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Old 12-16-2011, 02:44 PM   #1
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do I need a meter main?


Hey all, new here with a question about some work I'm doing on my house. I had an old outdated 125A panel and replaced it with a 200A I also had to replace the meter base that was not up to par. (complete rewire, no power in the house yet) I had to move the location of the meter base and now its about 12' (measured along the wall) from the panel. From what I understand I need a breaker nearer the base than that. I've found "meter mains" but they all have the breaker outside and I want it more secure in the house. so finally to my question... do I need to install another 200A panel next to the meter base just to have the breaker or is there some other option? sorry about the long question. Thanks, 1

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Old 12-16-2011, 02:52 PM   #2
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do I need a meter main?


The rule on how far service conductors can run inside the house before reaching the service disconnect is somewhat open to interpretation, so your best bet is to ask your inspector.

If you do need an outside disconnect, use a meter main or a separate fused disconnect after the meter and put a lock on it if you're worried about it.

Of note, if you do use an outside disconnect, your main panel in the house is now a subpanel, which must have a 4-wire feeder and, and must have grounds and neutrals separated from each other.

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Old 12-16-2011, 03:27 PM   #3
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do I need a meter main?


You could also keep the service cable outside the house until it gets near the inside panel.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:07 PM   #4
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do I need a meter main?


thanks guys, I just called the inspector and he told me I need to replace my meter base with a meter main and run the 4 wire feeder to my new subpanel. not what I was hoping for but at least I can continue with my project. Thanks, 1
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Old 12-17-2011, 02:03 PM   #5
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do I need a meter main?


Quote:
Originally Posted by McSteve
The rule on how far service conductors can run inside the house before reaching the service disconnect is somewhat open to interpretation, so your best bet is to ask your inspector.
I think I remember nec specifies it at 5' ( I do not know an article #)
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Old 12-17-2011, 03:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julius793 View Post
I think I remember nec specifies it at 5' ( I do not know an article #)
The NEC does NOT specify a distance.

230.70 General.
(A)(1) Readily Accessible Location.
The service disconnecting means shall be installed at a readily accessible location either outside of a building or structure or inside nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors.
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Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:18 PM   #7
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do I need a meter main?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
The NEC does NOT specify a distance.

230.70 General.
(A)(1) Readily Accessible Location. The service disconnecting means shall be installed at a readily accessible location either outside of a building or structure or inside nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors.
Well thanx for finding it for me, now for what ever reason "nearest the point of entrance" is interpreted as 5'
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:46 PM   #8
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Well thanx for finding it for me, now for what ever reason "nearest the point of entrance" is interpreted as 5'
Maybe in your area, but not nearly all. It's up to local interpretation.
Some interpret it as immediately inside, as in NO feet, or back to back with the meter.
Some interpret it as up to TEN feet, even more.

My area is also 5'-6'.
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
Maybe in your area, but not nearly all. It's up to local interpretation.
Some interpret it as immediately inside, as in NO feet, or back to back with the meter.
Some interpret it as up to TEN feet, even more.

My area is also 5'-6'.
Well so I guess for the OP it would be a good idea to ask the local electricians what the inspectors want to see.
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julius793 View Post
Well so I guess for the OP it would be a good idea to ask the local electricians what the inspectors want to see.
You mean like McSteve said in the first reply to the OP (Post #2), the one your tried to correct?

I guess it doesn't matter since the OP is already doing the right thing. See post #4.
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:13 PM   #11
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do I need a meter main?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
You mean like McSteve said in the first reply to the OP (Post #2), the one your tried to correct?

I guess it doesn't matter since the OP is already doing the right thing. See post #4.
Yup sry I guess the amount of different forums im subscribed to is getting to me
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:05 PM   #12
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do I need a meter main?


Our "main panel" is located about 50ft from the meter, so we have a main 200amp safety switch disconnect by the meter. The wire runs up through the attic, past a bedroom and into a utility room.

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