Service Disconnect

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Old 01-10-08, 09:48 AM
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Service Disconnect

Another question that I cannot find via search.

Does the main disconnect required to be outside the building near the meter?

I have a panel that has a main disconnect. Does that serve as a "disconnect"?

I plan on installing a sub-panel. Does the sub-panel have to have its own separate disconnect or will the breaker in the main panel serve as the disconnect?
 
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Old 01-10-08, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Thonati View Post
Does the main disconnect required to be outside the building near the meter?

I have a panel that has a main disconnect. Does that serve as a "disconnect"?
The main breaker counts as the service disconnect so long as the panel is "as close as practical" to the meter. Usually inspectors interpret this to be about 5' between the meter and main panel.

I plan on installing a sub-panel. Does the sub-panel have to have its own separate disconnect or will the breaker in the main panel serve as the disconnect?
The subpanel does not need a main breaker if the subpanel is in the same building as the main panel. If the subpanel is in a separate building, the subpanel needs a main breaker if there are more than six breakers total in the panel.
 
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Old 01-10-08, 11:26 AM
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A disconnect is not required to be outside beside the meter unless you have a local amendment that requires this.
 
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Old 01-10-08, 12:39 PM
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Also what I left out is that the important distance is how far the service conductors go into the house. The distance between the meter and main panel is really irrelevant, but the conductors can only go about 5' into the house to reach the main panel. If the conductors go a greater distance inside the house, then the disconnect needs to be outdoors with the meter; otherwise, the main breaker is the service disconnect.
 
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Old 01-11-08, 07:34 AM
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I am less than 5'. I was thinking about putting one outside as a safety measure for the Fire Department. I know the FD does not like to remove globes when there is 40GPM being pumped all around them.

The service panel is in the basement so if there was a fire, the FD would have to remove the globe.

Any opinions on this? Is it worth the time/cost/effort to install a disconnect outdie for the sole purpose of the FD? Code does not require me to do this.
 
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Old 01-11-08, 07:51 AM
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The fire department will not touch the meter. The fire department (in most places) calls the utility and has them disconnect power at the pole or other utility connection.
 
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Old 01-11-08, 08:19 AM
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The FD will either cut or have the power company emergency crew cut the power at the pole. They would not bother with either the meter or the outdoor disconnect since both of those still leave the mast and service drop live.
 
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Old 01-11-08, 03:20 PM
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I like the idea of a separate disconnect in case you ever need to work in your main panel. I don't know what the extra cost would be, and if it would be worth it though.
 
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Old 01-11-08, 03:45 PM
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It makes the installation more complicated because the exterior disconnect then becomes the actual main panel. You then need to do the bonding and grounding at the external panel, run a four wire feeder inside to the main, and keep neutrals and grounds isolated in the inside main. It's not just a simple as putting a switch in the service conductors, but changes the whole design of the service entrance. Plus it would add at least a couple hundred bucks for the 200A exterior panel, breaker, and four wire feeder to the overall price.
 
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