Electrical Code question


I'm building a well house/shop. It is about 150' from where the main house will be. It will have a subpanel that will be fed from the main panel at the house. I will be running 6/3 with ground from the house to the well house. I have an electrician friend who said the inspector made them install a main breaker in a subpanel they just did and made them put a hold down screw in it.
But it is my understanding that you don't need a main breaker if it has 6 or less breakers in the panel. Mine will have just 4.
Thanks, Bob
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Robert Olin
Bob's Water & Septic LLC
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Robert Olin wrote:

A separate building requires a disconnect at that building (225.31). The required disconnect can be up to 6 breakers in the panel (225.33-A). I agree with you.
When a breaker is backfed it must be "secured in place" (408.36-D). Otherwise the breaker could become unplugged with exposed hot breaker bus connections. This probably must be supplied by the manufacturer. For SquareD breakers there is a block that is screwed to the mounting rail. Your friend used a hold down screw.
--
bud--

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bud-- wrote:

Would you believe that when running a 200 amp feed from the transformer to my new garage it goes directly from the transformer to the inside panel main breaker. There is no disconnect, not even a meter to pull since my usage is measured with a "current meter" on the pole with the transformer. (I could pull the meter and still have power) My brother, a licensed electrician in FL couldn't believe it. I even asked the pre work inspector if I needed a disconnect and he asked where the panel will be. I showed him it would be directly on the other side of the block wall. He said if it's only going through the wall, that I don't have to worry about a disconnect. The main breaker is right there 1' away. My brother wired it for me, but he said next time he visits (could be years) that he is going to add an outside disconnect.
Here in the backwoods of TN. I'm certain the inspector is on 2008? (newest?) code, but he just forgot what he was doing.
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wrote:

The meter is not considered a disconnect and there is no NEC requirement for an outside disconnect.
It 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." (NEC 2008) They do not specify how far inside the "nearest point" is. Some AHJs say back to back, other go as far as 5-6 feet.
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In wrote:

Your local zoning office is going to know what parts of the NEC and what its own additions to those might be, so they are the place to check with, not here. If you're talking to an actual inspector, one that might actually inspect your own wiring, then he's going to be telling you what's necessary whether it's only the NEC or whether they've added their own requirements on top of that. e.g. like, requiring an outside quick disconnect vs what the NEC says. Remember, the NEC is only minimum requirements, not necessarily ALL of the requirements.
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Twayne wrote:

I suppose where my brother operates his electrical business they have a common local code for an outside disconnect and he is just used to doing it so mine looked odd to him.
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Tony wrote:

A zoning office for electrical code questions?
It is likely your installation meets the codes. Your NEC required service disconnect is in the panel in the garage.
It would be uncommon here to not have a meter installed on the garage, but the utility can meter at their end. Here anything over 400A would use "current transformers". Removing the meter on a 3000A service would do nothing.
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bud-- wrote:

Not sure if you are being sarcastic or asking a serious question.

Yes, that has been pointed out to me already.

The reason for the current transformer is because from the transformer the power goes 1 direction to the house, and a different direction for the garage. I had a choice of paying for the current transformer & labor or add a second service to the garage. For a second service they would charge me to add a meter to the garage, charge me a $10 fee each month forever, plus commercial rates for power used. (commercial rates are higher and only go down after using something like 20,000 KWH's. And as I stated earlier, I know that pulling out the current transformer would do nothing (but get me in trouble). I'm not an electrition but am trained as an electronic technition so I know how the current transformer works. They could easily tell if I pulled my meter because it is monitored back at the office. Since the change to the new solid state meters, they read my meter from their office 10 miles away.
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Tony wrote:

I doubt any zoning office would know what parts of the NEC have been locally changed, or care.
The best authority is the inspector, and you already said your inspector said the installation was OK.
Hence - yes, a bit of sarcasm (but not toward you).

While it is real nice to be able to kill a panel by pulling the meter, if you add an outside disconnect the panel becomes a subpanel, and ground and neutral buses have to be separate and not connected together - a consideration if you are going to add an outside disconnect and are wiring with Romex or PVC conduit. If your brother wired the inside the building he probably already thought of it. I like having the neutral and system ground connected together at the panel.

Plus the lower "steps" per payment period are usually more expensive, and you would go through the lower steps on both meters.
IMHO a real nice solution from your utility.

While I'm sure many people here know what current transformers are, I suspect many don't. Part of what I intended to say is that using current transformers is not particularly uncommon. Some farms have current transformers like you do.
--
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wrote:

They are really discouraging that among firemen. Pulling a meter with a fault down stream can really create a heluva arc flash.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Does Florida want outside disconnects on services? I assume where it is required it is for fire disconnect.
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wrote:

The only place I have seen anyone ask was in one beach community where they want a ground level disconnect on a piling house that is over 6' above grade ... but there is really no code to require it. I saw one on a house I was inspecting and asked the EC. He told me the local AHJ wanted it. This was a state job and I was the AHJ on that particular house so I didn't really care. All I was interested in was whether the house panel was wired as a sub at that point I am still not sure how that AHJ gets away with it. I guess the ECs just don't want to make waves. If they called Tallahassee the AHJ would lose.
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On Apr 19, 4:25pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Perhaps they'd lose, but I doubt you'd win. That's sorta the way it goes with inspectors.
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*You usually don't need a main breaker in a sub-panel if the protection at the other end is sized properly unless the sub-panel is in a separate building. Call up the inspector and ask. It is not much of an expense to install a main breaker and it is not a bad thing to have.
You will need to install at least one ground rod for the well house.
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When I built a garage (previous house) the inspector required a breaker at both ends of the line to the sub-panel (in both the main and sub-panels). I bought a standard panel for the sub and just installed a normal breaker and fed it "backwards" (electrons don't care). I did have to mark the breaker "MAIN". Easy, cheap, and no problems with the inspector.
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Did the same myself. Works fine.
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