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Service disconnect v. building disconnect #179072 06/24/08 09:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,056
R
Redsy Offline OP
Member
A 4-gang meter pack with (4) 200-amp CBs feeds a 4 unit strip store. 2 of the units are wired. I am doing the other 2. The meter stack is located on the rear of first unit and underground conduits feed the 3rd and 4th units which are about 75 and 125 feet away.

The drawing shows a main lug panelboard, and the AHJ says this is OK, but I was wondering if the units should have a main disconnecting means.

Thoughts?

Thanks,

John

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
Re: Service disconnect v. building disconnect [Re: Redsy] #179073 06/24/08 10:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,335
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sparkyinak Offline
Member
Your post stated that the each meter in the stack had a main breaker. What am I missing?


"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa
Re: Service disconnect v. building disconnect [Re: sparkyinak] #179076 06/25/08 06:10 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,233
HotLine1 Offline
Member
Redsy:
No, a 'main' in the tenant space is not required, as you have a main in the stack, which complies with the 6 switch rule from your description.

You can install a MCB panel if you so choose, although it is not required.



John
Re: Service disconnect v. building disconnect [Re: HotLine1] #179081 06/25/08 11:05 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,213
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SteveFehr Offline
Member
From a maintenance standpoint, it would certainly be nice to be able to secure each panel individually as opposed to having to secure 5 panels (or work hot) every time you want to change a breaker.

Re: Service disconnect v. building disconnect [Re: SteveFehr] #179086 06/25/08 04:51 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,233
HotLine1 Offline
Member
Steve:
I don't get your point. There are 4 mains, with 4 meters, feeding four (4) spaces. That provides a disco for each of the 4 panels, within the 4 spaces.

This is a common set-up in strip malls, providing they conform to six (6) switches or less. Redsy was concerned with a 'main' in the tenant panel, so only one movement of the hand would shut down the space.



John
Re: Service disconnect v. building disconnect [Re: HotLine1] #179087 06/25/08 05:02 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member
There is a requirement that breakers be accessible to the tenant; NEC citations aside, this is often a requirement modified by local ordinance, and may be addressed by other codes as well.

Depending on the exact configuration .... for example, whether the meters, etc., are accessible, or locked up in an electrical room .... a main breaker in the tenants' panel, as well as a main disconnect before the meters may make sense.

Having a main disconnect has other advantages, even if we are still well under the '6 throws' maximum. Again, depending on the exact jobsite, putting a main in now will save a lot of trouble later, if the place ever grows / is divided past the '6 throws' rule.

Here is one result of such growth:

[Linked Image]

Re: Service disconnect v. building disconnect [Re: Redsy] #179088 06/25/08 05:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,056
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Redsy Offline OP
Member
Thanks, guys!

I guess I was thinking in terms of the discos being some distance away, and/or the convenience of a main.

However, at about $200.00 difference, and the job being 70 miles from my home (Tuckerton NJ, Hotline), I will forgo the addititonal cost.

Thanks for the opinions.

Re: Service disconnect v. building disconnect [Re: Redsy] #179089 06/25/08 05:38 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,233
HotLine1 Offline
Member
Reno:
Yes, you think as I do with my EC hat on, a main is a great thing, future planning is a great thing!
With my AHJ hat....it has to be NEC compliant ('05 in NJ, amended by the UCC).

Yes, I've seen splits, modifications, added tenants, divided and sub-divided ppaces, and a lot of nightmares as an EC. Yes, I came upon a 7 meter, no main...and I lost count of the # of throws last week. a multi occupant office bldg, modified and butchered many times over.

BTW, I may have been incorrect, but 'most' meter stacks are outside on strip stores; perish the thought of using space for an electric room when you get $$$ per sq ft.



John
Re: Service disconnect v. building disconnect [Re: HotLine1] #179090 06/25/08 06:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Hotline, I really try to dodge "what is the code minimum" type of question .... if for no other reason that Article 90 tells us not to use the NEC as a design manual. Naturally, when I point this out, someone will reply "but Article 90 is not an enforceable part of the NEC."

Another reason is that there are very few times a 'one rule fits all' practice actually does fit all! Add to that the continuing influence of other codes (ICC, UFC, etc.) and a simple NEC answer might be incorrect. For example, the Fire Department might want a shunt trip for the entire building, regardless of how many meters there are.

Re: Service disconnect v. building disconnect [Re: renosteinke] #179137 06/27/08 05:20 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,233
HotLine1 Offline
Member
I too tell many people, both EC's and HO's that the NEC is not a design tool. And explanations that some items within the NEC are 'minimums' and some are 'maximums'. And yes, many EC's are not aware of all the other 'codes', but we try to pass on the info at CEU classes, and thru one-on-one conversations.

My point to Redsy was and is what he asked is not a NEC requirement as he explained it. My comment that he could install the main, was and is still MHO. Many EC's call and look for opinions, but in the eyes of the state, I cannot provide 'official opinions', only NEC/UCC reference.





John

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