Subpanel disconnect, when needed?


Old 05-25-05, 07:14 AM
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Question Subpanel disconnect, when needed?

Once again, perhaps my father-in-law (retired electrician) has steered me wrong. I just noticed that when I got my permit back for my detached garage subpanel the following conditions were written on it in caps:

2.) Garage panel must have main disconnect.
3.) Backfed breaker will require a retainer

My plans were:
Panel = SD Q0 6 slots 100A max, using 3 slots (2*15, 1*20), no disconnect
Feeder = 10/3 w/ ground UF-B
Feeder breaker = 30 amp double
Grounding electrode at garage also, ground bus not bonded to common bus.

What I read was "This main panel may have a maximum of 6 single pole or 6 double pole breakers installed as a maximum in that panel, without having a main disconnect installed in that panel.", why is my inspector asking for a disconnect then? He says he follows NEC 2002 and doesn't interfere. He's not in today, but I'll leave a message, but I wanted to be correct about my plans before making a butt of myself on the phone w/ him.

Also, what is he refering to in #3? Is this in reference to a main breaker on the sub pannel?

As always, THANKS!,

P.S. I just noticed that I called my sub panel a "60" amp panel (i.e. 2*30amp) was that incorrect, and could this have misled him?
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Old 05-25-05, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Perhaps your inspector didn't notice that your panel only has six spaces. Or perhaps he's worried that this might be a six-spaces/12-breaker panel, and that you might someday go over 6 breakers.

I suppose he's assuming that you'll provide a main disconnect via a backfed double-pole breaker.

Although you were incorrect to call a 30-amp subpanel a 60-amp subpanel, this doesn't seem to be affecting his concerns.
Old 05-25-05, 07:35 AM
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John, do you think it is worth trying to change his mind if he ends up feeling the 6 slots could be turned into 12 some day, afterall it is fed by 10/3 and a 30 amp breaker, only so much I can add...?

Or am I better off asking him to go over his concerns and keeping my mouth shut?

If he insists on a disco, what are my choices?

1.) New main panel w/ a disconnect built in? (Don't like this just for 3 breakers)
2.) Add an A/C disconnnect infront of my Sub Pannel? (Is this in code?)
3.) Use a QO back fed breaker in my current box? (I don't know if the big box places carry these retaining clips he refers to, anyone know?) So if I could get this clip then this option would be the most painless I am guessing?


Last edited by Beeek; 05-25-05 at 12:54 PM.
Old 05-26-05, 06:59 AM
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Well the big box stores don't carry the retainer for a QO breaker. Maybe I can find a supply house that sells to DIYers. It would have been too simple, darn $2 red piece of plastic.

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