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No main breaker

Terence McCann

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Just to be clear.

I called this out as more than six movements of the hand to kill all power.

I guess you could hold your hand vertical and knock most, if not all, of the 20 amp breakers on the right side.

The intent is one breaker is considered one movement of the hand correct?

BTW - this condo is less than 10 years old.

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Originally posted by Richard Moore

"The intent is one breaker is considered one movement of the hand correct?"

Yep...double breakers WITH handle ties count as one.


If it's a condo, the main disconnect is probably located elsewhere (at the bank of meters) and there is no further requirement for 6 throws.

No doubt correct. I have a couple of boilerplate comments to cover this very common situation coupled with another one to instruct the client to become familiar with the location of the main breaker and assure access. Often HOA's have a tendency to lock up the shut off locations creating an unsafe condition IMO.

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I believe that's the main distribution panel located within the unit. The main breaker is probably, as said earlier, in a meter room. In order for this to conform to the NEC the meter room must be unlocked or a key must be available 24 hours 365 days a year to all residents and emergency services.


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Thanks guys:

The service was UG and the meter box was attached to the outside of the condo. There were two condos, attached at the garages, per group (or cluster).

The main disconnect, located "somewhere else" sounds like a big loop hole in the code to me. Kinda defeats the purpose of quick and easy access. Wouldn't some type of "line of sight" rule apply?

Tanks again.

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You have to keep in mind that the main purpose of the 6 throw rule is so that firefighters, not the homeowner, can quickly disconnect power to an occupancy. At least that's my understanding. It may not be perfect, but I'm not sure I would go so far as to call it a loophole or even consider it a real safety concern. It wouldn't take that long for a condo owner to throw every breaker in a panel. Anyway..."ours not to reason why, etc, etc".

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