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Posted By: Trick440 Do I need a disconnect? - 10/24/14 05:00 AM
Underground feeders failed on a 5 unit apartment building. There was no disconnect on the original install.

We are running the new conductors around the outside of the building, in emt pipe. We will be penetrating the wall to enter the meter room, run about 20' inside the meter room to the jbox where we tap and feed each panel. Everything ran in EMT.

My question is do I need a fused disconnect where I enter the this building?
Posted By: Tesla Re: Do I need a disconnect? - 10/24/14 06:15 AM
You're in that nebulous zone: many AHJ limit interior runs to 10' -- and demand GRC/ RMC.

Because you're up the line from the disconnecting means ( the five panels ) the Poco will have a big say, too.

I'd expect that you'll have to get both of them to sign off.

My Poco objects to the use of EMT -- across the board -- for their feeders.

I would not be surprised to find that the feeders failed outside the perimeter of the building. It may prove far more practical to dig up the feeders.

If cable was used, one might expect that the Poco will insist on doing the splice work, itself.

In my area, repairs to Poco cables would be the financial responsibilty of the Poco. We'd call them up and demand a repair. Our PUC would make the Poco comply.

This provision is one reason why the Poco has such a big say in every new feeder / service lateral.

Posted By: gfretwell Re: Do I need a disconnect? - 10/24/14 07:37 AM
The short answer is yes
You say "feeder" (indicating you are on the load side of the service disconnect) so you will be using 225.32 but if this is really a service lateral (line side of the service disconnect) they are service conductors and you are in 230.70(A)(1)
It is really a distinction without a difference tho.
Both say the same thing

The disconnecting means shall be at a readily accessible location nearest the point of entrance of the conductors.

There is some debate about what "nearest the point of entrance" means but it isn't 20 feet. IMHO
Posted By: HotLine1 Re: Do I need a disconnect? - 10/24/14 01:35 PM
From the description, it sounds like the exterior conductors are unprotected service lateral. Based on that, a disconnect would be required at the point of entry into the structure. As to the 'distance' from the point of entry to the disco, 'closest to the point of entry'. As that is 'gray' or is the determination of your AHJ. 20' is not compliant IMHO.

As Tesla said, are the conductors POCO responsibility?? The answer varies by each POCO. I suggest that you contact the POCO before you get into anything.

Posted By: Trick440 Re: Do I need a disconnect? - 10/24/14 02:05 PM
I'm sorry guys I used feeder wrong. Yes this is the load side before the panels.

The original being ran without any form of disconnect had me questioning myself.

I wish these service conductors was Poco responsibility but this is Detroit Edison and they don't do anything more then bring power to the building and stop at whatever point of attachment we provide.

And those failed conductors are ran about 60' under an apartment unit. I assume the conduit rusted underground and collapsed on the conductors. Idk, just know it smoked a lot, melted the overhead wires coming from the pole and the firemen kicked in every door they could see to try and find the source. smile

Thank you,

Posted By: gfretwell Re: Do I need a disconnect? - 10/24/14 04:56 PM
Was this using EMT underground? I am not surprised that would fail.
Posted By: Tesla Re: Do I need a disconnect? - 10/24/14 08:08 PM
Folks, the Detroit area has an entire niche 'industry' of 'experts' who tap Detroit Edison's service drops to provide un-billed utility power.

Some of the players have been up-loaded to YouTube.

I would not be shocked to find out that 'hot' splices had been tapped into these service laterals.

THIS, then, being the true source of the smoked conductors.


I'd suspect some hot tray (line side) taps directly ahead of the panels that were protected at the panels... (six switch rule) were augmented by local talent.

The melt down could well have occurred right then and there when the 'expert' was doing his hot-work best to tap in ahead of the five meters.

The result was fire damage so extensive that it's hard to spot the attempt to jump the system.

[Imagine someone grounds a hot conductor (208Y120) thinking that they've correctly identified the neutral. Before the deed is done -- our hero is off in a flash. Ground impedence gives one the illusion that the conductors merely overloaded.]

{ Lay on some extra security for your vehicles! }

Posted By: Tesla Re: Do I need a disconnect? - 10/24/14 10:28 PM

It's worth a chuckle. ^^^
Posted By: Trick440 Re: Do I need a disconnect? - 10/27/14 09:51 PM
Originally Posted by Tesla
Folks, the Detroit area has an entire niche 'industry' of 'experts' who tap Detroit Edison's service drops to provide un-billed utility power.

Very true. This has been greatly eliminated sense the release of the Smart Meters.

This particular job is in clean 'untouched' condition, just old. I cannot recall if it was originally in emt or ridged. I do remember seeing an original conduit coming out the cement up the building, and it was rusted through where it met the concrete.
Posted By: Scott35 Re: Do I need a disconnect? - 10/31/14 11:23 AM
Curiosity "forced" me to take a look at the YouTube Video, using the Hyperlink posted by Tesla.
After seeing those Clowns, I viewed some of the "Related Videos", showing additional Circus-Staff Electrical Gurus at "Work".

My Evaluation:

Stealing kWh, Conductors, OCPDs, and such -vs- the total Risk, divided by the amount of Time involved to perform such tasks, may yield - at best, 25% the earnings of any minimum wage job; with the potential Risk factor of someone performing Black Operations / Suicide Missions.

Thrill-Seekers? I guess earning $7.50 / hr with a maximum Risk potential of boredom; maybe a slip-and-fall issue at best... - along with an almost -0- possibility of being shot by someone, experiencing arc fault blasts & getting the &%#@ shocked out of a Person, falling => 35 feet, or spending an extended amount of time at the State License Plate Pressing Facility (Prison), makes no sense at all!!!

Sorry to rant again. This stuff really gets to me - especially when it comes to viewing the disastrous results of those whom were "Not So Lucky This Time".

As had been common in the past, every 6 months or so, I get to hear the boasting of some Joker's "How I Steal xxx Electrically Related Items", and how they either make lots of money, or not have to pay for kWh consumption - or both!
Encounters with these Electrical Wizards typically occur at a Party or a Home Center; however, back in the Days when I was in the Field (read "Working"), the random Laborer & Misc. Trade Person boasted similar stories.

All had/have a few things in common:
  1. Highly Impaired Vision,
  2. Impeded use of Limbs - typically Arms, Hands and Fingers,
  3. Mild to Severe Skin Issues - burns, scratches, etc.,
  4. Short Attention Span - pre-occupation with impending doom, etc.,
  5. Uncontrollable Urge to obtain _ANY_ Recyclable Non-Ferrous Metals within site, regardless of risk involved,
  6. Minimal Cash On-Hand (many queries for a "Loan Until Payday"),
  7. Beautifully orchestrated stories of "Riches Beyond Belief" - reverting back to the listing in Line "F" above,
  8. Appear to "Duck And Cover" or "Play Hide And Seek" if / when a Police Vehicle is sighted.

Finished with an obvious humor attempt.

Leaving Soapbox / end of rant mode.

--Scott (EE)
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