Electric Panel Question - two v one panels

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On Tue, 30 Dec 2014 13:36:34 -0800 (PST), trader_4

You've probably already seen the other posts on this but the pool panel with the breakers is only inches from the main breaker panel, which is only a foot below the meter. It's beginning to sound like this might actually meet code. The pool panel feeds from "the meter" so to speak.. its feed does not go thru the original main house breaker but was tapped ahead of that breaker.
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On Wednesday, December 31, 2014 3:02:12 AM UTC-5, Ashton Crusher wrote:

ches (or circuit breakers) in a single enclosure, or separate enclosures fo r each supply permitted by 225.30. Group all disconnects in one location [2 25.34], and mark each one to indicate the loads served [110.22].

connected to the "final overcurrent device," but instead bypassed it and c onnected directly to the feeder circuit.

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ne main panel is permitted.

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overcurrent protection. This setup MAY have violated means of disconnect, but SURELY violated overcurrent protection.

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Wow, I wasn't expecting that. I think most of us assumed the pool panel was some distance away, not right next to the disconnect. So, from what we have now, it appears that it is in fact code compliant.
Gfre, what do you think?
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On 12/31/2014 1:54 AM, Ashton Crusher wrote:
...

Haven't chimed in but went back and found your various postings -- with the apparent caveat that there are no more than six (6) _TOTAL_ breakers to disconnect everything, my assessment is it is compliant.
Not wise, and as gfre says, "why in the world would they have done that???" but compliant(*) (NEC, anyway; local interpretations/enhancements/etc., always override).
I agree w/ the notation; I'd also suggest the notation someone else suggested of noting the outside breaker does _not_ deenergize the secondary box as a simple precaution/reminder. (I've got one similar here in that the well pump is near another box which appears externally as though likely would deenergize but doesn't. It's labelled that it doesn't so any new well-service people who would be there and if I weren't around will know w/o finding out the hard way. In this case, however, there _is_ another that will cut it just a a side note.)
(*) I suppose that perhaps there wasn't room for another double feeder breaker in that outside box would be the most likely reason? Surely doesn't seem like there would be any other logical one...
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On Wednesday, December 31, 2014 1:16:37 PM UTC-5, dpb wrote:

That breaker would have to be big enough to feed 6 branch circuits, and some of those (pumps, etc.) might be big ones. So, no room for a big breaker, OR maxed out the capacity of the panel, or both.
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On 12/31/2014 12:29 PM, TimR wrote:

...

The physical dimensions up to 100A of most double-pole breakers are no different than any other so that's not necessarily the problem at all, I'd think.
That the box may be only a single-breaker box physically would be my supposition as the likely cause but we don't know as afaik OP hasn't enlightened us on that specific...
--




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On Tue, 30 Dec 2014 17:25:36 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I"m the OP. There was a permit and inspection. I would never have let them put in the pool and associated stuff without them getting a permit and having a contractor's license.
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I think I misinterpreted how this thing is wired.
If I now understand correctly, you have a meter, followed by a single large exterior breaker that serves as disconnect and overcurrent protection for the entire service. (just like the exterior breaker we added to my house)
That feeds a main panel in the garage, which also has a single main breaker that kills the entire panel including all the house circuits but not the p ool panel.
You have a pool panel next to it that is fed after the whole house exterior breaker but before the main panel, so it has overcurrent protection for th e circuit.
So I've changed my mind about violating code. (maybe) The way you have it set up, everything is protected, and you can disconnect the pool circuits t o work on them without killing the whole house.
It might be wise to have a sign posted saying the pool panel is still live when the main panel is dead. Someone replacing a breaker in the pool panel might assume the main panel disconnect would suffice, when in fact you'd h ave to go back to the disconnect breaker after the meter. I don't know if residential requires that signage. Industrial where I work would, but that might be OSHA rather than NEC.
My only question about code now is whether or not you are required to have a single main breaker in the pool panel rather than your six. If you do ha ve one, I'm inclined to think you are fully compliant. Or if not, at least you are safe.
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On the other hand, if your pool panel is fed after the meter but before the exterior disconnect, then I think you're probably in violation or at least unsafe.
But it seems to me it would have been easier to install after that disconnect, otherwise you'd be working hot or have to pull the meter.
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On Wed, 31 Dec 2014 05:38:02 -0800 (PST), trader_4

There are a few other issues but if the disconnects are grouped and 6 or less, it is probably "hold your nose" legal. Did they bring the ground electrode conductor into this enclosure too?
I would still question why they did not do a feeder tap on the load side of the service disconnect.
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wrote:

Nowhere in the initial post (or elsewhere in the first week) did I see any mention of a "main breaker" in the distribution panel in the garage. My take on it is the main is outside at the meter, and there are 2 "distribution panels" in the garage - one for the house, and one for the pool. Neither one is a "service entrance panel" with a main disconnect/service breaker, and the house distribution panel is connected after the main disconnect, and the pool panel before the main disconnect. If that would EVER have passed inspection I would be very surprised. Around here the only place we would ever see anything resembling that would be in a rural installation with a "pole disconnect" main feeding service entry panels in the main buildings, and possibly, but very unlikely, a small distribution panel in a small outbuilding where that distribution panel is within sight of the main disconnect. That would possibly have passed a number of years ago, but I doubt it would be allowed if installed today. A "distribution panel" might be piggy-backed off a "sub breaker" in the main entrance panel to expand the panel, or depending on the distribution panel, perhaps "lugged off" from the main breaker in the distribution panel. The "pole disconnect" could be a 500 amp or 200 amp breaker, with the service entry panels being 100, 150, or 200 amp, and the "sub breaker" being up to 60 amp, more or less.
Years ago "main fused disconnects" and separate fused "distribution panels" were quite common, particularly in rural areas, often with the fused main disconnect outside - sometimes next to the meter, but often with the meter on the first pole of the incoming feeder line (at the end of the lane) with the feeder fused at the pole pig.
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On 12/31/2014 2:32 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote: ...

...
I still think by the NEC it is still legal owing to the "six and under" and proximity proviso albeit (as I and almost everybody else has commented) it's not the ideal.
In practice it's no different than if it were a very small installation and there were only the single inside box, no outside box but only six branch circuits total in that one box. That still suffices as disconnecting all branch circuits by NEC.
Again, I'd surely prefer that the original installation had cleaned it up but I think (barring local exceptions) it's within NEC. I don't know Canadian variations from NEC but my first guess is it'd be ok there, too. Just because something isn't necessarily as convenient as it could be doesn't make it non-compliant.
Oh, stray synapse firing...wonder if that they somehow tied to the incoming feeds would fail under the "workmanship" clause??? :)
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On Wednesday, December 31, 2014 3:32:31 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Well, you're right, it wasn't mentioned. But the distribution panel in the garage serves every circuit in the house. Wouldn't it be unusual for ther e not to be a main breaker there?

The houses in my area mostly have a single disconnect and breaker on the ex terior of the house near the meter, and a main panel somewhere in the house with a main breaker and individual breakers for each circuit. Mine did no t have the exterior disconnect until we upgraded the main panel.
The OP may not actually know precisely where his pool panel is tapped in. I hope he will chime in again and clarify.
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On Wednesday, December 31, 2014 3:32:31 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

ubject to different interpretations.




reaker" does not depower the pool panel. But "that main breaker" could eas ily refer to the main breaker in the main panel as opposed to the "other ma in breaker" out by the meter.

but I wouldn't have wired it that way) (and I'm not sure HOW he would have wired it that way. That would mean running an additional line all the way from the meter area to the garage, instead of a few inches from the main pa nel to the pool panel. And even then, wouldn't it have been easier to conn ect to the load side? But it is possible. I'm basing my guess on the like lihood of them doing it the easiest and cheapest way)

Neither did I, but that also doesn't mean there isn't one.
My take on it is the main is outside at the meter, and there

That part is incorrect. He stated the pool panel is outside, next to the disconnect/main breaker for the house.
Neither one is a "service entrance panel" with a main

What specific code does the way it's installed violate? It's definitely weird, certainly not the preferred way of doing it, not the typical way. But not being typical <> code violation.
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On Wed, 31 Dec 2014 09:16:08 -0800 (PST), trader_4

There is no limit on the length of service conductors"outside" the building which could also men under 2"+ of concrete within the building.
The code says "The service disconnecting means shall be installed at a readily accessible location either outside of a building or structure or inside nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors."
Some jurisdictions think that means you have a back to back installation with a short nipple going through the wall and that distance starts getting longer as the looseness of the interpretation expands but it should not be more than a few feet.
The commentary in the handbook says
No maximum distance is specified from the point of entrance of service conductors to a readily accessible location for the installation of a service disconnecting means. The authority enforcing this Code has the responsibility for, and is charged with, making the decision on how far inside the building the service-entrance conductors are allowed to travel to the service disconnecting means. The length of service-entrance conductors should be kept to a minimum inside buildings, because power utilities provide limited over current protection. In the event of a fault, the service conductors could ignite nearby combustible materials. Some local jurisdictions have ordinances that allow service-entrance conductors to run within the building up to a specified length to terminate at the disconnecting means. The authority having jurisdiction may permit service conductors to bypass fuel storage tanks or gas meters and the like, permitting the service disconnecting means to be located in a readily accessible location. However, if the authority judges the distance as being excessive, the disconnecting means may be required to be located on the outside of the building or near the building at a readily accessible location that is not necessarily nearest the point of entrance of the conductors.
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On Wednesday, December 31, 2014 3:39:02 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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current code.

side of the feed they tapped into, and it probably is a quick and easy fix. Hope they left a little slack in the conductor.

cuit between the breaker panel and the pool is completely unprotected. If anything happens to that line you may dump 20,000 amps to ground, pretty li kely burning down the house in the process.

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Thanks for the explanation. It's consistent with what I thought. Key point is that there was a lot of angst over not having overcurrent protection on a run that is external to the house. Your statement confirms my point that service conductors with no overcurrent protection are allowed outside.

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On Wed, 31 Dec 2014 09:50:59 -0800 (PST), trader_4

That sounds like the tap rules. It would apply if the installer hit the load side of the service disconnect.
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wrote:

If the service disconnect is outside and the pool panel runs off of the load side of it where it enters the house, this is a feeder and most of what has gone on in this thread is moot.
At that point the only consideration is that a feeder tap must be protected at it's ampacity at the load end (all of the breakers added up not more than the ampacity of the tap if there is no main) Then the question becomes, is this in a raceway?
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wrote:

You can get a 100a breaker that will fit in a regular 2 slot bay for most panels. That would run a big spa heater, the spa and a pool with enough left over for a big air compressor. (I have it at my house)
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wrote:

Not at all - if the main protection is atr the outside fused disconnect (or main breaker) only a distribution panel is required inside the garage - not a service entrance panel. A distribution panel does not have or need a main breaker.

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On Thursday, January 1, 2015 1:42:46 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

the garage serves every circuit in the house. Wouldn't it be unusual for t here not to be a main breaker there?

Only a distribution panel may be required by code now. But remember that a n outside fused main disconnect or main breaker is a relatively new code re quirement. Most older houses will have been built without them and would h ave been required to have a main breaker in the panel. I stopped at Lowes and looked, the panels for sale all have main breakers in them. I also loo ked at work in a couple of electrical rooms, exactly half the distribution panels had a main breaker. These were clearly distribution panels downstre am of the switchgear but still had main breakers. So yes distribution pane ls can have a main breaker.
I would be very surprised to hear that the main house panel in the garage d oes not have a main breaker. OP?
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