Circuit total limitation
Circuit total limitation (CTL) is one of the present-day standards for electrical panels sold in the United States according to the National Electrical Code. The 1965 edition of the NEC, article 384-15 was the first reference to the circuit total limitation of panelboards. As of 2008[update], the location of this language is at Article 408.54. Non-CTL panels have not been made by reputable manufacturers since 1965.
Non-CTL replacement only
Circuitboards and panelboards built prior to 1965 do not have circuit total limiting devices or features built-in. Even so, pre-CTL circuit breakers "for replacement use only" are still sold in local hardware stores. As a result, numerous unsafe situations have resulted where panels were dangerously overloaded because these non-CTL breakers continue to be used. With overuse of non-CTL breakers, current is being placed on the panel's bus-bars in excess of the designed capacity of that panel.
The 2008 code did away with the previous 42 circuit limitation on panelboards. One can now order panelboards with as many as 84 circuit places, and a corresponding ampacity rating. If a panelboard with a sufficient number of breaker positions is installed in the first place, the need for non-CTL breakers should be eliminated.
- Terrell Croft, Wilford I. Summers, Frederic Hartwell. "American Electricians' Handbook". 15th Edition. p. 4.52.
- "UL's Guide Information for Electrical Equipment: The White Book 2008" (PDF). p. 90.
- See "bullet" in 2008 NEC between Articles 408.30 and 408.36, where 2005's Article 408.35 appeared.
- "Removal of 42 Circuit Limitation for Lighting and Appliance Panelboards".". National Electrical Code 2008.