A service with a main distribution panelboard with a main circuit breaker and 6 or less feeder circuit breakers. Is the main circuit breaker redundant, a potential weak point, or a good idea? (assume no need for future expantion)
One was a strip mall where the owner wanted to divid his largest space. This project became untenable, simply because of the work that would be required to separate / upgrade the electric for the new spaces. In building the strip mall, every trick had been used to keep the required meters / disconnects to a maximum of six - and adding the main disconnect that additional meters would have required in turn meant the wholesale replacement of the entire switchgear.
In hindsight, it would have been far better had the main disconnect been included at the start. That's what happens when you use the NEC as a design manual!
The other job was the opposite situation; I added a 'main' before just one service. Why? Because there are plans to add two more, and having the disconnectwill make the future work much easier to do.
IMO, a good design allows for future uses, and makes provisions for future maintenance work. While a good design is almost certain to meet code, a 'code minimum' design may be poor design.
In my case it is a single owner building with the meter before the MDP. Right now 5 feeders out of the MDP. There is space for for a feeder circuit breaker large enough for any conceivable addtion. (that would bring it up to 6 if it ever happened). Is there any good reason to have a main circuit breaker in the MDP.
#188747 - 08/30/0902:17 PMRe: Main service circuit breaker or 6 feeder circuits?
Point of Info. 230.90 (A) Exception # 3. Allows the six disconnects to total more then the service conductors ampacity.(see calculated load requirements). Example service conductors good for 3200 amps with six 600 amp breakers . This is done quite often so the GFI rule does not come into effect.(230.95) Yoopersup