New 230.71 Rules vs 225.33 Rules - 2020

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Senior Member
Asking here as without a paid NFPA membership, I don't see how I can find out this early in the game, before the new book is printed. 230.71 (draft below) is being updated to further restrict the use of the 6 switch rule for services. I am wondering if there will be updated rules in the 2020 NEC for section 225.33 that will in essence be the same as the new rules for 230.71, or is 225.33 going to continue as its own section with less stringent requirements?

Here is the text of the new 230.71 rule:

(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:

(1) Separate enclosures with a main service disconnecting means in each enclosure

(2) Panelboards with a main service disconnecting means in each panelboard

(3) A service disconnect in a switchboard where there is only one service disconnect in an enclosure

(4) A service disconnect in switchgear that is located in its own separate compartment

Informational Note: See 408.36, Exception No. 3, for service equipment in certain panelboards, and

see 430.95 for service equipment in motor control centers.


Staff member
retired electrician
You don't need to have a paid membership to look at the code changes. They are available for public viewing.
Click on next edition and then on the Second Draft Report.
You do have to register to view things, but there is no cost. The second draft is almost the final document, but there can be changes between that and what is published.

There was no change to 225.33. That does not present the same hazard as service equipment because there over current protection on the line side of the second building disconnects.


Senior Member
South of Bawstin
With 2020 set to be adopted here in Mass on the 1st of January...we need to come up with a way to install 1-family dwelling 400-amp services with the 230.85 disconnect(s) on the outside of the dwelling.

The typical install now consists of a 320 meter socket with 2 x 200 amp main breaker panels located inside.

So the approach would be to do a meter-main with twin 200-amp breakers...but this will violate 230.71 of the 2020 Code unless the 200 amp mains are "compartmentalized" within the meter-main piece of equipment.

Looking for suggested installation ideas. Or does anyone know if the manufacturers will or have redesigned the meter-main equipment with twin 200-amp breakers to comply with 2020 Code?

The 400-amp meter-main and interior equipment will be big $$$


Senior Member
Kent, WA
Retired Engineer
320A meter base, two 200A disconnects outside (one could be a small 3R panelboard instead if that helps for outside feeders, AC units, etc). Then you use 200A MLO panels inside. I really don't like this outside disconnect rule and am going to do a service mod on my house just before the 2020 code kicks in here. The price of a panelboard is beginning to pale once you add up the cost of all the AFCI and GFCI breakers required... I'm also looking at the Eaton Cutler-Hammer Plug On Neutral panelboards because of the rats nest all the AFCI neutral pigtails cause. The plug on neutral cleans all of that up. Haven't played with one yet though to see if I like it.
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