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-   -   Meter and disconnect. (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/meter-disconnect-19483/)

Dilligaf77 04-04-2008 05:57 AM

Meter and disconnect.
 
I called an electrician, and he came and looked at my house. He said no problem to upgrade to a 200 amp, and he will get the ball rolling. Well I was painting, and the power company shows up. They said that if the main panel is more than 5 feet from where the feed wire goes in the house it will need a disconnect. OK, and whatever, but I don't see any houses with disconnects. Is this something new. It actually sounds like a good idea.

Speedy Petey 04-04-2008 07:03 AM

This requirement has been around forever and varies from place to place.

I'd say 99% of typical homes do meet this requirement and no disconnect is installed.

Some areas actually require a disconnect regardless of distance.

CowboyAndy 04-04-2008 07:08 AM

Is the distance determined by the local codes, or is it something that is set by the NEC?

chris75 04-04-2008 07:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CowboyAndy (Post 113737)
Is the distance determined by the local codes, or is it something that is set by the NEC?

The NEC, starts at 230.70. but POCO can have their own rules as well.

Silk 04-04-2008 09:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CowboyAndy (Post 113737)
Is the distance determined by the local codes, or is it something that is set by the NEC?


This is another section of the NEC that I have a problem with. 230.70 says this:

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.

It's the word "nearest" that I have a problem with. It's fine if your putting the panel on an outside wall and punch through right behind it. It starts getting funky if it "needs" to go on an interior wall ( "needs" is for aesthetic reasons). I have 3 different inspectors with 3 different acceptable distances, one says 3 feet, one says 5 feet, and the other one pretty much agrees with whatever you decide upon within reason.

By the way, you can get around this requirement by using Section 230.6

230.6 Conductors Considered Outside the Building.
Conductors shall be considered outside of a building or other structure under any of the following conditions:
(1) Where installed under not less than 50 mm (2 in.) of concrete beneath a building or other structure
(2) Where installed within a building or other structure in a raceway that is encased in concrete or brick not less than 50 mm (2 in.) thick
(3) Where installed in any vault that meets the construction requirements of Article 450, Part III
(4) Where installed in conduit and under not less than 450 mm (18 in.) of earth beneath a building or other structure

Dilligaf77 04-04-2008 09:14 AM

They told me I could wrap the wire around the outside of the house with out a disconnect, but I had to have a disconnect if the panel was more than 5 feet from where the wire went in the house.

CowboyAndy 04-04-2008 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dilligaf77 (Post 113756)
They told me I could wrap the wire around the outside of the house with out a disconnect, but I had to have a disconnect if the panel was more than 5 feet from where the wire went in the house.

That's the same thing we were told when discussing our service upgrade a few years ago. The origional service ran inside the basement for almost 15 feet. The inspector and POCO recommended to the electrician to run on the outside, then enter and go the 3 feet to the new panel location as opposed to having a disconect at the meter and keeping the panel in the same location.

Speedy Petey 04-04-2008 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silk (Post 113752)
This is another section of the NEC that I have a problem with. ............It's the word "nearest" that I have a problem with.

This is intentionally ambiguous so local POCOs can determine their own rules.
I am surprised you AHJs are not on the same page with this. IMO it is NOT their job to interpret "nearest". It is the POCO's.




Quote:

Originally Posted by Silk (Post 113752)
By the way, you can get around this requirement by using Section 230.6

230.6 can be a pretty costly and labor intensive way to "get around" something that is usually a non-issue.
If the panel is too far in, use a meter/main. That's a LOT easier than encasing your service entrance in 2" of concrete.

Silk 04-04-2008 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speedy Petey (Post 113768)
This is intentionally ambiguous so local POCOs can determine their own rules.
I am surprised you AHJs are not on the same page with this. IMO it is NOT their job to interpret "nearest". It is the POCO's.





230.6 can be a pretty costly and labor intensive way to "get around" something that is usually a non-issue.
If the panel is too far in, use a meter/main. That's a LOT easier than encasing your service entrance in 2" of concrete.


Our utilities do not seem to be as intrusive as yours. They don't inspect panels. They never enter a house. All they care about is the proper meter base (needs to be a bypass nowdays), mounted at the proper height ( right in front of their face so they don't have to reach up. They don't even care ( or probably know) about the size SE conductors. All of this is done by the electrical inspectors. They don't even want to show up half the time because they say they're shorthanded and they tell us to cut the lines and pull the meter.

As to section 230.6, there are alot of "slab houses" around me. In floor heat in the slab is getting popular, so it's not a big deal to throw some pipe in the concrete and "hide the panel" where the homeowner wants it.

Silk 04-04-2008 10:23 AM

A little more info on our utilities. Our electrical inspectors determine if our power gets cut off, not the power company. If there is a violation, the inspector calls the power company and "tells them" to pull the meter. Our linesmen know zero code, except for their's, whatever that is. The linesmen don't want to know the NEC, they scoff at it and call all us electricians "narrowbacks". For me it works better this way because it's only the EI making the judgement calls, not the EI and the utility both.

nap 04-04-2008 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speedy Petey (Post 113768)
This is intentionally ambiguous so local POCOs can determine their own rules.
I am surprised you AHJs are not on the same page with this. IMO it is NOT their job to interpret "nearest". It is the POCO's.

.

the AHJ enforces the code. The POCO only reacts to the green tag or red tag, at least, around here.

The only thing the POCO decides is where the meter can be placed on the bldg.


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