Electrical Wizards, Another Panel/subpanel question

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gfretwell is exactly right about the need for the disconnects to be grouped, I missed that. Whoever installed the second panel installed a violation which should be fixed. So the second panel should be converted to a subpanel of the first main panel, which would require a 4-wire feeder from the first main panel. Hopefully it wouldn't be too hard to do since it is only 8 feet away.
Cheers, Wayne
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On Fri, 9 Jul 2010 15:39:21 +0000 (UTC), Wayne Whitney

Bear in mind, I also said I would not lose any sleep over the way it is done now. This is a technical violation but I don't see a huge safety issue since the service disconnect is on the pole. The fire department would pull the meter anyway and the homeowner knows what he has.
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On 7/9/2010 11:35 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I'm not a thinking that a 50+ year old installation is under much code restriction. I didn't even mention that the first MAIN panel is on the outside of the house. LMAO! No one's too worried about the small stuff here in this area.
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wrote:

Here in Southern Nevada, there is a combined meter socket, main and breaker box on the OUTSIDE of almost every home in the valley. Unless the home is so large that several inside load centers are needed, you have to go outside to get to the breaker box.
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wrote:

Those disconnects on the house are not service disconnects. The only service disconnect is on the Pole. At least by current code it should be done as John Grabowski describes. The ground rods should be installed at the pole and attached to the service disconnect. Four wires should be run from the disconnect to the sub panels at the house.
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Don't forget that the house also has to have a main disconnecting means that meets most of the rules that apply to a service. It also is required to have a fully compliant Grounding Electrode System. On the yard pole the best practice is to make the Grounding Electrode Conductor connection at the top of the pole to the first accessible point on the neutral past the power company splices. Under most public utility rule schemes the power companies ownership ends at the top of the pole before the Service Entry Conductors run down to the meter enclosure and the Service Disconnecting Means. What confuses many people is that the meter belongs to the power utility and in some States so does the meter enclosure. In most States that does not change the location of the service point which is still at the point were the service drop connects to the Service Entry Conductors. Since the transformer is also mounted on the same pole the service point may be elsewhere on the pole in this case. The location of the transformer suggest that the pole may be utility owned in which case that may also change the location of the service point for regulatory purposes. -- Tom Horne
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wrote:

I have heard arguments at inspector meetings and on the BBs that point out 230.70 does not say where the service disconnect has to be if it is outside other than being readily accessible and that the one on the pole may be the only disconnect he needs. Bear in mind this is one side of an "argument". I have heard it compellingly argued on both sides, the other being you need a disconnect in or on the house. You start asking, "is a pole a structure"? ... and stuff like that.
I would ignore it if I was the AHJ.
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On 7/9/2010 12:27 PM, RBM wrote:

there is never 4 wires from the pole to the house in these setups.
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In order not to limit the power available to the rating of one panel it may be better to locate an enclosed breaker for one panel at the other panels location or to group two disconnects at one location on the exterior of the building with each disconnect feeding one of the panels. There is only supposed to be a single set of service entry or feeder conductors supplying the building except for an emergency feeder from an alternate power source or a supply with different phase or voltage characteristics.
Just a reminder that the code specifically allows a separate disconnect for a water pump located at the yard pole so that you can kill power to the building without shutting off the source of water used for first aid fire suppression. The conductors from the water pump disconnect are another exception to the one set of supply conductors rule.
-- Tom Horne
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On 7/9/2010 10:39 AM, Wayne Whitney wrote:

That's kind of the direction I'm headed and why i asked. I'm pretty sure there is spaces left in the main panel, so that shouldn't be a problem to "re-feed" it properly, since i'm changing the second panel to a breaker panel anyway.
THANKS for all the responses.
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This thread reminds me a bit of a discovery a friend made when building a new home. The attic was to be left unfinished in the house, but my friend wanted a subpanel installed there for a future bedroom and media room he planned to build. He got a price from the electrician to install one with around 12 breaker slots, as I recall. In addition, he had the plumber rough in a bathroom and wet bar where would eventually build them in the attic.
When he and I were touring the almost-completed house, I noticed the subpanel and walked over to look inside. The electrician had done a great job putting it in, and also populating it with breakers. The guy had used it to feed branch circuits in several of the rooms below, eliminating any future expansion the owner had paid for. I showed this to my friend and there was a subsequent, "Come to Jesus" meeting with the electrician. The issue was solved by the electrician dragging more wire from the main panel and supplying a second load center nearby, but with none of the slots used.
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