I had initally installed a 100 amp panel but needed more spaces so I changed it out for a 200 amp main breaker panel inside the house. Outside there is a meter / 12 circuit panel (6 switch) service equipment, in which I installed a 100 amp 2 pole and a 100 amp four wire feeder to sub panel inside. Inspector didn't like the 200 amp main downstream. I was unaware that this installation would violate any code 2002. If it does please let me know which one so at least I will know what the reference is. Inspector failed the installation without any code reference, and when asked for one, he said "TELL ME WHERE IT SAYS YOU CAN DO THAT." This guy went off when I asked him for the reference. I was not out of line as I am not entirely stupid and have talked my way out of a few tickets etc.. Told me I would have to set up appointment at his office for next week to talk about it. I would hate to think he is looking for a dead president to change his mind.
[This message has been edited by watthead (edited 10-28-2004).]
Well, you could have saved yourself some money (and not had this problem) by using a main lug panel since a main breaker is not required in this sub panel. You have a 100A feeder that is protected by a 100A breaker.
That said, I can't see any code article that this would violate. You could say that it is simply a disconnect which are often sized larger than their circuit OCPD.
Given the economics of mass distribution, it may be cheaper to buy a 200A service panel with a main breaker then to get a 'non standard' main lug only panel
Installing a 200A subpanel would seem to make it easier to improperly load the 100A feeder, but if your demand calculation shows that 100A is sufficient, I see no problems. When the time comes for the discussion with the inspector, I'd make sure to have the demand calculation written out in detail.
As far as arguing with the inspector, I think that the only real issue that he could have is that this 200A breaker is not properly 'coordinated' with the upstream breaker. It is generally good design practise to coordinate breakers so that the breaker nearest a fault will trip. I don't believe that there is a explicit NEC requirement for coordination, and you may need to explain that coordination is not needed here
As hbiss said, if you consider this breaker simply to be a disconnect switch,
In this case the 200A main breaker is acting as a local disconnect which happens to be rated at 200A. For example, a condenser unit may have a 40A breaker, 40A wire and a 60A local disconnect (next standard size). Will he reject the 60 disco?
No code requirement for protective device coordination.
I do not believe you stated that the exterior panel was locked or capable of being locked but this may have prompted the inspectors decision
230.92 Locked Service Overcurrent Devices. Where the service overcurrent devices are locked or sealed or are not readily accessible to the occupant, branch-circuit overcurrent devices shall be installed on the load side, shall be mounted in a readily accessible location, and shall be of lower ampere rating than the service overcurrent device.
The 200a main is not a branch circuit, so I say there is no violation. All conductors are properly protected ans there can be no overloading of the branches if they are properly protected with the correct breakers.