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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have enjoyed reading some great info on this site and have my own question:

I have a property that currently has no power to it. I have built a 40x60 metal shop and there is an existing house we are gutting and remodeling.

I want to get power to the shop first and then run to the house in about 6 months. The house is about 75 feet from the shop.

The poco is bringing underground to the shop where I have a 320/400 meter http://www.milbankmfg.com/products/Catalogs/CatalogFiles/PDF/1797.pdf . The shop has a 200A main disconnect panel and the house will have also have a 200A main disconnect panel.

Since I am going to delay running power to the house until we get it ready, my thoughts are as follows:

1) I can run only the shop from the meter. When it comes time to hook up the house, I will need the poco to open the meter again and then do the house connect.

2) I could run a main disconnect out of the meter and then do the house connection when ready. This would avoid having the poco have to get into the meter again.

My questions are :


A) Am I ok with not providing a main disconnect (option#1) from the meter to the house? The main panel in the house will be the disconnect but of course the line from the meter to the house will be "unprotected". I have read that there is "no limit" on the run length (given proper wire sizing) between meter and panel on outside runs. I am open to whether this is correct information or not.

A) any other thoughts or gotchas I need to consider?

Thanks for any info.
 

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Lic Electrical Inspector
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What state are you in?
 

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The services will need to be grouped. You could mount 2 disconnects at the pole for this. You would then run 4 wire feeders to each building.

With the disconnect at the pole you could leave the breaker turned off until the house was ready for power.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
The services will need to be grouped. You could mount 2 disconnects at the pole for this. You would then run 4 wire feeders to each building.

With the disconnect at the pole you could leave the breaker turned off until the house was ready for power.

Jim, thanks.

Here is a photo showing the outgoing feed - similar in concept to what I am doing - ***not my picture***. The meter is mounted on my shop - my incoming feed is underground. One feed is going to the 200A main breaker panel in the shop through the back of the meter box via an 8" nipple, the other will go to the 200A main breaker panel at the house - underground about 75 feet away. My question is "do I need a disconnect between the meter and the house? I know it would be advantageous as I wouldn't have to have the POCO come back out to pull the meter so I could connect in the box when I am ready to make the run to the house, but is it required? And if anyone could point me to code, that would be beneficial - I am always up for education.
 

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Read NEC Article 230.70 and 230.72.
 

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That is the way it is interpreted here. I set 2 4/0 cables here for a house and a future barn. The disco and a panel sit next to each other in the garage.

I also had one where the service needed to move and add a panel for an addition. Same thing, different jurisdiction. Two 4/0s out of meter into side by side panel and disco. The disco fed the old panel at the other end of the house (old service panel).
 

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Personally I would prefer a meter main. That said, I was am under the impression that service conductors outside the structure or underground do not require a disconnect or an OCPD until they enter the structure.
 

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What I did for the last one, was meter, disconnect on each side of the meter, then feed to each panel in the house.
Inspector happy, HO happy, Poco hapy, me happy with the pay!!!
 

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Lic Electrical Inspector
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electures - if that is a joke, then the answer is "anywhere but new jersey"

if it's not a joke, the answer is "texas". :)

1texasguy
Wow! I completely missed that one!:yes: I love the Great Police State of New Jersey! (NOT!).
 

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This will get little trickier to deal with class 320 service ( you have to check the POCO for their specs on this one before you get the meter socket on this size )

There are few way you can do this is .,,

Choice *1

Have a 320/400 meter socket and have a load centre for your shop and have a disconnect switch next to it for the house when you bring it in later { you will have to use 4 conductor feeder to the hosue panel and you can not use the same size conductor as from meter to main breaker this will get you if not carefull }

Choice *2

Have meter/main combo. This set up will have two main breakers right below the meter socket and have one breaker for your shop panel and second breaker to the house panel { just make sure you are aware that you will need 4 conductor for both panels }

Choice *3 ( only if POCO appprove this load centre )

Have a 400 amp all in one panel which you will have one part is your load centre and second main breaker to the house.


Merci,
Marc
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks to everyone for input.

This will get little trickier to deal with class 320 service ( you have to check the POCO for their specs on this one before you get the meter socket on this size )

There are few way you can do this is .,,

Choice *1

Have a 320/400 meter socket and have a load centre for your shop and have a disconnect switch next to it for the house when you bring it in later { you will have to use 4 conductor feeder to the hosue panel and you can not use the same size conductor as from meter to main breaker this will get you if not carefull }



Merci,
Marc
Question - why a 4 conductor feed to the house? And the bigger question that also shows my ignorance is what is the 4th one for and where does it connect? :)

The photo above shows what appears to be normal (3 conductor) 200A supply lines from the meter.

FYI - for those concerned, I will have my electrician do the hook-up - I am just doing the planning and getting the physical pieces in place at this time. I know my limitations.
 

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Any panel after the service needs to be fed with 4 wires, 2 hots, an insulated neutral and a grounding conductor. The neutrals and grounds will be isolated in any panel that is not service equipment.
 

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thanks to everyone for input.



Question - why a 4 conductor feed to the house? And the bigger question that also shows my ignorance is what is the 4th one for and where does it connect? :)

The photo above shows what appears to be normal (3 conductor) 200A supply lines from the meter.

FYI - for those concerned, I will have my electrician do the hook-up - I am just doing the planning and getting the physical pieces in place at this time. I know my limitations.
To understand this better you have to know that there are service conductors and feeders.
Service conductors are not protected by a breaker
Feeder are protected by breaker.
In your picture the wires leaving the meter base are unprotected wires and go somewhere to a Service panel the is Labeled and Listed as Service Equipment. You do not have to carry a ground with these wires.
Feeders are connected to a breaker in a service panel and you have to carry the ground along with the three conductors. If the feeders go to a detached structure that structure will also require ground rods.
 

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thanks to everyone for input.



Question - why a 4 conductor feed to the house? And the bigger question that also shows my ignorance is what is the 4th one for and where does it connect? :)

The photo above shows what appears to be normal (3 conductor) 200A supply lines from the meter.

FYI - for those concerned, I will have my electrician do the hook-up - I am just doing the planning and getting the physical pieces in place at this time. I know my limitations.
It is my opinion that the service conductors leaving the meter and going underground to the house(three conductor) do not need a disconnect or OCPD until they reach the house at which point you would have a service disconnecting means and establish the grounding electrode system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
To understand this better you have to know that there are service conductors and feeders.
Service conductors are not protected by a breaker
Feeder are protected by breaker.
In your picture the wires leaving the meter base are unprotected wires and go somewhere to a Service panel the is Labeled and Listed as Service Equipment. You do not have to carry a ground with these wires.
Feeders are connected to a breaker in a service panel and you have to carry the ground along with the three conductors. If the feeders go to a detached structure that structure will also require ground rods.

yes. and much thanks for the clarification on terminology.

here is the way I thought it would/should go:

service conductors from POCO to exterior meter on shop

3 wire feed from meter (this would be a service conductor) to interior main disconnect breaker panel in shop (backs up to the meter via 8" nipple) - grounding rod at the shop for the shop panel

3 wire feed from meter (this would be a service conductor) to interior main disconnect breaker panel in house which is a detached structure from the meter (75 foot underground run from meter to panel) - grounding rod at house for the house panel.

while it may be a good idea to add a disco between the meter and the house feed, most info I have read says it is likely not required.

I am confused on the "4 wire" terminology. Is the 4th wire the CU wire I will run from the panel to the ground rod? If so, I am clear. ANd if so, my understanding is I will just do a ground rod at each structure and connect at the panel for that structure.


It is my opinion that the service conductors leaving the meter and going underground to the house(three conductor) do not need a disconnect or OCPD until they reach the house at which point you would have a service disconnecting means and establish the grounding electrode system.

yes, this was my thought also. Do you know if this would be a NEC allowance or is my local inspector going to make this call?
 

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The 4th wire is a grounding conductor. It would go in the auxillary ground bar along with the conductor to the ground rods and the circuit grounding conductors.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The 4th wire is a grounding conductor. It would go in the auxillary ground bar along with the conductor to the ground rods and the circuit grounding conductors.

exellent Jim. That helps me greatly. I have referred to it as 3 wire and a grounding wire - I guess that makes 4. You just helped me double my knowledge. :) Thanks.
 

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I am confused on the "4 wire" terminology. Is the 4th wire the CU wire I will run from the panel to the ground rod? If so, I am clear. ANd if so, my understanding is I will just do a ground rod at each structure and connect at the panel for that structure.
The copper wire that goes from your panel to the ground rod is called the Grounding Electrode Conductor and is not part of a required 4 wire feed.
 
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