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Old 06-27-2008, 08:52 PM   #1
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


hi all, trying to sell my house and the inspectors wrote that there was no disconnecting means at electrical service entrance. My home was built in 1986 and from my understaing this is a pretty new code. Is my house grandfathered in? or does this need to be fixed? If it does need to be fixed I was quoted $1000 for an electrician to do it. Is this a reasonable price?


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Old 06-27-2008, 09:39 PM   #2
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


If it it was not a code when your house was built, then you should not be required to update to current codes (unless local rules apply).
The buyer will try to use this as a way to reduce the asking price. Ask the inspector to cite the code requiring you to update the disconnect.

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Old 06-27-2008, 11:07 PM   #3
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


this is not a new requirement. The oldest code book I have handy is 1993 and it was code then and I am fairly certain is was code for quite a few years before that. I would really have to do some digging to find a1984 NEC (they go in 3 year cycles with the newest being 2008 so figure backwards from there and you would have an '84 code during this time) but I really believe it was code back then.

So, do you have to upgrade?


If the inspector says you do, chances are youdo. Many areas require a house to be brought up to current codes when they are sold. It is not unusual nor new.

Yes, it is a local thing everywhere I have seen that does require it. It is not an electrical code thing but a building code thing.

$1000 does seem a bit salty though.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:18 PM   #4
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


Just out of curiosity, can you describe what you have?

From what I gather, you have an electric meter on the outside of your house. There's a service cable running from the meter can to the electric panel inside. The panel doesn't have a main disconnecting breaker inside it?

The inspector is right, there needs to be a disconnecting means either outside the house or inside the house. It is code and has been for some time. Whether or not the house has to be brought up to code prior to sale would depend on the lender and local practices.

I can tell you that I wouldn't buy a house that didn't have a disconnecting means. In the event of an emergency you need to be able to kill the power to the building, and it makes servicing the panel easier.

$1000 seems a bit steep, but probably not by much. An exterior disconnect could be installed with minimal effort in most cases, and would involve some internal wiring configuration changes in the panel as well. A competent electrician could knock it out before lunch.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:50 PM   #5
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


Inspectors?.....as in real estate home inspectors? Or inspectors as in local codes department inspectors? Dollars to donuts you have a split bus panel and the 6 disconnect rule applies to it and the inspectors are home/real estate type.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:56 PM   #6
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


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Inspectors?.....as in real estate home inspectors? Or inspectors as in local codes department inspectors? Dollars to donuts you have a split bus panel and the 6 disconnect rule applies to it and the inspectors are home/real estate type.
You just might be right there, stubbie.
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:10 AM   #7
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


Hi Nap

Seems like a good possibility that he is going off a home inspector not seeing a remote single disconnect or main panel with main breaker. Split bus panels are often called for not having a "main" by those unfamiliar with the use of 6 throws in the upper part of the panel substantiating the requirement as a disconnect.

BTW I know that you know all that ......

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Old 06-28-2008, 06:14 AM   #8
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


As Stubbie said if your panels look like any of these, then you have a split-buss and you're fine.
no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance-20086517138_splitbusfpe.jpg

no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance-200865171151_splitbuscutlerhammer.jpg

no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance-200865171423_splitbusge.jpg

no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance-200865171850_splitbussqd2.jpg

no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance-200865171617_splitbusmurray.jpg
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:49 AM   #9
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


1986??? I'm gonna have to question a split-buss panel. Although anything is possible.

There HAS to be something somewhere. Period.



IF it has to be fixed it will cost $1000. FOR WHAT? How do you know something has to be fixed? Did someone come and look at it to give you that quote?
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:51 AM   #10
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


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1986??? I'm gonna have to question a split-buss panel. Although anything is possible.

There HAS to be something somewhere. Period.



IF it has to be fixed it will cost $1000. FOR WHAT? How do you know something has to be fixed? Did someone come and look at it to give you that quote?
Maybe the inspector recommended his brother to come fix the problem.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:22 AM   #11
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


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Maybe the inspector recommended his brother to come fix the problem.
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:00 PM   #12
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


Isn't all panels split buss? L1 & L2.
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:10 PM   #13
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


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Isn't all panels split buss? L1 & L2.

boo hiss boo hiss Also, I must confess, I got those pics from www.inspectorsjournal.com Which, I believe, this HI was citing the same "issue"
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:28 PM   #14
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


How could those panels be compliant when all of them had more than six handle throws. What am I missing here? Please enlighten me.
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:34 PM   #15
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


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How could those panels be compliant when all of them had more than six handle throws. What am I missing here? Please enlighten me.
I am not overly familiar with split bus panels but all those pictured previously had 4 or fewer throws to shut down the entire panel. One looked like it may be possible to have 6 but not sure of that even.

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