Can an unused (spare) circuit breaker remain in an electrical panel or does it have to be removed?
Monday, September 23, 2019
Spares do not have to be removed from the panel. The National Electrical Code (NEC) simply requires that they be identified in the circuit directory. At 408.4(A) it states that “spare positions that contain unused overcurrent devices or switches shall be described accordingly.” For more details on panel circuit directory requirements at NEC 408.4, see our blog post What are the code requirements for a circuit directory and circuit identification for an electric panel?
We recently examined a panel at a new home that had a 240V breaker marked “SPARE” that had wiring which ran to a subpanel at the back exterior wall of the home with a blank dead front and no breakers. This was probably intended as a future pool panel; but it was mislabeled, and a breaker marked spare should not have any wires connected to it.
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