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230.71(A)

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    230.71(A)

    If a service switchboard has no main breaker, has 6 breakers that supply loads, and has one provisioned space for a possible future breaker, does this violate the cited article? To be specific, I am asking whether the provisioned space counts the same as it would if there were a breaker installed?

    My answer is yes, this is a violation. I am seeing this installation in the plans for a remodel project that I am reviewing. I want to get a few other opinions before I write this up as a design review comment.
    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

    #2
    I say no, what happens later is not an issue. If I need a 75 amp fused feed I will have to use a 100 amp safety switch, I can not stop someone from coming along later and installing 100 amp fuses.

    Roger
    Moderator

    Comment


      #3
      I say no. That space could later be used for a breaker for surge protection, power monitoring, etc or any of the functions that are not to be considered service disconnecting means in 230.71(A).

      Comment


        #4
        I also say no. There is no wording saying there cannot be extra spaces, or must be "only" 6 spaces or less.

        The majority of times I have used MLO panelboards, they can have more than 6 breakers.
        Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

        "You can't generalize"

        Comment


          #5
          I have to agree with others and I have done this myself at remote structures. The violation occurs when someone adds the seventh breaker not when you do it correctly. Many of the resi panel are called 12-24panels. This means it will take 6 dp breakers (12 spaces) or 12 twins (24 spaces). If you put 6 dp breakers in the panel it will seem full but someone can come in there and add a twin dp breaker. You can't control everything
          They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
          She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
          I can't help it if I'm lucky

          Comment


            #6
            I say no also. As David sated there are exceptions to the 6 disconnect rule that may be applied in the future.
            Rob

            Moderator

            All responses based on the 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted

            Comment


              #7
              I look at it as "chocking on a gnat and swallowing an elephant".. The fact that are able to overload the service conductors by increasing the load on the MLO panel with 6 breakers,seems a bigger risk than adding a second breaker.
              The load increase can happen with no qualified individual involved where as adding a breaker hopefully will involve someone looking at the load or someone familiar with the Code knowing not to do so.
              At my age, I'm accustomed to restaurants asking me to pay in advance, but now my bank has started sending me their calendar one month at a time.

              Comment


                #8
                You may want to check the UL listing of the equipment. As outdated as it is, I believe their wording something like Suitable for Use as Service Entrance Equipment when provided with not more than 6 devices.
                Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

                Comment


                  #9
                  So, the poll results are:[LIST][*]One vote "yes" (mine).[*]5 votes "no" (probably just uninformed bystanders ).[*]2 votes "present" (persons smart enough not to disagree with me).[/LIST]

                  Obviously, I won!

                  What I decided to do with the design review comment was to point out the disparity between the design package's one-line drawings. They instruct the contractor to disconnect and remove a load and the one existing breaker that serves it, both of which appear on the "existing" one-line. But the "remodel" one-line shows the load removed, but the breaker was not deleted. Also, the "existing" one-line shows the provisioned space that I mention in my OP. The "remodel" one-line has deleted that item, even though the contractor is not being directed to remove it. So I see an opportunity for a change order when the contractor reports the unclear instructions. In deference to the 5 "uninformed bystanders" who chose to disagree with me , my comment did not mention the possibility that the design might create a code violation.

                  Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
                  Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by charlie b View Post
                    But the "remodel" one-line shows the load removed, but the breaker was not deleted. [/FONT][/SIZE]


                    It would seem to me, the way the rule is written, that you could have a whole panel full of breakers in the Service Panel as long as it only took 6 movements to shut the service down.

                    No reason to have to delete any spare breakers that may happen to be in it.

                    JAP>

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
                      The violation occurs when someone adds the seventh breaker.
                      It's not the addition of the 7th breaker that would trigger the violation.

                      There wouldn't be a violation if the 7th breaker or 8th breaker or 9th breaker wasn't part of the maximum 6 movements used to shut the service down.

                      JAP>

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jap View Post
                        There wouldn't be a violation if the 7th breaker or 8th breaker or 9th breaker wasn't part of the maximum 6 movements used to shut the service down.
                        Thus split-bus panels.
                        Master Electrician
                        Electrical Contractor
                        Richmond, VA

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Just hurry up and get that installed before the 2020 code is adopted. Multiple service disconnects in a common enclosure will not be permitted in the 2020 code.
                          Don, Illinois
                          (All code citations are 2017 unless otherwise noted)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jim dungar View Post
                            You may want to check the UL listing of the equipment. As outdated as it is, I believe their wording something like Suitable for Use as Service Entrance Equipment when provided with not more than 6 devices.
                            I did this with an I-Line panel once, and that wording or something very similar was involved. Thing with an I line panel is there is no "spaces" there is breaker mounting space. 225 and below devices typically take up 4.6 inches, larger devices will take more mounting space. In the one I had I recall having 2-400 amp devices and 2-125 amp devices, and enough space that one could easily go over 6 disconnects if you put in as many 225 amp or below devices as would physically fit, but if you put in all 400 amp devices you may not have gotten much more than 6 in there. This also had a 1200 amp sub feed lug kit installed to be used as main lugs, which was all they would sell me for main lug options at that time anyway.

                            Originally posted by don_resqcapt19 View Post
                            Just hurry up and get that installed before the 2020 code is adopted. Multiple service disconnects in a common enclosure will not be permitted in the 2020 code.
                            I heard that was coming. What about existing installations, especially if there is say 4 breakers existing and you want to add #5 and or #6?
                            I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by kwired View Post
                              ...
                              I heard that was coming. What about existing installations, especially if there is say 4 breakers existing and you want to add #5 and or #6?
                              I would say you can't add those additional disconnects. There is no exception to the rule that would permit that. Here is the language from the Second Draft Report.
                              230.71 Maximum Number of Disconnects.

                              Each service shall have only one disconnecting means unless the requirements of 230.71(B) are met.


                              (A) General.
                              For the purpose of this section, disconnecting means installed as part of listed equipment and used solely for the following shall not be considered a service disconnecting means: [LIST=1][*]Power monitoring equipment[*]Surge-protective device(s)[*]Control circuit of the ground-fault protection system[*]Power-operable service disconnecting means [/LIST]




                              (B) Two to Six Service Disconnecting Means.
                              Two to six service disconnects shall be permitted for each service permitted by 230.2 or for each set of service-entrance conductors permitted by 230.40, Exception No. 1, 3, 4, or 5. The two to six service disconnecting means shall be permitted to consist of a combination of any of the following:[LIST=1][*]Separate enclosures with a main service disconnecting means in each enclosure[*]Panelboards with a main service disconnecting means in each panelboard enclosure[*]Switchboard(s) where there is only one service disconnect in each separate vertical section where there are barriers separating each vertical section[*]Service disconnects in switchgear or metering centers where each disconnect is located in a separate compartment[/LIST]
                              Don, Illinois
                              (All code citations are 2017 unless otherwise noted)

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