Is there such thing as a Main Service Disconnect?

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-19-14, 03:01 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 127
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Is there such thing as a Main Service Disconnect?

I want to replace our main breaker box that's inside the garage with some kind of disconnect switch/box but I can't seem to find one. The ideas was to replace the old main breaker box with the switch so then I could install a new main breaker box on the other side of the garage. So from the new disconnect switch there would be a SER cable (about 20 feet) going to a new main breaker box across the garage to the laundry room. But so far it looks like all i can do is install a new breaker box where the old one is, then add 100 amp breaker to it and run the cable to the new box from the 100 amp breaker and setup the other new breaker box as a subpanel.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-19-14, 03:23 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,996
Received 39 Votes on 34 Posts
Disconnect enclosures and breakers should be at any decent electrical supply house and some big box stores.
 
  #3  
Old 11-19-14, 03:42 PM
Mr.Awesome's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 592
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
  #4  
Old 11-19-14, 05:44 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 127
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks! I swear I went through every disconnect switch page on home depot website n didn't see that one.. just 30,40, 60 amp ones.
 
  #5  
Old 11-19-14, 05:56 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 127
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You will want something like so...
Square D by Schneider Electric 100 Amp 240-Volt Two-Pole Indoor General Duty Fusible Safety Switch with Neutral-D223N at The Home Depot
Would this make the new panel across the garage a subpanel or would it still be considered the main house panel?
 
  #6  
Old 11-19-14, 06:09 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,996
Received 39 Votes on 34 Posts
The service will be the first means of disconnect. All others will be wired as panels.
 
  #7  
Old 11-20-14, 03:54 PM
Mr.Awesome's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 592
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It would still be your main.
You would be looking at meter > disconnect > panel.
Out of curiosity, why have you decided to move the panel? That seems like a ton of effort to extend all the existing circuits.
 
  #8  
Old 11-21-14, 01:17 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 127
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I have a very werid/old main breaker box on one side of the garage by the meter. It doesn't have a main disconnect, just about 8 breakers for different things (so there is no way to turn off all electricity to the house on 1 flip). From this main breaker box another sub panel was installed across the garage for more stuff in the house. So I want to combine both into 1 newer box. All the cables from the main breaker box can be routed to where the supanel is since the cables are long, so I would be able to make this the new location for the main breaker box (its in the laundry room). But to eliminate the subpanel and leave the main breaker box where it is I would have to put a junction box since the cables won't reach the main breaker box from the subpanel. Hopefully that makes sense

I'm redoing the garage to make it a room. All the drywall is out so its easy to work with the boxes.

Our local Home Depot doesn't' have that disconnect you linked so I could go see it but I'm guessing its a disconnect for all 4 wires of the SER cable i'll be running across the room right?
 
  #9  
Old 11-21-14, 01:21 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,996
Received 39 Votes on 34 Posts
Can you post a picture of the outside panel and meter?
 
  #10  
Old 11-21-14, 03:05 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,274
Received 43 Votes on 35 Posts
Our local Home Depot doesn't' have that disconnect you linked so I could go see it but I'm guessing its a disconnect for all 4 wires of the SER cable i'll be running across the room right?
It should work fine if your service is 100 amps.

This switch is suitable for use as service entrance equipment when equipped with a service grounding kit.
•Service entrance rate- purchase separately service ground Kit GTK0610
The service grounding kit, whatever that is, will have to be ordered. The fusible safety switch is fine, but I think I'd rather have a circuit breaker disconnect for convenience.
 
  #11  
Old 11-25-14, 09:59 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 127
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Can you post a picture of the outside panel and meter?
i posted these on another post but here is the pic of the outside where the meter is..ant the inside of the garage of the main breaker box behind the meter..

Another strange thing i just saw is that from the electric company there are are only 3 cables, the 2 hot #2awg copper lines and a white neutral, but there is no main ground wire. I thought there had to be one main ground wire going to a ground rod or connected to something. Currently there is just a ground bar and a neutral bar in the box with all the ground wires going to them.
 
Attached Images   
  #12  
Old 11-25-14, 10:04 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 127
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The 40 amp breaker controls the other subpanel. The 30 amp breakers are for the dryer and for an oven. and the other 15 and 20 amp breakers are for lights and outlets. So no main disconnect/breaker in this box.
 
  #13  
Old 11-25-14, 03:44 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,996
Received 39 Votes on 34 Posts
Many power companies will not allow grounding in the meter socket. If this is the case your grounding and bonding will be in your first means of disconnect.
 
  #14  
Old 11-25-14, 06:41 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 13,056
Received 73 Votes on 65 Posts
From the power company there is only supposed to be 3 wires, Hot, hot, and the grounded conductor (neutral). The meter socket is bonded to the neutral and that is your ground. At the main disconnect the panel steel is also bonded to the neutral, as is all of the ground wires of the branch circuits. In all other sub panels the ground and neutrals are kept separate.
 
  #15  
Old 11-25-14, 07:32 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,274
Received 43 Votes on 35 Posts
Depending on the age of your service, you should have one or two grounding electrode conductors terminated on the neutral bus in your main panel. One should go to a ground rod and the other should go to the metallic cold water piping within 5 feet of where it enters the house.
 
  #16  
Old 11-26-14, 10:39 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 127
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Depending on the age of your service, you should have one or two grounding electrode conductors terminated on the neutral bus in your main panel. One should go to a ground rod and the other should go to the metallic cold water piping within 5 feet of where it enters the house.
I have neither, the water pipes are not near the meter and there is no ground rod. So it looks like the neutral coming from the electric company acts as both ground and neutral (which i guess is ok since everything is bonded together in the main panel anyways)
 
  #17  
Old 11-26-14, 11:12 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,996
Received 39 Votes on 34 Posts
There needs to be some sort of a grounding system. It does not matter that the water lines are not close to the meter. If the pipe is metallic and in contact with the earth for 10' or more it must be used. It would also need a supplemental electrode like a rod.
 
  #18  
Old 11-26-14, 12:06 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 127
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well that sucks, now I have to pay for rod to get installed. Our house was build in the 70's, you would think it would have something. The closest water line is about 25 feet away. And unfortunately our driveway and around the perimeter of the house is all concrete so im not sure how they will install 2 ground rods and bond them together and then to the main panel. The only way is to have them demo a large part of concrete and then repour new concrete to hide the copper wire connecting the 2 rods
 
  #19  
Old 11-26-14, 12:57 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,996
Received 39 Votes on 34 Posts
Drive the rods in the basement slab.
 
  #20  
Old 11-26-14, 01:21 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
You might also be able to use a Ufer ground. What Is A 'Ufer' Ground? | EC Mag
 
  #21  
Old 11-26-14, 05:33 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 13,056
Received 73 Votes on 65 Posts
Since your service is original to the house it would likely be grandfathered in. I am not sure when bonding the water service to the electrical service came in, but the ground rod requirement has only been in 20 years-ish.

To drive a ground rod outside, drill a hole through the slab with a hammer drill.
 
  #22  
Old 11-26-14, 07:49 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,274
Received 43 Votes on 35 Posts
Since your service is original to the house it would likely be grandfathered in. I am not sure when bonding the water service to the electrical service came in, but the ground rod requirement has only been in 20 years-ish.
In the 1970s, the NEC allowed the electrician to either ground the neutral to a ground rod OR ground to the nearest metallic cold water pipe.
 
  #23  
Old 12-01-14, 10:28 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 127
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
That would make sense, it was build in 1971. I'm going to try to get some prices on putting in ground rods but if its to expensive I guess I'll just connect it to the water pipe.

I was gonna try to do the ground rod myself but the slab outside is like 6+ inches thick so I would have to buy a 10' rod and I can't see how I can clear that long rod because of the house soffits, no room to hammer it down even with tool. Inside the garage is the same issue, would hit top ceiling and no room to hammer it down
 
  #24  
Old 12-01-14, 10:42 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
I can't see how I can clear that long rod because of the house soffits,
Rods can be driven at a 45° angle if needed. A ¾" hammer drill from a rental company will drill the hole and drive the rod. Or rent a core drill from the rental company and make a six inch hole in the concrete so you can drive the rod below the slab then fill in with hydraulic cement. Or a combination of the two.
 
  #25  
Old 12-01-14, 11:35 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 127
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I can do that

I going to drive 2 of these 6 feet apart, can the conductor joining them together be above ground or does it have to be under ground also. If has to be underground can I just cut at a line in the concrete in between the 2 ground rods just deep enough to hide the conductor wire and then cover it with cement? or does it have to be all the way to the ground under all the concrete?
 
  #26  
Old 12-01-14, 06:50 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,274
Received 43 Votes on 35 Posts
That would make sense, it was build in 1971. I'm going to try to get some prices on putting in ground rods but if its to expensive I guess I'll just connect it to the water pipe.
Connecting to the nearest cold water pipe was allowed in the '70s, but today you need to connect to the water line within 5 feet of where it enters the house, jumping around meters and pressure reducing valves. For a 100 amp service you can use either #6 copper or #4 aluminum. Before I would install 2 ground rods I would check with the local AHJ and ask if they require 2 rods or if 1 rod is sufficient to meet their requirements. The NEC allows the use of 1/2" X 8' ground rods, ask what size rods they require too.
 
  #27  
Old 12-02-14, 12:16 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 127
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
They require 2 rods, but I found a good spot to install them, there a little far (about 30 feet away) but there is no code on how far they should be. Code requires #6 CU but I'm wondering if I should use #4, or is that overkill?

Also since the subpanel is within 5 feet of the water lines, can I connect the ground bar on the subpanel to the water pipe? (ground and neutral wont be together in the subpanel just in the main panel)
 
  #28  
Old 12-02-14, 06:35 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,274
Received 43 Votes on 35 Posts
Also since the subpanel is within 5 feet of the water lines, can I connect the ground bar on the subpanel to the water pipe?
Both ground rods and water service GECs terminate at the neutral bus in the main panel. Read post #26 again.
 
  #29  
Old 12-02-14, 06:56 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,996
Received 39 Votes on 34 Posts
You can use #4 to the rods if you wish.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: