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#94739 - 08/11/05 08:45 AM Grouping question  
George Little  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
We have a situation where the utility company provides a single drop to a two family home and the first floor family is provided with his/her Service equipment in the basement and the meter is outside. The second floor family has his/her Service equipment in their utility room on the second floor. The metering for both floors is located grouped at the point where the utility company hits the building. Is this a code violation? Please cite code reference.

George Little

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides

#94740 - 08/11/05 11:58 AM Re: Grouping question  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,123
Assuming you don't have excessive, unprotected SE in the building I think it is OK.

230.40 Number of Service-Entrance Conductor Sets.
Exception No. 1: A building with one or more than one occupancy shall be permitted to have one set of service-entrance conductors for each service of different characteristics, as defined in 230.2(D), run to each occupancy or group of occupancies.

There is only one service but it can still "be run to each occupancy".

Greg Fretwell

#94741 - 08/11/05 06:10 PM Re: Grouping question  
William Runkle  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 27
Dowagiac, Michigan U.S.A.
Is this one or two metered service?

William Runkle

#94742 - 08/11/05 07:26 PM Re: Grouping question  
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
"Is this a code violation?" - Yes!

Assuming a Utility drop to a two/combo, or individually grouped meters, then on to the services..... (Personally, I would have the main right there, or dual Meter/main combo unit.) The unprotected conductors entering the building, and the distance they travel are un-defined by the NEC. They may be defined by the POCO... Other-wise it is the Inspectors descretion that dictates how far the far the conductors may enter. (IMO they should be in RMC.)

Now here's where I see the code violation... The disconnect means needs to be grouped according to 230.71. And access needs to available to that area for both occupants. Meters are not a disconnecting means.... Both of them can be inside, but need to be together, in the same area. If it's an inadvertant shut-off issue for the occupants, give each one thier own pad lock for the covers, many service panels provide a means for one.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#94743 - 08/11/05 07:59 PM Re: Grouping question  
Tiger  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 706
Crystal Lake, IL USA
Are they disconnect meter sockets, George?


#94744 - 08/11/05 10:19 PM Re: Grouping question  
George Little  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
The meters are not "disconnect meters" they are grouped at the point where the utility company hits the building and I agree with gfretwell it's not a violation. This approach is quite often used in strip malls too. Utility will hit a tap box and several meters will be fed and Service entrance conductors are run across the back of the building or under the cement floors till they get to the tenant space where they are terminated in a Service disconnect(s). In this case the code allows a deviation from the grouping. It's still only one Service with several disconnects ungrouped. 230.40 is the correct code reference.

George Little

#94745 - 08/13/05 02:35 PM Re: Grouping question  
Larry Fine  Offline
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 693
Richmond, VA
e57, what would be the point of grouping disconnects so all tenats have access to all disconnects, and then locking them so each tenant can control only his own?

Larry Fine
Fine Electric Co.

#94746 - 08/14/05 02:08 PM Re: Grouping question  
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
Says, they must be grouped, and access to occupants... Seems they only need to able to shut off thier own alone, but need to be grouped together in the same general area.
230.72 Grouping of Disconnects.
(A) General. The two to six disconnects as permitted in 230.71 shall be grouped. Each disconnect shall be marked to indicate the load served.

(B) Not applicable...

(C) Access to Occupants. In a multiple-occupancy building, each occupant shall have access to the occupant’s service disconnecting means.
Exception: In a multiple-occupancy building where electric service and electrical maintenance are provided by the building management and where these are under continuous building management supervision, the service disconnecting means supplying more than one occupancy shall be permitted to be accessible to authorized management personnel only.

A multiple-occupancy building may have any number of dwelling units, offices, and the like that are independent of each other. Unless electric service and maintenance are provided by and under continuous supervision of the building management, the occupants of a multiple-occupancy building must have ready access to their disconnecting means as required by 240.24(B).

I also don't think this situation is applicable to the exceptions in 230.40... They aren't of different characteristics(#1), not grouped in one location(#2), not a single family dwelling with seperate structure(#3), for common area branch circuits(4), or covered by 230.82(4) or (5), in exception (#5).

[This message has been edited by e57 (edited 08-14-2005).]

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#94747 - 08/14/05 02:14 PM Re: Grouping question  
Alan Nadon  Offline
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 399
Elkhart, IN. USA
I see it all the time when an older home is converted to two apartments.
They change the socket to a double, or sometimes just add a second riser & meter next to the first. There is a single point of attachment and the meters are grouped for the fire dept.
The service cable to the second apt. is run on the outside or has a disconnect at the meter.
Big headache is when you discover they have only one forced air furnace and one water heater for the whole house.
Common area circuits without having a house panel are also a problem.
Alan-- Inspector
P.S. It is a violation of Section 230.72 and does not meet the requirement of 230.40 Exception because it does not meet the requirement of 230.2 (D)
P.S.S. As an improper installation it is almost a tradition and I have resigned myself to ignoring it.

[This message has been edited by Alan Nadon (edited 08-14-2005).]

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