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.
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.
ne main panel is permitted.
overcurrent protection. This setup MAY have violated means of disconnect,
but SURELY violated overcurrent protection.
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?
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...
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,
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...
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
On 12/31/2014 2:32 PM, email@example.com 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??? :)
On Wednesday, December 31, 2014 3:32:31 PM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
On Wednesday, December 31, 2014 3:32:31 PM UTC-5, email@example.com 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.
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
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
On Wednesday, December 31, 2014 3:39:02 PM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
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.
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.
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?
You can get a 100a breaker that will fit in a regular 2 slot bay for
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)
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.
On Thursday, January 1, 2015 1:42:46 AM UTC-5, email@example.com 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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