A question was brought up at an electrical contractors meeting, Load side of a meter - how long are you permitted to enter a building to terminate to a panel, and - when dose a meter main combo come into affect. A contractor claimed that the NEC dose not provide a distance from meter to panel. ( The AHJ claims an old code of 5 ft ) the utility claims 5 to 8 ft, but not in writing. Just wondering ???
This is really up to the AHJ and the local policy. The NEC doesn't specify a distance. Common sense says it should be as short as possible and some AHJs set that at zero, requiring an outside disconnect. The load side of the first disconnect is simply a feeder and follows regular wiring rules.
Re: SERVICE ENTRANCE#94149 07/08/0511:54 AM07/08/0511:54 AM
The ( AHJ ) by LAW, is required to follow the current NYS & NEC codes. if the NEC dose not have anything for the distance of the Service Entrance Cable, The AHJ can NOT make up a RULING, and the Utility claims they follow the NEC. What I was told there was a old standard set within the trade in the 1960's for a 5 ft limit. The ( AHJ ) was contacted, and will hold to a 5 ft limit, but this is WRONG ! If the NEC holds NO Limit, how dose the AHJ follow the rules ?? and, who's rules to we follow ?
Re: SERVICE ENTRANCE#94151 07/08/0512:56 PM07/08/0512:56 PM
This one is easy Roslyn. The NEC mandates in 230.70 (A)(1) that "The service disconnecting means shall be installed at a readily accesible location either outside of a building or structure or inside the nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors." This clearly allows the service entrance conductors to enter the building for a short distance to get to the disconnecting means. There is no set NEC numerical limit but it is pretty clear that you are limited to a minimal distance.
Re: SERVICE ENTRANCE#94152 07/08/0501:13 PM07/08/0501:13 PM
Thank you, but what was said at the meeting, a contractor had a 12 ft basement ceiling, pretty high, but this was the case. upon entering from the cill plate, the SEU cable was past the ( 5 ft ) AHJ limit ( They Claim ) and violated the job. in affect the Main Breaker would have been over 6' 6" in height , another voilation. The AJH wanted the contractor to install a Meter Main Combo to comply with the ( 5 ft ) limit. The contractor wants to fight the issue, the the AJH can NOT make up rules, just to enforce AND FOLLOW THE NEC.
Re: SERVICE ENTRANCE#94153 07/08/0504:54 PM07/08/0504:54 PM
Roslyn, Electricmanscott posted the applicable NEC requirement. The main disconnect must be "nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors". In your mind, point to the spot where the service conductors enter the building, then point to the service disconnect. Now, if you can point to a spot along the service conductors between the first two spots, then the disconnect is not "nearest the point of entrance", because this third spot is nearer. If the AHJ were to follow the letter of the NEC on this, there would be no distance allowed between the entrance point and the disconnect. If the AHJ is making up any rules here, it is only to allow a more flexible interpretation of what "nearest the point of entrance" means. So, if you are going to insist upon the AHJ not making up rules, then you must be prepared to live with a 0 ft. allowance in such cases, because that is what the NEC litteraly says.
Re: SERVICE ENTRANCE#94154 07/08/0507:30 PM07/08/0507:30 PM
230.70 is one of my favorite vaguaries in the code. However ROSLYN, this EC would be at the whim of the inspector on this one. This is also one of my favorite commentaries in the code too. (shown in italics)
230.70 General. Means shall be provided to disconnect all conductors in a building or other structure from the service-entrance conductors. (A) Location. The service disconnecting means shall be installed in accordance with 230.70(A)(1), (2), and (3). No maximum distance is specified from the point of entrance of service conductors to a readily accessible location for the installation of a service disconnecting means. The authority enforcing this Code has the responsibility for, and is charged with, making the decision as to how far inside the building the service-entrance conductors are allowed to travel to the main disconnecting means. The length of service-entrance conductors should be kept to a minimum inside buildings, because power utilities provide limited overcurrent protection and, in the event of a fault, the service conductors could ignite nearby combustible materials. Some local jurisdictions have ordinances that allow service-entrance conductors to run within the building up to a specified length to terminate at the disconnecting means. The authority having jurisdiction may permit service conductors to bypass fuel storage tanks or gas meters and the like, permitting the service disconnecting means to be located in a readily accessible location. However, if the authority judges the distance as being excessive, the disconnecting means may be required to be located on the outside of the building or near the building at a readily accessible location that is not necessarily nearest the point of entrance of the conductors. See also 230.6 and Exhibit 230.15 for conductors considered to be outside a building. See 404.8(A) for mounting-height restrictions for switches and for circuit breakers used as switches. (1) Readily Accessible Location. The service disconnecting means shall be installed at a readily accessible location either outside of a building or structure or inside nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors.
That word 'nearest' gets subjective... It like "depends on what the definition of 'is',is" Some jurisdictions pay no mind to this code at all. Some want all conductors outside... Some leave it to the utility to decide. As it is thier un-protected conductors at risk and liablity. Where I am, I have seen them go all the way through the whole building, here's a little photo gallery of some I took pics of a while back discussing a simular thing. Here
Sounds like you're only talking about a few feet too, like a few bags of concrete and a little rebar to support it will solve the issue. See 230.6(2)
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Re: SERVICE ENTRANCE#94156 07/10/0501:55 PM07/10/0501:55 PM
I thank you all for your inputs, I gave this info the the contractor that was in question with this issue. The problem for the contractor is that here on Long Ialsnd there are ( 5 ) AHJ in contract with the local town for inspections. It seems that each agency has a diffrent look and interpertation on the codes, not just this issue, but on several. On agancy might pass a job , and another would fail it. The problem is to get them all on the same PAGE ! This was a topic at one of our electrical contractor meetings, whitch nobody & even the inspectors had a HARD & FIRM answer for. I thank you all again for your inputs on this issue.