Service Disconnet-Single Phase?

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Benton

Senior Member
Location
Louisiana
Today I had to installed a service disconnect for a service. I had to move a meter from one spot to another, but I didn't pass the inspection because I didn't have a service disconnect. My question is (and this may be elementary) why did I need the sevice disconnect? Was it because the extended length of the wire? If the meter is right behind the panel why doesn't it need a service disconnect the only difference is the wire length?
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
You need a service disconnect (or up to 6 sets of service disconnects) somewhere. Does you panel have a main CB?
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Then according to the NEC the protection needs to be nearest the point of entry of the service conductors into the structure. The distance is not defined by the NEC. In many places a panel with a main CB back to back with the meter enclosure would be code compliant.
 

GerryB

Senior Member
I am a little confused as to what you did. If you moved the meter how was the panel still right behind it? Around here you can go as far as you want outside the building if physical protection is not an issue, but not far inside. Ever deal with this inspector before?
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I have heard that some areas require a main disconnect on the outside of the building. If the panel is back to back the NEC does not require a disconnect on the outside.
 

Benton

Senior Member
Location
Louisiana
I moved it to the left of it original location. It is no longer back to back. This particular inspector has done this to me before. I failed the first in inspection around 9:30am central standard time today(gave him no fuss today or at any other time). I called for the second inspection 2 hours later. He decided to finish his day without coming back-knowing the customer was without power-but he knew I would have to call before 4oclock to even have a chance of an inspection. The inspector also knew that it would an after hours call for him or whomever which is 150 dollars. The power just got turned back on. But they will be calling about their money.

You know what gets me they never bother to see the inside.
 

Charlie Bob

Senior Member
Location
West Tennessee
over here, the lengh on the outside it doesn"t matter but they only allow you to have 2 feet of unfused service conductors (without disconnect) entering the premises. There's where the back to back usually comes in place.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
The NEC allows us to go any distances outside the building. Once you enter the building you need a disco as near as practical to the point of entry.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
The NEC allows us to go any distances outside the building. Once you enter the building you need a disco as near as practical to the point of entry.
If he moved the meter to the left he could have ran the service raceway or cable from meter all the way around the house and then enter just to the right of the meter and still not be in violation of anything:cool:
 

renosteinke

Senior Member
Location
NE Arkansas
Aha! Another poster has discovered the loophole, that some deny exists!

"Nearest the point of entry." Around here, that's been understood to allow the unfused wires to exit the back of the meter pan, enter the wall, go up the wall, across the attic, and down into another wall to the panel.

You might say I disapprove of that design.

Many places -including, now, this one- have ammended this rule, greatly restricting your ability to skip the disconnect. For example, here they now require the disconnect be on the outside of the building. It may also be part of the PoCo rules.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Aha! Another poster has discovered the loophole, that some deny exists!

"Nearest the point of entry." Around here, that's been understood to allow the unfused wires to exit the back of the meter pan, enter the wall, go up the wall, across the attic, and down into another wall to the panel.

You might say I disapprove of that design.

Many places -including, now, this one- have ammended this rule, greatly restricting your ability to skip the disconnect. For example, here they now require the disconnect be on the outside of the building. It may also be part of the PoCo rules.
I would say you can not run service conductors within the wall and claim you have not entered the building - unless they are encased in 2 inches of concrete. On the surface on the outside is still outside.

As far as I am concerned, if a POCO wants a disconnect it is not because of NEC or other local codes it is because if there is a problem beyond that point in the system the customer has a place to disconnect to work on the problem and not involve the POCO with the problem. Most POCO could care less what the consumer has beyond this point as far as any liability from them is concerned, ones that don't require a disconnect is usually beyond the meter where they no longer care what you do.
 

Strife

Senior Member
I have heard that some areas require a main disconnect on the outside of the building. If the panel is back to back the NEC does not require a disconnect on the outside.
That would be South Florida as well.
I'll never pass an inspection without a main next to the meter.
 

Teaspoon

Senior Member
Location
Camden,Tn.
over here, the lengh on the outside it doesn"t matter but they only allow you to have 2 feet of unfused service conductors (without disconnect) entering the premises. There's where the back to back usually comes in place.
Same Here 2ft to inside panel . Must be in Rigid Metal conduit.
 

Strathead

Senior Member
That would be South Florida as well.
I'll never pass an inspection without a main next to the meter.
Actually your inspection department may be in violation of the Florida Building Code. Unless they can justifiably claim that the interior disconnect is not "inside nearest the point of entry" per NEC 230.70 then they are in violation. Florida does not allow local jurisdictions to write their own electrical codes more stringent than the state code, they can interpret the code mjore stringently in one place than the other. In my opinion this situation as you describe would be a rewrite of the code.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Service disconnect serves the service provider, so it should be accessible for/to them so they can assuredly disconnect any backfeed from the serviced customer.
Sounds logical - but when supplying buildings, over 90% of them I run into are inside where the service provider does not necessarily have easy access to.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
I have never quite understood why the code just does not require an outside disconnect for single family residences.

If it was required, the manufacturers would design meter enclosures that have a built in disconnect that would probably cost less than all the screwing around people do to avoid putting one outside. It would be a good place to run the GEC to as well.
 
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kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
If it was required, the manufacturers would design meter enclosures that have a built in disconnect that would probably cost less than all the screwing around people do to avoid putting one outside. It would be a good place to run the GEC to as well.
Such animals do exist, and are sometimes used where convenient. It cost less most of the time to go from a meter only base to a main breaker panel if that is allowed.
 
Sounds logical - but when supplying buildings, over 90% of them I run into are inside where the service provider does not necessarily have easy access to.
Perhaps it has to do with NEC language. It seldom provides the reason and/or list the objective WHY such requirements are established or what parameters are taken into consideration in making the rule. The permissive nature of the NEC does not facilitate that well either. The Handbook attempts to answer some of those, but that can't fully explain everything either.
 
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