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#194552 - 06/10/10 02:16 AM main breaker switch  
watersparkfalls  Offline
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 222
Washington...Not DC
I have a home inspector telling my realtor's client that the sub panel installed in the basement is a code violation...Because it has a 200 amp main breaker which is fed from a 100 amp breaker in the main service. Am I completely missing something? The 200 amp main is just a switch, not over current protection. Please if this is a violation, can somebody site a code # please.


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#194553 - 06/10/10 02:28 AM Re: main breaker switch [Re: watersparkfalls]  
watersparkfalls  Offline
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 222
Washington...Not DC
Also quoting the feeders...they appear in the picture to be #2 Al. I think he thinks they would need to be 4/0 if they terminate in a 200 amp breaker. Again I disagree.

#194554 - 06/10/10 08:49 AM Re: main breaker switch [Re: watersparkfalls]  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,883
Brick, NJ USA
OCP for the feeder at the source protects the feeder.
The install you describe as I understand it is a 100 amp feeder to a sub panel with 100 amp OCP, which is code compliant.
The 200 amp CB in the sub is only functioning as a 'switch' (although expensive).

Some, but not all HI's are not the greatest at electrical code compliant determinations.


#194555 - 06/10/10 11:51 AM Re: main breaker switch [Re: HotLine1]  
watersparkfalls  Offline
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 222
Washington...Not DC
Thanks HotLine,
I think you are saying 100 feeder to a 200 amp ocp which is correct.


#194556 - 06/10/10 12:40 PM Re: main breaker switch [Re: watersparkfalls]  
gfretwell  Online Content

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,142
Home inspectors go out of their way to say they are not code inspectors, then they try to cite code, usually incorrectly.
The educator in me says you should talk to the HI and see if you can't tune him up a little. The next recourse for your client would probably be bringing this up to to the state licensing board, assuming they even license HIs.
In the end it is all about the money. For the most part, HIs are there to hammer the price of the house down and I have seen some pretty silly "defects" reported by them, while missing serious issues.

Greg Fretwell

#194557 - 06/10/10 02:58 PM Re: main breaker switch [Re: gfretwell]  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,883
Brick, NJ USA
What I say is....
100 amp OCP (Breaker/Fuse) at the source protects the 100 amp feeder to the subpanel.

The 200 amp Cb in the sub is NOT protecting the feeder or the sub panel buss. No matter the load in the cannot exceed the OCP that is at the feeder source.

AS to the HI's; we license them here in NJ, and as I said above...some have 'it' and a lot 'don't'..


#194562 - 06/10/10 08:23 PM Re: main breaker switch [Re: HotLine1]  
Tesla  Offline
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
Sacramento, CA

The semi-main at the panel is not needed at all.

OCP occurs at the MAIN -- which is 100 Amp.

HI is out of his depth.

It sounds like some one over the years needed more branch circuits and installed a standard 200A off-the-shelf panel. In which case the breaker came as part of the deal.

I see these all the time in the Big Box.

My come back to the HI is that I don't need ANY C/B in this situation, but that makes for a quicker cleaner installation... and the HO has an additional OFF switch.

Down the road, the HO could have the SERVICE upgraded to 200A and bump up his panel feeder to equal the Poco's Service Drop/Service Lateral.


#194564 - 06/10/10 08:40 PM Re: main breaker switch [Re: Tesla]  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,883
Brick, NJ USA
As I said in my first response, the main in the sub is nothing more than a switch.

I had a few clients over the years that wanted the 'main' within a sub-panel, there thoughts were '1 switch to turn everything off'.

And, yes...the big box version, large panel, main cb, and those assorted branch cb's...a real HO bargain.


#194599 - 06/12/10 06:20 PM Re: main breaker switch [Re: HotLine1]  
Tom  Offline
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,044
Shinnston, WV USA
The only potential problem I can think of is what are the lugs on the 200 amp breaker rated for? If #2 awg does not fall in the listed wire range, then the installation wouldn't be compliant.

As far as what the HI says is the reason, I think he's been in the wacky tabaccy too much.

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

#194617 - 06/14/10 09:09 AM Re: main breaker switch [Re: Tom]  
harold endean  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
Boonton, NJ
Don't get me started on home inspectors. I have gone head to head with them more than once. There job (and there only job IMHO)is to pick apart your house for what ever reason they can think up. How many times I get calls asking about what the HI says. Now granted when a HI goes into a bathroom there "Should" be GFI protection in there. Yet if the HI goes into a very old home, you know as well as I that there is no GFI protection (if a receptacle) at all.
I have seen where HI's said that there was AL wire in the house, when it was the old silver coated copper wire. I can go on, but I won't, I will get off my soapbox now. sorry!

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