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sec cable code conflict #219759
11/17/18 02:28 PM
11/17/18 02:28 PM
J
jake2018  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 17
minnesota
i am checking on if this would meet code prior to installation. my local inspector has changed his mind 3 times, i am new to this forum, this is going to be a install in minnesota, heres my question,

a 200 amp sec is run to the house, it is installed in a midwest brand terminal 200 amp box, (all this is inside the the house in the basement) that box feeds a 200 amp breaker box within 18 inches (right next to it) and that wire is protected by pvc conduit, then the same terminal box feeds a garage that has a 100 amp breaker box, does the sec cable that feeds the breaker box need to be in pvc conduit all the way to the breaker box? or can it be unprotected behind sheet rock?

then the same terminal box feeds a 100 amp breaker box that is 18 feet from it, does that wire need to be in pvc conduit? that will be inside a wall behind sheet rock. the wire vertical not horizontal to the upstairsd.

also can a terminal box be used like this?

the inspector said yes then a day later he said no you have to use conduit, one county over it was "the wire must be protected in sch 80 but 40 will be ok if its behind sheetrock" then another inspector said not as along as its behind sheet rock. i looked at old nec and new so whos right?

jake

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
Re: sec cable code conflict [Re: jake2018] #219762
11/17/18 03:19 PM
11/17/18 03:19 PM
G
gfretwell  Offline

Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,362
Estero,Fl,usa
If the 200a is the service disconnect and the 100a is a feeder off of that (SER 4 wire) the cable only needs to be protected against physical damage and the drywall should do it.
If the 200a is double lugged and the 100a is a service entrance conductor, there are more issues than a sch80 PVC pipe can cure. (excessive service conductor inside the building for starters)
If these are both service conductors you would be better off tapping the service outside and running the cable down the outside wall, coming into the back of the 100a panel.


Greg Fretwell
Re: sec cable code conflict [Re: jake2018] #219763
11/18/18 12:19 AM
11/18/18 12:19 AM
J
jake2018  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 17
minnesota
thanks for your post,
maybe i can explain it better, i have seen in some houses up here that run 442 sec in the wall behind drywall from a LB that comes into the building from the power pole that has a meter on it. it then runs 15 feet in the building to the breaker box. some use conduit some dont. some outside , some inside.

but in this case the 200 amp cable comes into the house at ground level from the meter on the power pole, then into a 200 amp terminal box like i said. then a 100 amp feed to a breaker box in the garage and one feed to a 200 amp breaker box, so 3 inspectors have 3 ways to do this, i understand that most terminal boxes are outside, but is this case, one inspector said use sch 80 and your good, you can use a terminal box inside and he rambled about industrial applications do it, the others said no, so since it cant be a terminal box outside and then run into the house, there just isnt a way to do it, space etc. if it was up to me i would have just put it all on the power pole,terminal box then did feeders. neither mentioned excessive service conductor inside the building, they were more concerned about a nail hitting the sec. so any ideas? each state is different, but has any one did any work like i am about to do from a terminal box in a house basement?
any codes? thanks

Re: sec cable code conflict [Re: jake2018] #219764
11/18/18 01:25 PM
11/18/18 01:25 PM
G
gfretwell  Offline

Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,362
Estero,Fl,usa
Your guys are more easy going than I would be about that 230.70 "inside nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors" language. I would be OK with the 18" if that was the best you could do but 15 feet after you have already hit a cabinet inside would be a no-go with me. I would have you making that first box a service disconnect for the full monte and the run to the next box would be a 4 wire feeder.
230.6 defines "outside of the building " as
"(2) Where installed within a building or other structure in a raceway that is encased in concrete or brick not less than 50 mm (2 in.) thick"
Unprotected conductors inside a building are the kind of thing that keeps me awake at night, even if it is not my building.


Greg Fretwell
Re: sec cable code conflict [Re: jake2018] #219765
11/19/18 02:35 AM
11/19/18 02:35 AM
J
jake2018  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 17
minnesota
greg thank you for your reply,
I wish i knew how to post a picture of a drawing i did, one inspector says that if the main conductor comes into the house and then goes to a 200 amp stand alone breaker, then feeds the terminal box and then i can run feeders off the terminal box to the garage breaker box and to the apartment breaker box above the garage. all must be in pvc conduit, ok i have been doing electric work for about 20 years and have never had to do one of these. would you think a "disconnect" like a 200 amp breaker would be ok? what about bonding? do you know how to post a drawing on here? are my inspectors not that well trained to have 3 not agree?

thank you again any help is really appreciated!

jake

Re: sec cable code conflict [Re: jake2018] #219766
11/19/18 10:26 AM
11/19/18 10:26 AM
G
ghost307  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 977
Chicago Illinois USA
I think the question comes down to the feed leaving the first box is if a service conductor or a feeder.
If it's a service conductor it needs to be 'legally' outside the building and the PVC conduit won't do that.
A service conductor has no overcurrent protection upstream so if it overloads there's nothing to automatically shut it down before the whole place catches fire.

If the wire is taken off before the breaker it's a service conductor, but if it's after the breaker it's a feeder and only needs physical protection (like the PVC conduit) since it is protected from overload by the circuit breaker.


Ghost307
Re: sec cable code conflict [Re: jake2018] #219767
11/19/18 03:34 PM
11/19/18 03:34 PM
HotLine1  Offline

Member
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,090
Brick, NJ USA
I guess a 'terminal box' is a type of splice/junction box, with taps; not any type of OCP.

If that's the case, then I agree with what Greg stated, and what Ghost stated. Unprotected (No OCP) conductors cannot be routed within the structure. Putting the conductors in PVC, Sch 40 or 80 don't fly, unless you encase it in a min. of 2" of concrete on all sides. No type of raceway is compliant.

Yes, the Code does NOT specify an exact dimension of 'unprotected conductors' within a structure, it states "Closest to the point of entry". Yes, this is one of those 'gray areas', and left to the discretion of the inspectors.

The GEC (rod/water/ufer) is terminated to the neutral conductor at the main OCP, and SER ground conductor is terminated to a ground block (NOT the neutral block) in all the subpanels.

I'm quite sure IF you skim thru the Tech area here, you can find a drawing. Or, try Mike Holt website. If you are close to a local library, see if they have a copy of the NEC Handbook for whatever year NEC is adopted in your area.

Interesting that you cannot get three inspectors to agree? PS, I am an active inspector.


John
Re: sec cable code conflict [Re: jake2018] #219768
11/19/18 10:38 PM
11/19/18 10:38 PM
J
jake2018  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 17
minnesota
thank you both for your input, and your patience! i really appreciate it. i would not have been so involved with this mess but i am donating 100% time and 100% material to a ww2 90 year old female vet, so thanks for your patience and helping me solve this. very few ever give back, so your helping me give back to her! thank you!
i just need to be absolute sure when i do this, regardless of the inspectors as they can seem to make up there mind.

i talked to one the ahj or inspectors,
he said 200 amp breaker box outside house for the main conductor coming in/main disconnect, nothing else in the box just for the main conductor coming in and going into the terminal box in the basement.

he wont let me run 3 feet of sec in the basement and install a main breaker in the basement, my argument was all the area houses have 2-3 feet of sec into the house and then a main breaker box, he said thats not protected it might be the normal way, still not right. he said "this is not a normal main conductor to breaker box set up"

he said then you can route your wire in pvc protection from the main outside breaker disconnect there, to the terminal box, then you can feed the house, garage and apartment above garage off that, as long as your grounded and bonded and protected in pvc.

he said that 2-5 feet of sec to a main breaker box is the norm, but he does not like unprotected wire. ok i can see that the main line in goes to the house outside, 200 amp breaker protected, then to the terminal box in the basement, still protected by the main breaker, the feeders (house, apartment, garage) are reverse protected back to the outside breaker.

ok so whats wrong with this picture? anything?

the other inspector said you can do all the above, except if you run 22 inches in side the basement into a main 200 amp dedicated breaker mounted on the wall i will allow it. ok so 22 inches of wire is still coming in the house and this would be so much better and easier then trying to bend wire at 10 above. he said that since its under the house its considered outside according to nec 2005 code. i know it seems like i am asking the same question, but whats your suggestions?

thanks for your help
jake

Re: sec cable code conflict [Re: jake2018] #219769
11/20/18 02:32 PM
11/20/18 02:32 PM
G
gfretwell  Offline

Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,362
Estero,Fl,usa
Under the house is not "outside" unless it is under concrete. That rule is decades old, long before 2005.
If you come inside and hit the disconnect as soon as possible, it should be OK. Like John says, it is unspecified how far that can be but most inspectors see it as being as soon as possible with a back to back install being best. (Either straight from the meter enclosure or from an LB). You land the ground electrode conductor there with the service disconnect and bond the neutral there. Then everything beyond that will be a feeder (4 wires).


Greg Fretwell
Re: sec cable code conflict [Re: jake2018] #219770
11/20/18 04:08 PM
11/20/18 04:08 PM
HotLine1  Offline

Member
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,090
Brick, NJ USA
jake:

It sounds like there is a bit of confusion somewhere regarding the term "Protection"

"Protection from physical damage" , and 'Overcurrect Protection"

There is NO dimension within the NEC, and I do not believe there ever was a specific measurement. IF SEC is 'inside' and NOT directly (Closest to the point of entry)into a MOCP device it must be encased in a min. of 2" of concrete on all sides. As I said, PVC, EMT etc. does not count.

A main panel, located either outside, or inside closest to the point of entry of the SEU solves that issue. In THAT panel, you land the grounds which bond the neutral there. Now, from that panel, you run SER (4 conductor) fed from a correct sizes circuit breaker to your SUBPANELS, each with a separate ground block. Make sure your main panel is capable of accepting the size (amperage) breakers you need for he subpanels.

The assumption is that this job has only one (1) utility meter.


John
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