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Service disconnect two family residence


Chad Fabry
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E3501.6 Service disconnect required. A means shall be provided to disconnect all conductors in a building or other structure from the service entrance conductors.

E3501.6.1 Marking of service equipment and disconnects. Service disconnects shall be permanently marked as a service disconnect. Service equipment shall be listed for the purpose. Individual meter socket enclosures shall not be considered service equipment.

E3501.6.2 Service disconnect location. The service disconnecting means shall be installed at a readily accessible location either outside of a building or inside nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors. Service disconnecting means shall not be installed in bathrooms. Each occupant shall have access to the disconnect serving the dwelling unit in which they reside.

So, does that mean there must be a single means of disconnect for a two family residence in addition to the individual service equipment? Some dirt bag has my 2003 and 2008 NEC's but I think the applicable info is in §230.70?

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E3501.6 Service disconnect required. A means shall be provided to disconnect all conductors in a building or other structure from the service entrance conductors.

E3501.6.1 Marking of service equipment and disconnects. Service disconnects shall be permanently marked as a service disconnect. Service equipment shall be listed for the purpose. Individual meter socket enclosures shall not be considered service equipment.

E3501.6.2 Service disconnect location. The service disconnecting means shall be installed at a readily accessible location either outside of a building or inside nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors. Service disconnecting means shall not be installed in bathrooms. Each occupant shall have access to the disconnect serving the dwelling unit in which they reside.

So, does that mean there must be a single means of disconnect for a two family residence in addition to the individual service equipment? Some dirt bag has my 2003 and 2008 NEC's but I think the applicable info is in §230.70?

No. Is there something in the above quotations that makes you think that?

230.70 says that you need to have a service disconnecting means for the building that's readily accessible and close to the point of entrance.

230.71 says that the service disconecting means for each service can be up to 6 switches or breakers.

230.72 says the the disconnects have to be grouped together.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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No. Is there something in the above quotations that makes you think that?

Uh, I was just testing you, of course I didn't think that. Let me ask what I intended to ask instead of what I wrote.

Instead of "single disconnect" I should have said "single location"

230.70 says that you need to have a service disconnecting means for the building that's readily accessible and close to the point of entrance.

How close is close?

230.71 says that the service disconecting means for each service can be up to 6 switches or breakers.

knew that

230.72 says the the disconnects have to be grouped together.

That's what I was looking for...so two service panels in two distinct dwelling units don't meet the intent of §230.72?

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No. Is there something in the above quotations that makes you think that?

Uh, I was just testing you, of course I didn't think that.

Whew! Glad I passed.

Let me ask what I intended to ask instead of what I wrote.

Instead of "single disconnect" I should have said "single location"

Yes, the disconnect(s) have to be grouped in a single location.

230.70 says that you need to have a service disconnecting means for the building that's readily accessible and close to the point of entrance.

How close is close?

The actual words are, "nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors." My impression is that most municipalities have a standard allowable distance that they use, which is simpler than arguing about what "nearest" means.

230.71 says that the service disconnecting means for each service can be up to 6 switches or breakers.

knew that

230.72 says the disconnects have to be grouped together.

That's what I was looking for...so two service panels in two distinct dwelling units don't meet the intent of §230.72?

Not unless they're grouped together. I don't believe in intent when it comes to the codes. It’s either required, isn’t required, or is poorly defined. The intent is irrelevant.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Then they should have service disconnecting means for each at an accesible location. Most places around here would use a meterstack with built in circuit breakers. Then the interior panels are subpanels.

If they keep the service entrance cable on the outside until it comes inside, they can keep both as main panels. Much less expensive for the EC as they eliminate a disco and running a 4 wire.

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Then they should have service disconnecting means for each at an accesible location. Most places around here would use a meterstack with built in circuit breakers. Then the interior panels are subpanels.

If they keep the service entrance cable on the outside until it comes inside, they can keep both as main panels. Much less expensive for the EC as they eliminate a disco and running a 4 wire.

Then how would they get around 230.72, which requires the disconnects to be grouped together?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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230.40 is talking about the service drop or laterals.

It says that one service drop or lateral is to serve only ONEset of service enterance conductors.

Exception 1 allows a building with more then one occupancy the servcie lateral may serve more then one set of service conductors.

Basically it means the utility companies service lateral can only service a single service UNLESS you have a building with more then one occupant such (as stacked cono, strip stores, etc) then the utility companies lateral is allowed to servce more then one service. This prevents a service lateral feeding multiple single buildings.

This section has nothng to do with the requirementsa of 230.72

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230.40 Exception 1 is certainly one way to eliminate grouping on a duplex.

Well, I had to read it about 6 times, but I think that I agree.

230.72 would not apply in that instance.

I disagree with that. 230.72 still applies, but it only applies to each service individually. If there's more than one service (as defined by 230.2) then 230.72 would require all of the disconnects from each service to be grouped.

The question then arises, "under what circumstances may a duplex have two services?" The answer seems to be in 230.2(A) where it allows the AHJ to grant special permission for them.

Also, if a building does have two services in two separate locations, then 230.2(E) requires that you install a permanent plaque to denote the other services and the areas that they serve.

Seems like a lot of fuss.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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There's one SEC that's split in a gutter to feed two meters. Does that still qualify as two services?

I don't know. You'd have to consult 230.2. There seem to be four categories (A-D) under which you could have multiple services to a single building. One of the categories seems to be simply "by special permission."

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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