230.70 (A) (1)

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nizak

Senior Member
Has there ever been an actual dimension(in feet) that states how far service conductors can travel inside a dwelling before they get to the panel? I'm asking in particular about type SE cable, not indv conductors in conduit. I've heard 3', and 6' but have never found either dimension in the NEC. Thanks.
 

Dennis Alwon

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Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
The is no code that states distance. The code states as near as possible to the point of entry. That being said many jurisdictions have set a limit of anywhere from 0 to 15 feet. At least that is what I have heard others say. I say 0 because some areas will not allow the se conductors to enter the building- the disco must be outside.
 

renosteinke

Senior Member
Location
NE Arkansas
This is one matter that I think the code should have addressed decades ago.

Right now, I have a house where the service conductors exit the back of the meter pan, go up through the wall, across the ceiling, and down into another wall - to a panel that lacks a main breaker. That's two walls where hanging a picture can mean putting a nail into an SE cable you simply cannot turn off (without pulling the meter).

Likewise, this same house has the cable pass through the attic - an attic that has seen at least one serious fire.

There's no excuse for bad design.
 

iwire

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Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
his is one matter that I think the code should have addressed decades ago.

Right now, I have a house where the service conductors exit the back of the meter pan, go up through the wall, across the ceiling, and down into another wall - to a panel that lacks a main breaker.

In my opinion the code does address it already, that is clearly not 'nearest the point of entrance' so it is an NEC violation.

Sounds like a lack of enforcement problem not a code problem
 

charlie b

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Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
In my opinion it is not clear, because the present wording is grammatically incorrect. The word "nearest" is an example of the superlative degree of comparison. As another example, if three golf balls are hit close to the tee, then one will be the "nearest" of the three, and the second one will be "nearer" than the third. You don't get to use the superlative degree unless you are discussing three or more objects. So if a disconnect is "nearest" the point of entry, then what two things is it nearer than?

I must admit having no knowledge of the code writer's manual of style. But I will wager that it does not have a statement to the effect that English grammar can be disregarded.
 

don_resqcapt19

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Staff member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
retired electrician
Charlie,
I would submit that it is the location of the disconnect that is nearest the point of entry and that there are an infinite number of locations that the disconnect can be placed at.
 

Smart $

Esteemed Member
Location
Ohio
Charlie,
I would submit that it is the location of the disconnect that is nearest the point of entry and that there are an infinite number of locations that the disconnect can be placed at.
That's just it. It is not just the nearest location, but the "nearest" readily-accessible location. Other readily-accessible locations likely exist, but it has to be the nearest of all.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
That's just it. It is not just the nearest location, but the "nearest" readily-accessible location. Other readily-accessible locations likely exist, but it has to be the nearest of all.
I think Charlie's grammar is getting the best (or better) of him. :lol:
 

renosteinke

Senior Member
Location
NE Arkansas
I brought this up with the town, and it's the AHJ's position that the NEC is unenforceable as it does not specify a distance, etc. Therefore, the instal was legal.

The AHJ went on to show that a local ammendment was felt necessary, and was made, that did require a disconnect at the service entrance.

Chicago -who's been in the code business longer than the NFPA - also felt it necessary to be more specific regarding the service disconnect. IIRC, the wall had to be masonry, the wires in pipe, and the disconnect on the opposite face of the same wall, with no more than six ft. of wire.
 
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