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Thread: What is a service disconnect?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craigv View Post
    But there's a lack of logic to them wanting to shut off power to the last two feet of their system...

    Actually it makes perfect sense.

    JAP>

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    Quote Originally Posted by jap View Post
    Actually it makes perfect sense.

    JAP>
    It doesn't increase safety, as the switch gear can fail just as a meter can fail. They have to use the exact same safety protocols as when installing or removing a meter. And the switch is just one more item to install hot and maintain hot. Given the lifespan of a meter, it isn't something needed at all.

    Over the past thirty years I've talked to different crews from three different states and utilities about this and other equipment. I'll go with their opinions as their lives are the ones on the line.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craigv View Post
    It doesn't increase safety, as the switch gear can fail just as a meter can fail. They have to use the exact same safety protocols as when installing or removing a meter. And the switch is just one more item to install hot and maintain hot. Given the lifespan of a meter, it isn't something needed at all.

    Over the past thirty years I've talked to different crews from three different states and utilities about this and other equipment. I'll go with their opinions as their lives are the ones on the line.
    That's a very odd way of looking at a safety aspect, and, I respectfully disagree.

    Plus that leaves 47 States that evidently you didn't speak to because it's in affect in our area.

    JAP>

  4. #24
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    JAP, Perhaps that is why I am trying to have this discussion. I mean, There may be an actual safety reason to have a disconnect at either the meter or an a building wall on the outside, rather than bringing the service conductors to the main panel. Especially when the authorities are already suggesting a code to make you bring the main panel and any other panels from the exterior walls to interior walls, preferably in hallways. Originally, my thought was they just wanted to move the panels out of bedrooms and kitchens, but then after living there during rainy season I realized just how much problems there could be with water migration through the concrete if the rainy season lasted for too long, due to the style of construction. It really made me appreciate the double wall style building we do in both America and the UK, and just how much that void actually helps with water migration.

    But, that means an extra eight to fifteen feet of conduit which is run into the structure of the building. Yes, it is run within concrete, but, it is still extra distance.

    So, the more I think on it, the more I am considering that it may be a good thing to include the disconnect on the outside, fused even, and run from there as a feeder, using four wires, as you can then set your multiple service bonding and grounding spot below it, and the POCO can make sure there is nothing hinky going on with the homeowner trying to bypass the meter... all on the outside...
    What would the cost be then in extra wire at the higher calculation from that spot to the main panel? Not much more, because it is just the ground which can be smaller than the live wires...

    Of course, that still leaves unanswered the question as to the rating of that outside disconnect... If the house will have 125 amp bus bars in the panels, then should the outside disconnect be rated at the same 125 amps or should it be rated for only the fuses and the main breaker the homeowner puts in when first installed? In many cases 60 amps in Jamaica...
    My own believe is the wires and the switch should be run for the busbar rating, because it is too easy for them to just switch the breaker, but... Am I correct?
    Student of electrical codes. Please Take others advice first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jap View Post
    That's a very odd way of looking at a safety aspect, and, I respectfully disagree.

    Plus that leaves 47 States that evidently you didn't speak to because it's in affect in our area.

    JAP>
    And I'm fine with that, as well as with your disagreement. It's my opinion, based upon my experiences and those related to me by other professionals. There's room for everyone.

    It's Friday, the sun is finally shining, and I've got a lawn to mow. When I'm done let's have a beer, first round is on me.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craigv View Post
    And I'm fine with that, as well as with your disagreement. It's my opinion, based upon my experiences and those related to me by other professionals. There's room for everyone.

    It's Friday, the sun is finally shining, and I've got a lawn to mow. When I'm done let's have a beer, first round is on me.
    It's raining here, but, I picked up my walnuts and mowed last night, so all in all its a beautiful day.

    Have a good one.

    JAP>

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adamjamma View Post
    JAP, Perhaps that is why I am trying to have this discussion. I mean, There may be an actual safety reason to have a disconnect at either the meter or an a building wall on the outside, rather than bringing the service conductors to the main panel. Especially when the authorities are already suggesting a code to make you bring the main panel and any other panels from the exterior walls to interior walls, preferably in hallways. Originally, my thought was they just wanted to move the panels out of bedrooms and kitchens, but then after living there during rainy season I realized just how much problems there could be with water migration through the concrete if the rainy season lasted for too long, due to the style of construction. It really made me appreciate the double wall style building we do in both America and the UK, and just how much that void actually helps with water migration.

    But, that means an extra eight to fifteen feet of conduit which is run into the structure of the building. Yes, it is run within concrete, but, it is still extra distance.

    So, the more I think on it, the more I am considering that it may be a good thing to include the disconnect on the outside, fused even, and run from there as a feeder, using four wires, as you can then set your multiple service bonding and grounding spot below it, and the POCO can make sure there is nothing hinky going on with the homeowner trying to bypass the meter... all on the outside...
    What would the cost be then in extra wire at the higher calculation from that spot to the main panel? Not much more, because it is just the ground which can be smaller than the live wires...

    Of course, that still leaves unanswered the question as to the rating of that outside disconnect... If the house will have 125 amp bus bars in the panels, then should the outside disconnect be rated at the same 125 amps or should it be rated for only the fuses and the main breaker the homeowner puts in when first installed? In many cases 60 amps in Jamaica...
    My own believe is the wires and the switch should be run for the busbar rating, because it is too easy for them to just switch the breaker, but... Am I correct?
    I can't imagine a rational reason for allowing conductors that aren't sized to handle the maximum load permitted by the equipment. If safety really is the concern, the cost difference shouldn't be an overriding factor.

    And the cost of buying a 60 amp main breaker then a 125 amp main breaker to replace later is likely going to be far higher than just sizing the conductors properly. Main breakers are cheap when included in most residential loadcenters, but often cost more than the entire loadcenter.

  8. #28
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    Well, you are right, in USA homecenters and electrical outlets, and in the UK... it costs not much more to buy a complete panel kit that has everything in it basically compared to buying the panel itself... with no breakers. But then you get killed in breaker costs.
    However, in Jamaica everything is separate. You are talking about a country where you buy a mop or a rake or a broom, it does not come with handle. that is extra. You cannot buy panels with breakers or main breakers installed. Plus, many homes are actually built with a 60 amp or less main breaker. If you intend to connect a residential service that is more than 60 amps it must include electrical drawings and calculations. But less than 60 amps and not needed.
    That said, the average Jamaican residence is able to be run often times on four circuits... one running the lights and two in the kitchen and one for the rest of the outlets... because your average Jamaican may have one tv, on radio, a few lamps and one to two fans... No AC, No cookstoves, and probably not even a microwave. Many times there are only two outlets in a bedroom and part of that is the cost... Jamaican electricians do their wiring based upon points... every spot where a light switch, outlet box, or light is set is a point, and you get charged dearly by some of the electricians.

    But, that is expected to change when and if the island adopts the NEC codes. However, there is still the believe that many of the trade centers make their money by going to Miami and buying the panel box kits with breakers in them, then bringing them into Jamaica and taking everything apart, then charging the prices based on if they had bought it all separate in Miami and then paid full duty at the wharf in Jamaica... know that is what happens with the tools many times...because I never had to buy a shovel handle or a pick handle in the states..they always came with the tool.
    Student of electrical codes. Please Take others advice first.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adamjamma View Post
    Well, you are right, in USA homecenters and electrical outlets, and in the UK... it costs not much more to buy a complete panel kit that has everything in it basically compared to buying the panel itself... with no breakers. But then you get killed in breaker costs.
    However, in Jamaica everything is separate. You are talking about a country where you buy a mop or a rake or a broom, it does not come with handle. that is extra. You cannot buy panels with breakers or main breakers installed. Plus, many homes are actually built with a 60 amp or less main breaker. If you intend to connect a residential service that is more than 60 amps it must include electrical drawings and calculations. But less than 60 amps and not needed.
    That said, the average Jamaican residence is able to be run often times on four circuits... one running the lights and two in the kitchen and one for the rest of the outlets... because your average Jamaican may have one tv, on radio, a few lamps and one to two fans... No AC, No cookstoves, and probably not even a microwave. Many times there are only two outlets in a bedroom and part of that is the cost... Jamaican electricians do their wiring based upon points... every spot where a light switch, outlet box, or light is set is a point, and you get charged dearly by some of the electricians.

    But, that is expected to change when and if the island adopts the NEC codes. However, there is still the believe that many of the trade centers make their money by going to Miami and buying the panel box kits with breakers in them, then bringing them into Jamaica and taking everything apart, then charging the prices based on if they had bought it all separate in Miami and then paid full duty at the wharf in Jamaica... know that is what happens with the tools many times...because I never had to buy a shovel handle or a pick handle in the states..they always came with the tool.
    Yep, I know how it rolls in these places. Seller's market. But the fact remains that people will do what you let them. Make the rules, or don't. Someone must decide and then do the hard work of making it stick. People are resourceful, especially at finding "alternate routes"....

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