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Thread: 230.71(A)

  1. #1
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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.

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    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
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    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).

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    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"

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    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



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    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 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted

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    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.

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    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.

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


    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.

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    Quote 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>

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