Question on 6 family apt building electric panels

I own a 6 family apartment building in Brooklyn, and the electric was upgra ded back in 2000. I noticed on these panels in the basement, the feed coming straight from th e meter to the panel, there is no main disconnect. Only way to disconnect t he electric to the apt is to shut off the individual breakers ( see pic), or in the more recent renovations, shut off the main breaker in the baseme nt panel feeding the sub-panel in the apartment.
https://plus.google.com/118428219834134097500/posts/F9zvftJ7EvL
(Only the 2 apartments on the first floor do not have a sub-panel within t he apartment). All of the panels in the basement are main lug. There is a main 200A disconnect for the entire building.
Is this correct? Isn't it necessary to protect the wiring or provide a mea ns of disconnect from the meter to the panel?
I'm asking because we are doing a bathroom reno on the first floor, and I r an a new 12/2 BX just for the bathroom. And when I installed in the panel, to be safe I wanted to de-energize the entire panel, but the only way to do that was to turn off the entire building.
I managed to install it anyway while the panel was live.
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On Sunday, December 14, 2014 8:34:22 AM UTC-5, Mikepier wrote:

the electric to the apt is to shut off the individual breakers ( see pic) , or in the more recent renovations, shut off the main breaker in the base ment panel feeding the sub-panel in the apartment.

IDK about NYC, but here in NJ there is generally no disconnect or protection between the meter and the panel main breaker. I've never seen one.

, to be safe I wanted to de-energize the entire panel, but the only way to do that was to turn off the entire building.

I think what you're saying is really lacking here is a main breaker in the panel. I agree, that is unusual and almost certainly not code.
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On Sun, 14 Dec 2014 05:34:18 -0800 (PST), Mikepier

There are 2 issues here. The first is the service disconnecting means. The NEC requires "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."
... but they do not specify a distance.
The second issue is the disconnect itself. It can be up to 6 breakers. There used to be an additional requirement that this could only be 2 in a "lighting and appliance panelboard" but that went away a couple cycles ago.
I need to also mention the NEC did not actually apply to NYC until fairly recently but I understand the NYC code closely followed the NEC with a few differences, mostly in wiring methods. (like no Romex)
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On Sunday, December 14, 2014 1:47:26 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

t the electric to the apt is to shut off the individual breakers ( see pic ), or in the more recent renovations, shut off the main breaker in the bas ement panel feeding the sub-panel in the apartment.

l, to be safe I wanted to de-energize the entire panel, but the only way to do that was to turn off the entire building.

If there is no main breaker that is sized to the service, what prevents one from creating an overload in the panel with the sum of the 6 breakers exceeding the capacity? If I have a 100 amp panel with various breakers, all the breakers collectively could exceed the 100 amps, but the main breaker would trip. If I put six 30A breakers in a panel, I could pull 180 amps, overload the service conductors, but nothing would trip. Am I missing something?
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Exactly my point, what is protecting overcurrent from the meter to the pane l?
I did notice when I took one of the panel covers off, the main feeding each panel looked pretty thick. I did not see what guage it is but perhaps it i s rated for 200A? If that's the case, then maybe that's why there's no re ason to put a separate main for each apt since the 200A main would protect everything.
Next time I'll take a closer look at what guage it is.
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Is this where the 6 breaker rule comes into play?
Anotherwords, if you have 6- 20A breakers, then you can only pull 120A max.
So as long as the feed from the meter to the panel can handle 120A, your good?
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On Tuesday, December 16, 2014 5:16:20 AM UTC-5, Mikepier wrote:

Yes, that's what Gfre said. The disconnect(s) have to be sized to the sevice capacity. With a main breaker, the main breaker serves that purpose, so then the individual breakers can add up to more than that main breaker. With no main breaker and 6 separate breakers serving as the disconnect, then the 6 have to sum up to equal to or less than the service capacity.
To be technical, it would not only be the feed from the meter to the panel, it would also be the feed, service to the meter as well.
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Mike:
I own a 21 unit apartment building in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
I have a 600 amp "panel" with no breakers on it, just a large handle that shuts off the power to the whole building.
Coming out of that 600 amp "panel" are cables that go to 21 different main breaker boxes that shut off power to each of the individual apartments. Power goes through those breaker boxes, then through a meter for each apartment. There are also two main breaker boxes and two meters for the common areas of the building (like hallway lights and electrical receptacles where I can plug in the vaccuum cleaner for cleaning the hallway carpets) as well as the parking fence outdoors where tenants plug in their block heaters during the winter.
Each apartment has it's own fuse box. That fuse box contains a fuse holder for the stove and anywhere from two to six plug (or "screw-in" style) fuses. The fuse holder for the stove holds two 40 amp cartridge style fuses in it, and each of the plug fuse sockets contains a plastic 15 amp fuse rejector. When I first took over this building, I found 20, 25 and 30 amp fuses in the suite fuse boxes that were put in by tenants because the fuses on the circuits they had plugged their window air conditioners into would blow. So, instead of installing 15 amp slo-blo fuses on those circuits, they installed 20, 25 and 30 amp fuses instead.
Anyhow, all my building has is a main switch to turn off the power to the entire building, breaker panels with one switch each for each apartment and two breaker panels for the common areas, meters for each apartment and two meters for the common areas, and a fuse box in each apartment that has the fuses for the stove and individual 15 amp circuits within each apartment.
--
nestork


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the electric to the apt is to shut off the individual breakers ( see pic) , or in the more recent renovations, shut off the main breaker in the base ment panel feeding the sub-panel in the apartment.

, to be safe I wanted to de-energize the entire panel, but the only way to do that was to turn off the entire building.

*With six circuits or less in each panel, no main breaker is required. You could have requested the mains to be installed at the time, but that would have added to the cost of the job.
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I've heard of this "six breaker" rule, but was not sure what it meant.
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On Mon, 15 Dec 2014 15:28:55 -0800 (PST), trader_4

You would need to size the SE to the sum of the disconnecting breakers. The reason why you can pack your panel, far beyond the rating is your service disconnect is sized to the service entrance conductors. If this is the main feeder to a dwelling, serving all the loads you still get a break tho. You can use 310.15(B)(6)
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On Monday, December 15, 2014 7:24:00 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

nect the electric to the apt is to shut off the individual breakers ( see pic), or in the more recent renovations, shut off the main breaker in the basement panel feeding the sub-panel in the apartment.

anel, to be safe I wanted to de-energize the entire panel, but the only way to do that was to turn off the entire building.

K, that covers it and it makes sense.
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On Tue, 16 Dec 2014 05:39:52 -0800 (PST), trader_4

This is where the Service Point comes into play. That is where the power company takes over. On an overhead service, that is usually at the service head where the drop connects. In an underground service, the customer usually owns the service lateral, all the way to the street. These service conductors are sized by the NEC. On the line side of the service point the utility gets to use the NESC which is far more generous on the sizing. They usually use smaller wire than you have to. Even if you used the NEC table for overhead conductors, you would end up with bigger wire than they use.
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