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Service Disconnect question??


Erby
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See pictures.

House is served by 100 Amp main disconnect which then goes to a panel in the house.

AC is served by fused disconnect fed directly from the meter????

Don't look right to me but no source.

By golly though, the code guy inspected and passed it!!

Your guru thoughts please.

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Never mind. Reading it again I found the "or in a group of separate enclosures" part.

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Originally posted by aelliott

Don't have a code book handy. Is this set up accecptable

I think that the general idea here is ok.

To be sure, you'd have to know how the connections are made in the meter can. There should be lugs that are designed to accommodate both sets of wires or there should be double, or accessory, lugs. Improper double taps in the can would, of course, be wrong. As home inspectors, we're never going to look inside there though.

The only thing that bugs me about this installation is that the wires that go to the fusebox pass through the breaker box. That's incorrect.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Originally posted by aelliott

The only thing that bugs me about this installation is that the wires that go to the fusebox pass through the breaker box. That's incorrect.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Why? I thought it was OK to supply a box by using another box as a pass through, so long as there were no taps in the "pass thru" box(?)...

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Originally posted by kurt

Why? I thought it was OK to supply a box by using another box as a pass through, so long as there were no taps in the "pass thru" box(?)...

This all goes back to our old friend 312.8, remember? It's the section that talks about not using an enclosure as a junction box, gutter or raceway for conductors feeding through unless "adequate space for this purpose" is provided.

I admit that I interpret this section in different ways depending on exactly what is going through the panel. Adding splices to make conductors longer doesn't bother me in the least. But designing a feedthru from the git-go gnaws at me.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I don't see why. The only restriction regards whether there is adequate space or not. IOW, don't do it if it's dumbshit. Using available conduit & boxes is good practice.

It's all we do here. We ain't got no romex; it's all EMT, 4x4 metal boxes, mud rings, & pull boxes. I think the dislike is due to unfamiliarity. Whenever I see romex, I don't think any aspect of the installation is worth a damn. I mean, holding wire in place w/ STAPLES!?!?!

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At least the HVAC installer was responsible and attempted to get the electrical connections right. Around here, the jerks typically just double-tap the SE cables. And on rare occasions, the electrician summoned after I've busted the panel will say, "Well, but it has overcurrent protection at the disconnect, so there's no real safety issue."

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Originally posted by kurt

I don't see why. The only restriction regards whether there is adequate space or not. IOW, don't do it if it's dumbshit. Using available conduit & boxes is good practice.

I'd say that you could make an argument that it's acceptable practice but I wouldn't go so far as to call it good practice. Good would be running the AC feeders in their own conduit.

It's all we do here. We ain't got no romex; it's all EMT, 4x4 metal boxes, mud rings, & pull boxes. I think the dislike is due to unfamiliarity.

Not at all. The only place we use romex here is for branch wiring. Services and feeders are frequently in conduit. (or SE cable) I see lots of conduit-enclosed feeders but very rarely does the feeder for one box pass through another. It's bottom of-the-barrel workmanship.

Whenever I see romex, I don't think any aspect of the installation is worth a damn. I mean, holding wire in place w/ STAPLES!?!?!

Hey, it works for 99.9% of the rest of the country. Besides, it isn't about staples, it's about unions.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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No, no, no. Stop using tunnel vision predicated on one's personal biases about one material or another.

Not taking advantage of the benefits of conduit & imagining that everything has to have it's own conduit run displays ignorance on multiple levels, not the least of which is how & why conduit & pullboxes can be utilized.

The point w/the staples comment, if there was one, was that unfamiliarity w/a material breeds confusion & silly ideas. I never see romex, so I imagine that it's flimsy or silly, when I know that it's not. The union issue has nothing to do w/the ostensible point; it's about perceptions, not actuality.

You see conduit & pullboxes in limited applications, not everything & everywhere, so you imagine that someone utilizing suitable and existing pipe & pathways is cheesey. "Every set of wires should have it's own conduit, By God, and I think that because I can."

Think about it a little, or spend some time in houses that are nothing but pipe & conduit, & you'd understand. If you don't think about it, you'll continue applying personal restrictive bias to code sections that allow inteligent use of materials, and offer the installer options that are completely within the bounds of good workmanship & code compliance.

Read "How Buildings Learn" by Stewart Brand, and get back to me.

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Originally posted by kurt

No, no, no. Stop using tunnel vision predicated on one's personal biases about one material or another.

OK.

Not taking advantage of the benefits of conduit & imagining that everything has to have it's own conduit run displays ignorance on multiple levels, not the least of which is how & why conduit & pullboxes can be utilized.

Well, aren't we feeling pissy today. I'm not sure why you want to make this into a discussion about conduit when it's a simple 312.8 feed-through issue. Conduit really doesn't enter into the core issue here.

The point w/the staples comment, if there was one, was that unfamiliarity w/a material breeds confusion & silly ideas. I never see romex, so I imagine that it's flimsy or silly, when I know that it's not. The union issue has nothing to do w/the ostensible point; it's about perceptions, not actuality.

OK

You see conduit & pullboxes in limited applications, not everything & everywhere, so you imagine that someone utilizing suitable and existing pipe & pathways is cheesey. "Every set of wires should have it's own conduit, By God, and I think that because I can."

Now you're mis-characterizing what I said. That's a technique used by Rush Limbaugh. Mis-quote someone to make him look foolish then deconstruct the mis-quote. It's a poor debating strategy.

Think about it a little, or spend some time in houses that are nothing but pipe & conduit, & you'd understand. If you don't think about it, you'll continue applying personal restrictive bias to code sections that allow inteligent use of materials, and offer the installer options that are completely within the bounds of good workmanship & code compliance.

Now you're making a good point. I agree that the code allows this feed-through and I agree that I have a personal bias against it. However I think that workmanship is one of those things that has to be judged on a scale. There's "barely acceptable" at one end and "superlative" at the other. The NEC doesn't distinguish between them. I happen to think that a feed-through like this one is closer to one side and you think it's closer to the other.

Bottom line: If I were to see this during an inspection, I'd probably say that it's fine. But I'd say it through gritted teeth.

Read "How Buildings Learn" by Stewart Brand, and get back to me.

I'll put it on my list. But don't expect me to get back soon. At the moment, the list is pretty long.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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The thing in the photo is not right. The inspector shouldn’t have passed it. There are two different sizes of wires coming off the lugs in the meter. There should be plastic bushings on the conduit fittings. The AC box would have to be rated as service equipment. It isn’t the right kind of equipment. Why not just use the other breaker slot in the panel?

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Originally posted by kurt

Now you're making a good point. I agree that the code allows this feed-through and I agree that I have a personal bias against it.

Bottom line: If I were to see this during an inspection, I'd probably say that it's fine. But I'd say it through gritted teeth.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

And that's what it's all about.

One has to learn how things work before they form opinions on a particular workmanship issue. Folks can confuse stuff when they start making up their own rules. I don't think you work in enough old buildings piped w/conduit to understand how buildings "learn". (You should move the book to the front of the line.)

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Originally posted by Joshua

The thing in the photo is not right. The inspector shouldn’t have passed it. There are two different sizes of wires coming off the lugs in the meter.

Why is that wrong? We can't see inside the meter can. If the two wires are both connected to a single lug that's only designed for one wire, then it'd be wrong. However, if the electrician installed two lugs or if he used a lug designed for more than one wire, it's fine.

There should be plastic bushings on the conduit fittings.

Yes there should. I hardly ever see them though. Are they commonly omitted in your area. How about you Kurt?

The AC box would have to be rated as service equipment. It isn’t the right kind of equipment.

I hadn't thought of that. Do you know that this box isn't rated as service equipment?

Why not just use the other breaker slot in the panel?

Perhaps the existing service conductors weren't large enough to accommodate the extra load.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Lotta missing bushings in my zone; something I note, but honestly, if the conduit is adequately sized, it's something that I've never, ever seen as even a slight problem. Different gig in earthquake zones though; stuff vibrates.

But I digress. I can't see enough in that picture to tell if it's right, wrong, or somewhere else. So, I'll stick w/my "pass thru's are OK if the conduit's big enough" position & leave all the other stuff to them's that know what's w/the can.

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