Service Disconnect Location

steve66

Senior Member
We have an electrical inspector that is trying to claim 230.70(A) means that the service disconnect must be located next to an exterior door. :?

They actually have a local amendment that repeats 230.70 and adds ", but not to exceed ten feet."

I know this means you can only have 10' of service conductors before the wire hits the main disconnect. But they are interpreting it to mean the service disconnect must be within 10' of an exterior doorway.

Their reasoning is the old "The fire dept. has to be able to find the disconnect quickly to shut of the power if there is a fire." That sounds like a good idea, but I know its not a code requirement.

Anyhow, the inspector refuses to consider any other interpretation of this rule.

Does anyone have anything that clearly explains 230.70(A) that we could use to help convince the inspector that it doesn't say what he thinks it says? Maybe something from a code seminar, or anything from NFPA?

Exhibit 230.13 in the handbook is the best we have found but apparently its not enough. (That shows conductors that are outside the building, and it shows a service disconnect on the 2nd floor nowhere near a door.)
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
It is his responsibility to show you where the 10' from a door is stated. If it is not written then how would anyone know what to do. I would go above his head and get a formal interpretation from either his boss or the person in charge at the state level.

I have never heard anyone interpret this type of rule like that. Many areas have a distance rule but none are measured from a door.
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
So the inspector is claiming that 'nearest the entrance' refers to the entrance to the building and not the entrance of the service conductors even though the NEC actually says "entrance of the service conductors"? Did their local ammendment delete those last four words?

Does he have a supervisor?
 

steve66

Senior Member

jaggedben

Senior Member
Well good luck then. :cool:

Maybe if this thread can get enough affirmations of your interpretation you can show it to them? I don't know what else to suggest.
 

George Stolz

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Windsor, CO NEC: 2017
Occupation
Service Manager
Yes, his supervisor is an architect who so far has sided with the inspector.
Well, at least it's not an interior decorator, a realtor or a property manager. With reduced reading proficiency coming out of the schools, we're going to be dealing with this more and more, I imagine...
 

steve66

Senior Member
I thought one of Mike Holt's "Graphics of the Day" might help.

But I can only find the one for "today". There doesn't seem to be any links to past graphics. I guess that's all we have access to since they are free?
 

wwhitney

Senior Member
Location
Berkeley, CA
Maybe find other language in the NEC that refers to actual doors and how far a person would have to travel, and contrast that with the language in 230.70(A)?

Cheers, Wayne
 

steve66

Senior Member
Oh, and I forgot the best part. The inspector didn't comment on this during the plan review, waited until the underground conduits were installed and I assume inspected, and waited until the wires were pulled and terminated, and the POCO was on-site ready to turn on power.

Then he decides the disconnect has to be within 10' of the door. Not inside the building like its already installed. :rant:

Power denied.
 

steve66

Senior Member
I did find this proposal on NFPA's website:

70_A2019_NEC_P10_FD_PISubmittals.pdf

Its basically a proposal to require the service disconnect either on the outside of the building, or inside in an electrical room with direct access to the exterior.

It was obviously rejected since the current code text doesn't match this.

Does anyone know where can I find the CMP's rejection or any discussion on this proposed change?

Thanks.
 

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