code compliant or not?

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
A solar contractor I sub for wants to do something I'm not sure is code compliant. Tell me what you think.

House has an underground fed meter on one side of house and main panel on the other side. Cable from meter to panel goes underground in conduit but it might just be a sleeve for a direct bury cable. There is no disco at meter. Solar contractor wants to put in a line side tap near the meter. They are asking that I intercept the cable from the meter to the panel in a j-box where they can tap. Compliant? I'm thinking if I touch this, I need to install a main disco at meter prior to the j-box.

Thoughts?
 

ggunn

PE (Electrical), NABCEP certified
Location
Austin, TX, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer - Photovoltaic Systems
A solar contractor I sub for wants to do something I'm not sure is code compliant. Tell me what you think.

House has an underground fed meter on one side of house and main panel on the other side. Cable from meter to panel goes underground in conduit but it might just be a sleeve for a direct bury cable. There is no disco at meter. Solar contractor wants to put in a line side tap near the meter. They are asking that I intercept the cable from the meter to the panel in a j-box where they can tap. Compliant? I'm thinking if I touch this, I need to install a main disco at meter prior to the j-box.

Thoughts?
Why? Electrically there's no difference between this and a "nornal" line side connection on the supply side of the MDP. Of course a local code revision may now say that there has to be a disco at the meter and you could be subject to "you touch it you fix it".
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
My thinking was that a disco is required if the cable from meter to panel is greater than x feet (which locally is 5 feet). I'm not sure this rule applies if the cable is underground. I've never seen the cable taken underground. It usually goes through the attic. I'm assuming a disco is required and an inspector will fail the tap because there is no disco.
 

pv_n00b

Senior Member
Location
CA, USA
You don't say if it goes underground under the house or around the house. As long as it does not enter the building you should be good. If it goes under the building then you need to look at 230.6 to determine if it is considered outside the building or not. If it's considered inside the building then it's a case of, if you touch it you are responsible for fixing prior code issues.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
retired electrician
Our utility would require a disconnect for the solar system at the meter, but assuming the existing installation is complaint, you would not be required to do anything with the existing service. Even if your area is on the 2020 code the addition of the line side connection would not trigger the requirement for an outside disconnect, (at least that is how I read 230.85)
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
Location
Northern California
Occupation
Solar and Energy Storage Installer
The solar part is compliant. Yes of course there would he a fused disco between the tap and the solar system.

Whether the existing installation is compliant is a little less clear, but if the cable goes under then it seems to be.

Grounding could be a source of contention.
 
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