboards that have been
operating under normal load and at normal ambient
temperature for a minimum of 3 hours by measuring
the surface temperature of switchboard access covers,
doors, circuit breakers, and switches. If the tempera-
ture exceeds manufacturer recommendations, de-
energize switchboard and investigate sources of over-
heating.
Record switchboard voltage and load currents, if
equipped with meters, noting the date and time of
day. Provide comments regarding known causes of
variations in loading, such as load additions or
equipment maintenance outages.
Check all accessible exterior switchboard hardware
for tightness.
Visually inspect enclosures for physical damage.
Repair physical damage, if practical, and as approved
by the manufacturer. Consult owner and switch-
board manufacturer for recommendations for suit-
able protective barriers to prevent future damage.
Inspect areas and spaces around switchboards for
evidence of water or moisture. Eliminate sources of
water or moisture, or provide switchboards suitable
protection from sources of water.
6. Switchboard Maintenance
13 I
6.2 Safety Procedures
Before cleaning, inspecting, testing, or maintaining,
de-energize and electrically isolate equipment in
accordance with established procedures. Consider all
circuits live until they are confirmed to be de-ener-
gized by testing and are locked out of operation. Do
not work on energized equipment. Guard energized
conductors and equipment in close proximity to
work. Failure to observe these precautions may
result in severe personal injury or death.
Personnel working on or near energized switch-
boards should follow the safe work practices
described in NFPA 70E, including the use of personal
protective equipment (PPE) appropriate for the task
being performed.
Apply lockout/tagout procedures in accordance with
documented and established policies and practices.
Render electrical circuit conductors and circuit parts
electrically safe by removing all sources of energy by
opening all upstream source disconnecting means,
locking and tagging out all source disconnecting
means, verifying the absence of voltage using an
approved voltage testing device, and guarding any
exposed energized components.
Remove the front cover of the switchboard and attach
grounding leads to the line terminals of the main cir-
cuit breaker or main lugs, to the neutral terminal bus
bar, if so equipped, and to the grounding terminal.
6.3 Cleaning and Inspections
Consult manufacturer recommendations for cleaning
and inspecting switchboards and components. De-
energize switchboards in accordance with Section 6.2
prior to performing any cleaning or inspections.
Visually inspect switchboards for evidence of discol-
oration, abnormal dust accumulation, metal shards,
or any other indication of overheating, wear, or other
abnormal conditions prior to cleaning.
Visually inspect the switchboard for signs of overheat-
ing. Discoloration and flaking of insulation or metal
parts are indications of possible overheating. Correct
conditions that cause the overheating, and replace the
affected parts before re-energizing the switchboard.
Vacuum the inside of switchboards to remove any
debris, dirt, or dust that has accumulated, noting
anything unusual, such as signs of insects, rodent
activity, or moisture. Avoid blowing dust into
switchboards. Do not use a blower or compressed
air. Maintain adequate ventilation during cleaning.
Wipe bus bars, insulators, conductors and other parts
with a clean, dry lint-free cloth. Do not use chemi-
cals or petroleum-based solvents that may degrade
plastics or insulating materials.
Visually inspect the inside of the switchboard for
moisture, condensation build-up, or signs of any pre-
vious wetness. Moisture causes insulation failures
and rapid oxidation of current-carrying parts. Pay
particular attention to conduit entrances and the top
of the switchboard between sections. Remove any
moisture present inside the switchboard and seal off
all leaks. Replace any components that show evi-
dence of damage from moisture.
Carefully inspect all switchboard devices for any
worn-out, cracked, or missing parts. Inspect termi-
nations, connections, and lugs for alignment, physical
damage, burns, corrosion, discoloration, flaking, heat
damage, arcing, pitting, melting, deterioration, car-
bonization, cracks, chips, breaks, partial discharge, or
moisture. Replace damaged components. Investigate
and eliminate sources of damage.
Plated parts may become dark over a period of time
due to oxidation. Removing this discoloration will
reduce the thickness of the plating. Consult the
manufacturer for recommendations regarding discol-
oration of parts.
Verify that all key interlocks and door interlocking
provisions are working properly.
6.4 Maintenance and Testing
Consult manufacturer recommendations for main-
taining and testing switchboards and components.
De-energize switchboards in accordance with Section
6.2 prior to performing any maintenance or testing.
NECA 400 Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards
I 14
15 I
Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards NECA 400
6.4.1 Infrared Scan
After cleaning and inspecting switchboards and com-
ponents in accordance with Section 6.3, perform an
infrared scan in accordance with switchboard and
test equipment manufacturer recommendations.
With the switchboard de-energized, remove accessi-
ble covers, plates, weathershields, etc. Provide sup-
plemental barriers and safety precautions during
infrared scan to prevent accidental contact with
exposed energized components. Personnel working
on or near energized switchboards should follow the
safe work practices described in NFPA 70E, including
the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
appropriate for the task being performed.
Energize the switchboard in accordance with Section
6.6, and turn on all normal loads supplied by the
switchboard. Perform an infrared scan of all switch-
board electrical connections and terminals while ener-
gized and operating under normal load conditions.
Use an infrared scanning device designed to measure
actual operating temperatures or designed to detect
significant deviations from surrounding conditions.
Provide documentation of device calibration.
Prepare a certified report identifying the switchboard
tested and describing the results of the infrared scan.
Include notations of deficiencies detected, remedial
actions taken, and results from retesting after remedi-
al actions.
Consult switchboard manufacturer for repair or
replacement recommendations if infrared scan
results indicate overheating of components.
De-energize the switchboard in accordance with
Section 6.2.
6.4.2 Bus Bar Joints
Consult the manufacturers recommendations con-
cerning bus bar joints, and retorque where required.
Some switchboard bus bar joints are maintenance-
free. Additional tightening after installation may
degrade these connections.
Replace parts that show indications of pitting, corro-
sion, discoloration, or annealing due to overheating.
Do not use abrasive materials on bus bar joints. Use
hardware and washers of a grade identical to or bet-
ter than the hardware replaced.
6.4.3 Molded-Case Circuit Breakers
a) Clean circuit breaker surfaces. Remove dust, soot,
grease, moisture, and foreign material.
b) Operate circuit breakers several times to exercise
the mechanism and contacts, and to ensure smooth
operation. Many circuit breakers have a test feature
which trips, exercises, and lubricates the mechanism.
This method of exercising circuit breakers should be
used if available. If unavailable, operate circuit
breakers manually. Do not oil or grease parts of
molded case circuit breakers. Replace circuit breakers
that do not operate smoothly.
c) Check circuit breakers for visual defects, chips,
cracks, breaks, burns, and deterioration. Visually
check circuit breakers for evidence of overheating
and thermal damage. Investigate and eliminate
sources of overheating. Replace damaged circuit
breakers.
d) For circuit breakers that use solid-state circuitry
or a microprocessor, run the self-diagnostic program,
if available. For electronic circuit breakers, use the
test set to run trip unit test automatically with user
prompts. Repair or replace circuit breakers in accor-
dance with manufacturer recommendations.
6.4.4 Bolted Pressure Switches
Exercise bolted pressure switch operating mecha-
nisms. Check the cover interlock with the switch in
the on position. The cover should not open using
normal hand force. Lubricate parts using materials
and methods in accordance with manufacturer rec-
ommendations.
6.4.5 Fusible Switches
a) Thoroughly clean fusible switches inside and out-
side. Clean contact areas of fuses and fuse holders.
Wipe insulating areas of fuses with a clean, dry, lint-
free cloth.
b) Operate each switch several times to ensure that
all mechanisms are free and in proper working order.
Check switches for damaged or broken parts, free
movement, corrosion, dirt, and excessive wear. Verify
proper blade penetration, travel stops, and mechani-
cal operation. Repair or replace switches in accor-
dance with manufacturer recommendations.
c) Inspect contact surfaces, blades, and jaws for dis-
coloration, overheating, pitting, arcing, and corona.
Inspect arc chutes. Clean and dress readily-accessible
copper electrical contacts, blades, and jaws in accor-
dance with manufacturer recommendations. Repair
or replace burned contacts. Many contact surfaces,
such as arcing contacts, are silver tungsten or other
types of materials that must never be dressed. When
contacts of these materials require maintenance, they
must be replaced. If contact clips have lost their ten-
sion, replace clips or replace the switch. Consult the
manufacturer for recommendations.
d) Tighten fuse holder connections in accordance
with manufacturer recommendations. Inspect each
fuse holder to determine whether it seems to be ade-
quately supporting the fuse and that the fuse holder
is securely attached to the mounting base. Inspect
fuse clips for discoloration, overheating, corrosion, or
physical damage. Replace weak or burned clips.
Install new fuse clips and suitable clamps. Use man-
ufacturers replacement parts.
e) Lubricate operating mechanisms and sliding con-
tact surfaces, if required, according to manufacturers
instructions. If no instructions are given on the devices,
sliding copper contacts, operating mechanisms, and
interlocks may be lubricated with clean, light grease.
Wipe off excess lubrication to avoid contamination.
f) Check the cover interlock with the switch in the on
position. The cover should not open using normal
hand force. Inspect switches for any damaged or bro-
ken parts. Check the fuse mounting clips or bolted
contact area for corrosion or discoloration due to over-
heating. Replace damaged or broken parts as necessary.
6.4.6 Inspecting and Replacing Fuses
Ensure that equipment is de-energized before
inspecting and replacing fuses. Test line and load ter-
minals of switches for the presence of voltage before
replacing fuses. Turn the switches to the off posi-
tion before opening the door. Do not defeat cover
interlocks to gain access to fuses.
Visually inspect switch blades to verify that all blades
are disconnected from the line connections. Consult
the manufacturer for recommendations when blades
do not disconnect from line connections.
a) Check all fuses to ensure that the correct type and
rating are installed. Where renewable fuses are used,
examine fuse links to ensure that the correct link is
installed.
NOTE: Some switchboard manufacturers do not recom-
mend the use of renewable link fuses in their equipment.
b) Look for fuses that have been bridged with wire,
metal strips, disks, or appear to have been forced or
hammered in, etc. Replace with correct fuses and
consult the manufacturer for recommendations for
preventing a recurrence.
c) Look for evidence of overheating of cartridge
fuses. Replace fuses having discolored or weakened
casings. Investigate the cause of overheating.
d) Inspect ferruled or knife blades of cartridge fuses
for corrosion or oxidation. Clean and polish contact
surfaces. Clean surfaces with a noncorrosive cleaning
agent. Plated parts may become dark over a period
of time due to oxidation. Removing this discol-
oration will reduce the thickness of the plating.
Consult the manufacturer for recommendations
regarding discoloration of parts.
e) Measure fuse resistance. Investigate fuse-resis-
tance values that deviate from each other by more
than 15 percent. Replace defective or partially-
burned fuses. Retighten plug fuses.
f) Replace fuses with fuses of like types and ratings.
Ensure that non-current-limiting devices are not
NECA 400 Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards
I 16
used as replacements for current-limiting devices.
Do not defeat any rejection feature in any switch-
board fusible device.
6.4.7 Ground-Fault Protection Systems
a) Check the torque of terminal connections on
ground-fault protection systems annually. Inspect
for corrosion and for physical, thermal, and electrical
damage. Replace any damaged components.
b) Test the ground-fault protection system in accor-
dance with manufacturer recommendations. Testing
may be conducted with or without tripping main or
branch overcurrent protective devices. Testing with
trip is preferable since it ensures the whole system is
functioning. Energize the switchboard in accordance
with Section 6.6 prior to testing.
c) If the ground-fault protection system does not
operate properly and additional equipment has been
connected to the installation since the last maintenance
test/check, de-energize the entire system in accordance
with Section 6.2, disconnect the main bonding jumper,
and check for continuity between the neutral and
ground on the load-side of the main bonding jumper.
If grounds are found, remove them and test again. If
no grounds are detected, and the ground-fault protec-
tion system is still not functioning properly, consult the
switchboard manufacturer for recommendations.
d) If the ground-fault protection system does not
operate properly, and no additional equipment has
been connected to the installation since the last
maintenance test/check, check the devices for physi-
cal or electrical damage and replace accordingly.
Check wiring for damage or loose connections and
correct any problems found. Consult the switch-
board manufacturer for recommendations.
6.5 Insulation Resistance Test
Perform an insulation resistance test on switchboards
using a 1000 VDC megohmmeter. Disconnect all
accessories and electronic devices that may be sub-
jected to the test voltage. Test from phase-to-ground
and from phase-to-phase with all switches and circuit
breakers in both the open and closed positions, all
instrumentation and control fuses removed, and no
loads connected to the switchboard. Ground all
phases not being tested. Connect megohmmeter
between each phase and ground, and between each
phase. Measure insulation resistance at one minute
intervals following the application of the test voltage.
Record the megohm values of each phase and
between each phase, along with the description of the
instrument, voltage level, humidity, temperature,
time, and date of the test. Consult switchboard man-
ufacturer's published data for acceptable test results.
If published data is not available, investigate any val-
ues that deviate from previous test results under sim-
ilar conditions by more than 50 percent of the lowest
value. Investigate any results less than 1 megohm
with the overcurrent protective devices in the open
position for possible tracking on insulation or insula-
tion breakdown. Ground each phase at the comple-
tion of the test. Maintain records of testing for
future reference.
6.6 Re-energizing Switchboards
Energize switchboards in accordance with Section 5.
Remove grounding leads from the line terminals of
the switchboard. Visually inspect the system to
ensure that all tools, electrical jumpers, test devices,
etc., have been removed. Visually inspect equipment
and areas around equipment to ensure that all per-
sons are clear from circuits and equipment to be re-
energized. Remove locks and tags only after work is
complete and tested, and all personnel are clear of
the area.
Test for short circuits or ground-faults. Energize cir-
cuits using established switching procedures. Close
disconnect means starting at the source, working
toward the load. Measure phase-to-phase and phase-
to-neutral voltages, if applicable. Investigate source
of voltage imbalance greater than 3 percent. Measure
switchboard feeder and branch load currents. Verify
that conductors are properly sized and protected for
actual loading.
Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards NECA 400
17 I
Special procedures are necessary to determine whether
a switchboard can safely remain in service following a
short circuit, ground-fault, or exposure to water.
7.1 Inspection Following a Short-Circuit or
Ground-Fault Condition
Do not attempt to re-energize a switchboard follow-
ing a short-circuit or ground-fault condition within
the switchboard. Do not re-energize a feeder or
branch overcurrent protection device in the switch-
board that has opened due to a short circuit or
ground-fault until the problem downstream has been
corrected.
Following a short-circuit or ground-fault within a
switchboard, inspect the equipment thoroughly as
described in Section 6.1 to verify that damage has not
occurred to conductors or insulators within the
switchboard.
NOTE: The insulating properties of some organic insu-
lating materials may deteriorate during an electrical
arc. Replacement of the damaged insulating material is
the only remedy.
7.1.1 Short-circuits develop high mechanical
stresses that can damage conductors and insula-
tion
Improper and loosened connections may result in
conductors pulling out of their terminations on sub-
sequent short-circuits. For this reason, all connections
should be inspected and, if necessary, re-evaluated.
Great care must be taken in evaluating the cause of
the short circuit. Do not replace the fuse(s) and turn
the overcurrent protective device back on, or reset the
circuit breaker, without first determining whether it is
safe to energize the circuit. Phase-to-phase short cir-
cuits that originate on bus bars can travel the length
of the bussing system through the switchboard, and
the greatest damage may not occur where the arcing
condition originated. Conduct an insulation test to
determine the integrity of the switchboard insulation
prior to re-energizing the switchboard.
7.1.2 Ground-faults are unintentional current
paths between a phase conductor and ground
Depending on the magnitude of the ground-fault
and its duration, carbon build-up and metallic splat-
ter may need to be removed, insulators cleaned or
replaced. Perform phase-to-phase and phase-to-
ground insulation tests, with a minimum reading of
one megohm, prior to turning the switchboard
power back on.
7.2 Replacing a Switchboard Soaked by or
Submerged in Water
a) Do not work on energized electrical equipment
when standing in water.
b) Do not energize a switchboard that is wet.
c) Do not clean or repair a switchboard that has
been submerged in or exposed to large volumes of
water. Current-carrying parts, insulation systems,
and electrical/electronic components may be dam-
aged beyond repair through contamination by chem-
icals, river or creek water, sewage, and other pollu-
tants. In this event, replace the switchboard rather
than attempt to repair it.
7.3 Inspecting and Re-Energizing a
Switchboard Sprayed or Splashed with Clean
Water
Apply heat (a minimum of 250 watts per section) to
the switchboard to dry it out until visible signs of
7. Adverse Circumstances
I 18
dampness cannot be seen. Remove materials that
could catch fire prior to applying the heat. Consult
the manufacturers recommendations for specific
guidelines on how to ensure that it is safe to re-ener-
gize the switchboard, or follow this procedure.
7.3.1 Preliminary Inspection
Follow the steps in Section 7.3.2 to re-energize the
switchboard only if a preliminary inspection verifies
that the following conditions are satisfied:
a) There are no signs of physical damage to the
equipment.
b) The switchboard has not been soaked by or sub-
merged in water.
c) The water that has been in contact with the
switchboard has not been contaminated with sewage,
chemicals, or other substances.
d) Water has not entered any area of the switchboard
enclosure that contains wiring, and has not come
into contact with any live part. Look for water enter-
ing through conduits.
If all of the conditions listed above are satisfied, pro-
ceed as follows.
7.3.2 Cleaning, testing, and re-energizing a
switchboard
Step 1 Completely de-energize and electrically iso-
late the switchboard so that contact cannot be made
with energized parts.
Step 2 Wipe off all moisture from bus bars, insula-
tors, and insulating materials with a clean, dry, lint-
free cloth. Never use cleaning agents or sprays unless
specifically recommended by the switchboard manu-
facturer.
Step 3 Prepare the switchboard for an insulation
resistance test by disconnecting all line-side supply
conductors and all load-side conductors to isolate the
switchboard from the wiring system. Turn all circuit
breakers or fusible switches to the on position.
Voltage cannot be present on the switchboard during
the insulation resistance test.
Step 4 Use a DC insulation-resistance tester with a
capacity of 500-1000 volts DC to perform phase-to-
ground and phase-to-phase insulation tests.
NOTE: Use of an AC dielectric tester is not recom-
mended.
a) Measure each phase-to-ground (A, B, C) with the
circuit breakers or fusible switches on.
b) Measure each phase to another phase with the
circuit breakers or fusible switches on. Record
the values of the insulation resistance on the
insulation resistance chart shown in Section 9.
Step 5 Do not re-energize the equipment if any of
the resistance measurements are not at least 0.5
megohm. If moisture is the cause of the low resis-
tance readings, the moisture can be removed from
the switchboard by providing a minimum of 250
watts of heat per vertical section.
Step 6 If the resistance measurements are greater
than 0.5 megohom, the equipment can be re-ener-
gized.
Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards NECA 400
19 I
8. Recommended Torque Values
I 20
If the switchboard manufacturer does not provide specific torque recommendations, use the following as a
guide.
Hardware
Description Torque Value
1/2 inch 780-900 lb-in (88-102 N*m)
Hardware
Description Torque Value
1/4 inch 50-75 lb-in (6-8 N*m)
5/16 inch 80-125 lb-in (9-14 N*m)
3/8 inch 175-225 lb-in (20-25 N*m)
1/2 inch 250-350 lb-in (28-40 N*m)
Hardware
Description Torque Value
3/8 inch 175-225 lb-in (20-25 N*m)
1/2 inch 250-350 lb-in (28-40 N*m)
21 I
Hardware
Description Torque Value
Conical Washer OD
Square Head (Tee)
Bolt Conical Washer
3/8 inch
0.87 inches (22 mm) 250-280 lb-in (28-32 N*m)
1 inch (25 mm) 130-150 lb-in (15-17 N*m)
1/2 inch
1.25 inches (32 mm)
2.25 inches (57 mm) 450-550 lb-in (51-62 N*m)
Hardware
Description Torque Value
Conical Washer OD
Hex Head Bolt
(2) Conical Washers
5/16 inch 0.90 inches (23 mm) 145-260 lb-in (16-29 N*m)
3/8 inch
0.87 inches (22 mm) 250-280 lb-in (28-32 N*m)
1 inch (25 mm) 130-150 lb-in (15-17 N*m)
1.25 inches (32 mm)
1/2 inch 2.25 inches (57 mm) 780-900 lb-in (88-102 N*m)
3.00 inches (75 mm)
9. Switchboard Insulation Resistance
Chart
I 22
Phase-to-Phase Phase-to-Ground Neutral-to-Ground
Date All Disconnects Open
A-B B-C C-A A-GND B-GND C-GND N-GND
Phase-to-Phase Phase-to-Ground Neutral-to-Ground
Date All Disconnects Closed
A-B B-C C-A A-GND B-GND C-GND N-GND
NOTE: The use of a AC dielectric tester for testing the motor control center is not recommended. Use an insulation
resistance tester with a capacity of 500-1000 V DC.
This standard refers to manufacturers packing label
warnings (2.1a), instruction manuals, literature,
drawings (Section 3), recorded values of tests (4.2,
7.3.2, 9), and set values of adjustable trips (4.4 and
4.5a, 4.5d). This material, plus as-built drawings,
should be assembled, identified, and delivered to the
owner of the facility at the completion of the installa-
tion.
10. Operations and Maintenance
Documents
23 I
This publication, when used in conjunction with the National Electrical Code and manufacturers literature,
provides sufficient information to install and maintain switchboards.
National Fire Protection Association
1 Batterymarch Park
P.O. Box 9101
Quincy, MA 02269-9101
(617) 770-3000 tel
(617) 770-3500 fax
www.nfpa.org
NFPA 70-2005, National Electrical Code (ANSI)
NFPA 70E-2004, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace
Current National Electrical Installation Standards

Published by NECA:
National Electrical Contractors Association
3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 215-4504 tel, (301) 215-4500 fax
www.neca-neis.org
NECA 1-2006, Standard for Good Workmanship in Electrical Construction (ANSI)
NECA 90-2004, Recommended Practice for Commissioning Building Electrical Systems (ANSI)
NECA 100-2006, Symbols for Electrical Construction Drawings (ANSI)
NECA 101-2006, Standard for Installing Steel Conduits (Rigid, IMC, EMT) (ANSI)
NECA 102-2004, Standard for Installing Aluminum Rigid Metal Conduit (ANSI)
NECA/AA 104-2006, Recommended Practice for Installing Aluminum Building Wire and Cable (ANSI)
NECA/NEMA 105-2002, Recommended Practice for Installing Metal Cable Tray Systems
NECA 111-2003, Standard for Installing Nonmetallic Raceways (RNC, ENT, LFNC) (ANSI)
NECA/NACMA 120-2006, Standard for Installing Armored Cable (AC) and Metal-Clad Cable (MC) (ANSI)
Annex A: Reference Standards
I 24
(This annex is not part of the standard)
NECA 200-2002, Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Temporary Electrical Power at
Construction Sites (ANSI)
NECA 202-2006, Standard for Installing and Maintaining Industrial Heat Tracing Systems (ANSI)
NECA 230-2003, Standard for Selecting, Installing, and Maintaining Electric Motors and Motor Controllers (ANSI)
NECA/FOA 301-2004, Standard for Installing and Testing Fiber Optic Cables (ANSI)
NECA 303-2005, Standard for Installing Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) Systems (ANSI)
NECA 305-2001, Standard for Fire Alarm System Job Practices (ANSI)
NECA 331-2004, Standard for Building and Service Entrance Grounding and Bonding
NECA 400-2007, Standard for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards (ANSI)
NECA 402-2007, Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Motor Control Centers (ANSI)
NECA/EGSA 404-2007, Standard for Installing Generator Sets (ANSI)
NECA 406-2003, Standard for Installing Residential Generator Sets (ANSI)
NECA 407-2002, Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Panelboards (ANSI)
NECA 408-2002, Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Busways (ANSI)
NECA 409-2002, Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Dry-Type Transformers (ANSI)
NECA 410-2005, Standard for Installing and Maintaining Liquid-Filled Transformers (ANSI)
NECA 411-2006, Standard for Installing and Maintaining Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) (ANSI)
NECA 430-2006, Standard for Installing Medium-Voltage Metal-Clad Switchgear (ANSI)
NECA/IESNA 500-2006, Standard for Installing Indoor Commercial Lighting Systems (ANSI)
NECA/IESNA 501-2006, Standard for Installing Exterior Lighting Systems (ANSI)
NECA/IESNA 502-2006, Standard for Installing Industrial Lighting Systems (ANSI)
NECA 503-2005, Standard for Installing Fiber Optic Lighting Systems
NECA/BICSI 568-2006, Standard for Installing Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling (ANSI)
NECA/MACSCB 600-2003, Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Medium-Voltage Cable (ANSI)
NECA/NEMA 605-2005, Recommended Practice for Installing Underground Nonmetallic Utility Duct (ANSI)
Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards NECA 400
24 I
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National Electrical
Contractors Association
3 Bethesda Metro Center
Suite 1100
Bethesda, MD 20814
301-657-3110
fax: 301-215-4500
www.neca-neis.org
Standards & Safety
Index: NECA 400 (R-07)
2.5K/7-07
N A T I O N A L E L E C T R I C A L I N S T A L L A T I O N S T A N D A R D S