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Old 10-09-2009, 08:32 PM   #1
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Two services in one building legal?


I am looking at leasing a building that has two electrical services in it. One panel is a 200 amp and the other is a 100 amp, which are two feet apart, but separated by a stud wall with 3/8" plywood on one side, the other 1/2" Sheetrock. The other thing is the bathroom needs to be upgraded to an ADA compliant bathroom. The current bathroom is very small. There is just enough room for the sink and toilet. We are looking to knock out a wall in a hallway to enlarge the room to satisfy the ADA, but here is the problem;
1. After the wall is removed, the 200 amp service panel will be in the bathroom.
2. To move the service panel to the nearest suitable location, which is 12' away, will possibly remove the grandfathered dual electric services.
3. The owner of the building wants to be able to lease both halves of the building if we were to leave.

Will moving the service the 12 feet require the other service to be removed to bring it up to current code for virginia? It will cost me $1200 to move it.

The other option is moving the bathroom away from the service, which will cost me even more.

Will moving the panel cause me trouble as I noted above?

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Old 10-09-2009, 09:59 PM   #2
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Two services in one building legal?


Not quite sure what you are asking...

But whatever changes you make will need to be done so the two separate spaces can still be readily restored, with their separate electric service and breaker box (in each space), by replacing the wall - or at the end of the lease you will have to do whatever is needed to make it so.

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Old 10-09-2009, 10:02 PM   #3
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Two services in one building legal?


well, I don't know Virginia code but based on NEC, two questions:

are both services the same voltages?

is there some reason you cannot feed the 100 amp panel from the 200 amp panel?

make that 3 (or so):

Quote:
3. The owner of the building wants to be able to lease both halves of the building if we were to leave.
both halves? is the building split into 2 tenant spaces? Are the two services in a common room?
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:10 PM   #4
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Two services in one building legal?


your local code official will be able to answer the multiple service question. i know we do tenant fit-outs all the time and they frequently have different sized services depending on need - i dont see it being an issue but different places have different codes.
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:15 PM   #5
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Two services in one building legal?


Why not flip the panel 180 to be on the other side of the wall, then in the Bath. Find out what the cost will be for that possibility, other wise, will have to locate nearer to a rear entrance, with all wires that cannot reached extended from a Junction point to get them there.
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:26 PM   #6
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Two services in one building legal?


if bath panel is in a commercial building and is not service equipment location should not be an issue as long as you meet all your clearances
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Old 10-10-2009, 06:25 AM   #7
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Two services in one building legal?


The "dual services" are not a problem, at least in most places as long as they are right near each other.

Location IS an issue. A panel cannot be located in a bathroom. Period.
That is an instant fail when you get all this inspected. Greg's suggestion of flipping the panel around is the best one if it is a partition wall and the panel has to stay on that wall.

Don't you have an on-site contractor to advise you on this stuff? Surely you are not doing this yourself in a commercial setting.
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Old 10-10-2009, 08:51 AM   #8
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Two services in one building legal?


Speedy-I agree with service grouped in one location w/ up to six operations of the hand but i disagree with location being an issue check out 230.70a2 you can't have service discon in bath period,also check out 240.24e overcurrent devices can be located in bath except for dwelling and guest room of hotels and motels
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:20 AM   #9
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Two services in one building legal?


dual services are a problem. NEC only allows dual services under certain allowances.

Mind you, I am speaking of dual services as having two service entrance feeds. Having one service entrance feed to 2 panels in (very) close proximity is not a problem due to the 6 disco rule. I am taking the question at face value that there are actually 2 different services, which would mean 2 service entrance feeds, 2 meters. That is a problem. It is only allowed by code under certain conditions. That is why I asked the questions that I did.

my take on the flipping the panel 180 (could be wrong but this is what is in my head):

I think that may put the panel outside of the building. He is expanding a bathroom and that is when the one panel becomes inside the bathroom. I would think the service is on an exterior wall and when they move the bathroom wall, it puts it between the two service panels. I would suggest moving the panel to the new wall so the panel would be perpendicular to the position it is in now.

Quote:
trex Speedy-I agree with service grouped in one location w/ up to six operations of the hand but i disagree with location being an issue check out 230.70a2 you can't have service discon in bath period,also check out 240.24e overcurrent devices can be located in bath except for dwelling and guest room of hotels and motels
240 is overcurrent devices, NOT services. The rules of 230 apply to services and they state that a service disconnect cannot be in a bathroom. That means you can have an overcurrent device in bathroom of a commerical/industrial application but you still cannot have a service disconnect. A service disconnect is not even necessarily an overcurrent device. It is only required to be a disconnect.


and to summitchief:


why is this costing you? I would think the owner should be taking care of the non-ADA compliant situation. It would need to be done whether you rent or somebody else rents it so it is a problem not specifically created by your tenancy, at least as I read your situation.

Last edited by nap; 10-10-2009 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:19 AM   #10
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Two services in one building legal?


Quote:
Originally Posted by trex View Post
Speedy-I agree with service grouped in one location w/ up to six operations of the hand but i disagree with location being an issue check out 230.70a2 you can't have service discon in bath period,also check out 240.24e overcurrent devices can be located in bath except for dwelling and guest room of hotels and motels
That is exactly what I said.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:15 PM   #11
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Two services in one building legal?


The ADA compliant bathroom is required for the change of use for the building. As per my lease, the costs to comply with a change of use are mine. I've had two contractors' tell me the panel could be covered. The other two said no way.

Both services are the same voltage. This building was built in 1957 and was designed as a one or two unit dwelling.

I have talked to the local building official and he told me he should be talking to an electrician. My reply was that I wanted to be an educated consumer, and deserved the right to know what way was right to keep from experiencing a work stoppage due to someone not doing their homework.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:44 PM   #12
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Two services in one building legal?


there is no question about it; a service disconnect is not allowed in a bathroom. That panel will have to be moved.


as to maintaining two services;

there is an exception to the 1 service entrance only under certain conditions. One of them being, each tenant can have a seperate service drop. Generally it is required the services be in each respective tenant space but they can be placed in a common room. Since the LL wants to maintain 2 services so due to the possibility of 2 tenant spaces, maybe the inspector may agree.

Not sure of the layout of the building but it sounds like it may actually be split building now. If so, separate services may be acceptable.

If not, how about disconnecting the smaller panel from a service entrance and feeding it from the 200 amp panel. All of the outside parts can be left intact so it can be converted back easily should it be needed as such in the future.

I guess the best advice I could give you is to speak with the local inspector. Since it is he who determines what is acceptable and what isn't, his input would be extremely valuable.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:47 PM   #13
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Two services in one building legal?


Quote:
Originally Posted by summitchief View Post
The ADA compliant bathroom is required for the change of use for the building. As per my lease, the costs to comply with a change of use are mine. I've had two contractors' tell me the panel could be covered. The other two said no way.

Both services are the same voltage. This building was built in 1957 and was designed as a one or two unit dwelling.

I have talked to the local building official and he told me he should be talking to an electrician. My reply was that I wanted to be an educated consumer, and deserved the right to know what way was right to keep from experiencing a work stoppage due to someone not doing their homework.
OMG you actually expect the building department to help you? I mean, it's only your money that pays their salaries and you expect some kind of return on your investment??
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:48 PM   #14
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Two services in one building legal?


For some reason, this comes to mind:



As long as it has a door to close it, it should be good. j/k
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:26 PM   #15
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Two services in one building legal?


Thanks to all who replied.

I will get a inspector to look my building this week and I will post what was said.

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