IntelliCenter Utility Outlet Knockout

JWeiss

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I'm working on my IntelliCenter install. Today's task is mounting the GFCI utility outlet at the lower right of the load center. I was able to punch out the main rectangle knockout, although I unfortunately needed to widen it very slightly in three places in order for the outlet bracket and ground screw to pass through the hole.

Now, regarding the mounting holes, can these be punched out, or do I need to drill them out? I've hammered quite a bit with a centerpunch, but there's not any movement so far, and I'd like to not destroy the load center in the process! Also, in the IntelliCenter, are these holes threaded (at #6-32, I would assume), or are nuts needed? Anyone done this part of the install?
 

JoyfulNoise

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Maybe post up a picture to show what you’re describing.

Most panel knockouts do not need any sort of drilling or machining. You simply tap on one end with a screwdriver to push the metal tab out a little and then grab the tab with a pair of pliers and twist it around the anchor points. It should easily break away from the body of the panel.
 

JWeiss

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It's the punchout holes for the mounting screws that are around the outlet body. You can see the marks on the hole directly below the middle of the outlet (left side in the picture) where I've attempted to punch out the hole with a hammer and centerpunch. These are small holes, so there's nothing to grab onto from the back. So far, I've given a few pretty strong hits with no movement on the punchout yet.

GFCI Knockout.jpg
 

JoyfulNoise

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Ah, I see.

Yeah, if they don’t pop out using an old Phillips head screwdriver then you can use a drill bit to pop them. Just be careful and make sure there’s nothing behind it that the bit could damage.

Those openings aren’t threaded. You need to use a machine screw and flat nut (sometimes called a speed nut). Usually the mounting hardware comes with the outlet or outdoor enclosure.
 

Jimrahbe

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J,

Are you sticking the box in from the outside or the inside? You should not need to cut anything?

You need to be using a box with a waterproof cover.

As to the small spots, I would just drill them out.

Note that while I have taken out many 'knockouts', but I have never taken out one that small.

Show us what you are trying to install in that hole.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

JWeiss

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To clarify, I’m mounting the outlet directly from the outside (as pictured) as one would normally do into an outdoor electrical box, with the weatherproof cover on top. Not mounting a box to the load center, but using the load center itself as the box. The GFCI body just about fit perfectly into the knockout, except the brackets at top and bottom extend just a touch longer , and the same for the ground screw (which sits at the bottom near the "WR" icon. This will all be covered when the weatherproof cover and gasket go on. My task now is punching out six holes for the mounting.

I assumed these holes would be standard threaded (like the holes used for the ground bar), again, as would be standard on an electrical box (which the load center is acting as for this bit).
GFCI and Cover.jpg
 
Last edited:

JoyfulNoise

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Do you plan on having anything semi-permanently plugged into those outlets? While that Bell cover is waterproof it doesn’t allow you to leave something plugged into the outlet long term. I prefer box enclosures that allow you to plug a cord into the outlet and then close the cover. Like this -

image.jpg
image.jpg

It’s a bit “chunky-er” than what you have but it allows plugs and cords to be used and the cover to remain closed. Your choice.

Just make sure that whatever cover you use gives you a good seal around the plug outlet.
 

JWeiss

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Not for any ongoing use. This is purely a utility outlet. All my pumps plug into a separate outlet tower that has deep in-use covers like the one on your pics.
 

Jimrahbe

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J,

I don't know what I was thinking when I said 'box' above? Probably too much pre-Thanksgiving pie... :scratch:

I went out and looked at mine, in the rain BTW, and all the silver parts of my GFCI outlet are inside the EasyTouch Enclosure. Installed from the inside with two screws from the outside,

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

JWeiss

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Thanks. My existing Compool box has the outlet installed from the outside. Either way, I gotta get the screw holes punched out. May try a few more “taps” and then drill them out. Happy Thanksgiving all.
 

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1poolman1

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Jul 14, 2014
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To clarify, I’m mounting the outlet directly from the outside (as pictured) as one would normally do into an outdoor electrical box, with the weatherproof cover on top. Not mounting a box to the load center, but using the load center itself as the box. The GFCI body just about fit perfectly into the knockout, except the brackets at top and bottom extend just a touch longer , and the same for the ground screw (which sits at the bottom near the "WR" icon. This will all be covered when the weatherproof cover and gasket go on. My task now is punching out six holes for the mounting.

I assumed these holes would be standard threaded (like the holes used for the ground bar), again, as would be standard on an electrical box (which the load center is acting as for this bit).
View attachment 463620
Mount the box from the inside. The outer holes in the device are threaded and will hold the whole assembly together with the screws that come with the cover.
 

JWeiss

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Jun 14, 2022
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Long Island, NY
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Mount the box from the inside. The outer holes in the device are threaded and will hold the whole assembly together with the screws that come with the cover.
If I understand correctly, you're recommending to attach the outlet into an electrical box, and mount this assembly inside the load center with just the cover on the outside. Everything would then screw into the electrical box, sandwiching the load center side panel. I see how that would work, however that would block out space at the lower right side of the load center, and I have three conduits that need to come into the three right-most knockout holes at the bottom.

Do you see any downside in mounting the GFCI outlet into the load center directly without its own electrical box enclosure? This is how it's done on my existing old Compool panel, and most others that I've seen pictured.
 

1poolman1

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Jul 14, 2014
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Seems that you would only save the thickness of the device mount by putting it outside, not gaining much room. You could mount an "outdoor" electrical single-gang box extension to the Pentair panel and mount the GFCI into it (they come with a foam gasket). That would give a lot of room in the panel for the conduits you mentioned. Since you have a GFCI outlet (not a blank GFCI device), most codes require a "wet-in-use" cover as shown in the post from JoyfulNoise. An 1/8" drill bit should go through those punch-outs with no issues. As someone else recommended, I generally use a Phillips screw driver and a few good hits with a hammer.
 

JWeiss

Active member
Jun 14, 2022
41
Long Island, NY
Pool Size
25000
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
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Autopilot Digital PPC3 (RC-42)
I think I get what you're saying now - to use the outermost central holes on the GFCI (ones normally used to secure a faceplate to the outlet), which are threaded. By "box", I thought you were referring to an electrical box mounted to the inside of the load center. The weatherproof cover does have two outer holes that could be used to screw through to the GFCI mounted from within the load center.

I did ultimately drill out the holes for mounting. I gave it more solid hits with a centerpunch than my comfort level, with no movement at all on the punchies.
 
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