We installed a 100a residential panel the other day. This is how we did it...
#2 SEU from the meter, ran a few feet over then penetrating the outside wall. Once in the wall the service cable was ran 6" or less before entering the stud bay where the panel was mounted. At this point the cable was bent into a 90* and entered the bottom of the panel through the center KO. A total of less than 2' (probably 18") of wire entered the home.
(The panel was not back to back with the outside of the home, it is 90* relative to the outside wall, with none or very little stud space before the stud space the panel was mounted in.)
Bonding and everything else looks great. (of course. )
Inspector calls me to tell me its wrong and I should of came through the side of the panel. Which means drilling the stud, and somehow fitting a connector between the stud and the panel.
This panel was a pain in the butt too. Drywall all around it, wires coming in top and bottom and had to notch one of the studs because it was about 1" short of being wide enough.
Inspector wants me to meet him at the house next week, to discuss, what I assume to be the finer points of the code regarding unfused conductors and keeping them as short as possible.
Whats the verdict on this install?
PS. Conductors where ran exactly the same as the old ones we pulled out.
The short answer. The AHJ makes that rule. The code does not define what "inside nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors" really means in 230.70(A)(1). It is up to the inspector and his boss.
Meet with him and see what the best way you can figure out to comply is.
We know the short answer. Doesn't make it the right answer.
I guess we need a rule in the code book, 2', 5', something. Its a shame a guys gotta spend 5hrs to get 18" of cable down to 6". Meanwhile if it was a back to back install I could probably do the 18" sweep in the wall and no one would bat an eye...
Yes. Doubled studs, it did go surprisingly well with a sawzaw and chisel. Think the key was my sawzaw blade was a good length to where it sat on the drywall enough and cut the 2x4, but didn't touch the drywall on the other side.
Greg, I'd vote for anyone who logs into this site more than twice a week. The goods gotta rub off.
"nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors" seems to mean the disconnect has to be nearest to the point of entrance, not that the wires have to go directly into the disconnect. In fact, the rule says an accessible location nearest the point of entrance. That must mean that the second nearest accessible location isn't acceptable not that it must be abutting the point of entrance.
The writers of the rule must have left it vague as to distance so the electrician has a few options. If they wanted as "close as possible", they could have said that, or if they wanted the wires to go directly into the disconnect, they could have said that too. They don't say 2' or 5' because you might need 3' or 6'.
Why would an inspector take a vague rule and say it must mean something specific? They don't do that around here.
This is where some common sense would come into play. It seems people don't have that anymore. I wonder if that AHJ was ever a contractor? When you have worked in the field for many years you seem to know which rules you can "bend" a little and which ones you shouldn't bend.
The common sense problem is on both sides of the fence. Some contractors don't have any, either.
Canada has a similar rule. We have to put the panel "as close as practical" to the point of entry. Saskatchewan has modified that rule by saying within 6 meters of conductor length or it has to be in threaded rigid conduit. It makes things possible that would otherwise be outrageously expensive and everyone knows what to do.
Around here, "nearest" was so loosely interpreted that unfused service conductors often ran up a wall, across the ceiling, and down another wall before coming to your first disconnect at the panel. Probably an average of 20-ft. of unfused SER in the house.
Funny thing is, the NEC still is unable to better define things - though Chicago had no trouble covering the matter in detail, even in the 50's. Chicago said: Put it in pipe, no more than six feet, panel must be on same wall.
In both Reno and NE Arkansas, local rules require an outside disconnect. Reno has it in their 'fire code,' while here it's a local amendment.
Me? I'll put in the outside disco. It's not a negotiable point. Just because you 'can' do something doesn't mean you should.