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#214211 - 10/28/14 08:53 PM Meter Main loading
BigB Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 727
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
Situation is a CH BR 125 amp meter main with two main breaker spaces. The load calcs come in under 100 amps. Can a second main breaker be added that puts the total over 125 amps, like say a 100 and a 60, or even two 100s, as long as the calculated/connected load is under the 125 amp rating of the equipment?


Edited by BigB (10/28/14 08:55 PM)

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#214212 - 10/28/14 11:39 PM Re: Meter Main loading [Re: BigB]
BigB Offline
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Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 727
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
I think I found my answer in 230.90(A) exception No. 3

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#214213 - 10/29/14 12:10 AM Re: Meter Main loading [Re: BigB]
BigB Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 727
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
I was being questioned on it and I was sure I was right but I couldn't prove it.

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#214214 - 10/29/14 12:42 AM Re: Meter Main loading [Re: BigB]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
In this situation I doubt I would worry much about the service conductors.
PoCos usually size drops for a minimum of 200a anyway, it is what they carry on the truck.
I think if there is an issue it will be with the 125a rating for the buses in the meter main.
Ex3 says you can exceed the size of the service conductors but I don't think that means you can exceed the rating of the panel. It is the kind of question the AHJ should answer.
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#214215 - 10/29/14 08:44 AM Re: Meter Main loading [Re: gfretwell]
BigB Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 727
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
Originally Posted By: gfretwell

Ex3 says you can exceed the size of the service conductors but I don't think that means you can exceed the rating of the panel. It is the kind of question the AHJ should answer.


Good point, however I have seen many a 200 amp split bus panel with over 200 amps worth of disconnects, kind of hard not to do on an all electric dwelling.

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#214216 - 10/29/14 09:28 AM Re: Meter Main loading [Re: BigB]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I suppose the real answer is in drawing 96-5500 (the one specified for the Eaton 125a meter main) but I can't find it online. It will specify what breakers are OK in those slots.
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#214217 - 10/29/14 01:03 PM Re: Meter Main loading [Re: BigB]
Tesla Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/04
Posts: 1280
Loc: Sacramento, CA
Hypothetical situations / queries ... I find them annoying.

Two (2) Main breaker spaces -- per se -- may not mean what you think.

Aluminum bussed, residential panels, commonly use two (2) breaker spaces for one (1) Main breaker. This cuts the ampacity -- per pole-slot -- down in half.

This style of design is seen all over -- typically with the Main located in the center of the bus -- in a back-fed scheme All-in-One.

It consumes four (4) poles -- all ganged together -- under ONE breaker assembly.

&&&

We're off down a merry road because the test question is hypothetical -- with no actual hardware to inspect -- and likely no photo, either.

As phrased, "two main breaker spaces" can easily be taken other ways, as well. For the industry also sell short bus, high amp panels -- even All-in-Ones -- that are designed for surface mount retrofit requirements.

These permit a 'heavy-up' that doesn't disturb the old work... which becomes a sub-panel chained under this new Service. (Say 125A 240V old Service ==> 125A 240V sub-panel... with the heavy up being a 200A 240V Service. The extra capacity is then shunted off to one massive load (hot tub? barn? workshop?) or to a second sub-panel elsewhere on the structure. (home extension/ rooms added, etc.)

Then the query boils down to what is a proper design limit for this scheme.

&&&

And as noted above, it can be taken to mean a split-bus scheme.

This was particularly popular generations ago.

One such running scheme would feed all big loads from the top split bus. AND then a 'intra-panel feeder' would run from the top down to the bottom split section.

The Service would be protected by Big Fuses... Then the big (2-pole) loads would be breakered with modest devices... in the top of the split bus -- limited to the six throw rule -- including one two-pole breaker protecting/ controlling the lighting/receptacle loads -- in their multitude -- running out of the bottom of the split bus. These would not be limited by the six throw rule -- since a master breaker was installed directly ahead -- in the upper split bus.

This convoluted scheme was popular because it stayed away from high powered circuit breakers -- which were very pricy at the time.

(Even today, high power breakers get pricy, fast.)

Also, in the early days of C/B introduction, many AHJ still insisted on fuses at the Service MAIN.

These economics still exist. Notice how many commercial spaces are protected by T fuses in a NEMA3R big box -- while the interior panels are stuffed silly with branch C/Bs.

&&&

Again, this is what happens with hypotheticals: the original (test question) writer (not the original poster, here) invariably leaves out all of the real world details in his hypothetical -- because the NEMA universe is vast -- and it never entered his head that other gear fits his short description. (A specific piece of gear is never used in a hypothetical. One is left to imagine all of the possibilities -- which just go on and on.)

&&&

Some textbook hypotheticals have no correct answer -- and deliberately so. They're written to trigger a class discussion, moderated by the instructor, covering all of the different NEMA engineering schemes.

&&&

Hypotheticals also remind us of civilian descriptions of field wiring and circuit faults... for invariably they don't know what they're talking about. So when the service tech pulls up, it's "surprise, surprise."




Edited by Tesla (10/29/14 01:06 PM)
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