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Amp Man
Amp Man, Journeyman
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 82
Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician. 20+ years experience. Journeyman Wireman.
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Im an electrician installing a 3-phase 240 volt breaker panel.

Customer Question

I'm an electrician installing a 3-phase 240 volt breaker panel. The customer has requested for us to put it in a 2nd story building next door to the building it will power. The power will go through a block wall, through a ceiling and down the next door ceiling to power saws, grinders, etc. (not hard-wired, but cord capped) in a locker plant. To get to this breaker box, it's necessary to go through a door, down the block 2 doors, up some stairs to 2nd story of 2nd building, through a doorway and into an attic where he wants us to put the breaker box. I don't feel comfortable putting the breaker box in that location. Where in the national code can I show this customer that it is not safe to have the breaker box that far away from the equipment being powered? Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Amp Man replied 6 years ago.

Amp Man :

Are these motor loads that are being powered off this panel?

Customer :

Yes

Amp Man :

NEC Article 430.102 (A) States: "An individual disconnecting means shall be provided for each controller and shall disconnect the controller. The disconnecting means shall be located in sight from the controller location."

Amp Man :

This means that there must be a disconnecting means within site of each motor.

Customer :

The receptacle and cord cap are within 5 ft. of the saws/grinders but the breaker box from which the power comes is located in another building.

Amp Man :

Is the building where the motor loads are located on the same service as the building where your feeders are coming from

Amp Man :

?

Customer :

no, it's about 100 ft. away

Amp Man :

Here is an idea, why don't you sell him on a 3phase disconnect that is accessible when you come through the wall?

Customer :

The main breaker box has a 200 amp 3-phase in it.

Amp Man :

then your feeders can be shut off in the building where they are supplying the utilization equipment

Amp Man :

So come off the main breaker box, run through the wall into the back of a properly sized three phase disconnect then run out to the new panel.

Customer :

He says he wants to use the receptacle and cap as the disconnecting means.

Amp Man :

that's fine, he can do that. Did you see my solution above?

Customer :

We are running from the main 800 amp 3-phase panel to this 200 amp 3-phase panel which is located in the attic area next to the building where the motor loads are located.

Customer :

Does the breaker box have to be located in the same building as the motor loads are located?

Amp Man :

Not really, but it would be safer to have a separate disconnect as I outlined above.

Amp Man :

Is this installation going to be inspected?

Customer :

There is no inspecter in our county

Amp Man :

Ok, so it won't be inspected, correct?

Customer :

Correct

Amp Man :

Did you see my solution? Does that make sense?

Customer :

The 120 volt circuits that come into the same area have no disconnecting means except for the cord/cap receptacle. Does this make a difference?

Amp Man :

No, the way he wants it done is OK, according to code.

Customer :

Okay. Thank you for your help.

Amp Man :

How about a disconnect where you come through the wall? Would that make you feel better?

Customer :

Right now a trip to Cancun would make me feel the best, but a disconnect coming through the wall is a good 2nd.

Customer :

Do you provide free trips to Cancun with your answers?

Amp Man :

I wish!!! I don't think I would choose Cancun though.....maybe Aruba.....:)

Amp Man :

Good Luck!!!

Customer :

Many thanks!

Amp Man :

THANK YOU!!

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