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  1. #1
    MaMa Mount's Avatar
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    Default Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    If a panel can be turned off in 6 swipes or less I hear it does not need a main disconnect switch. Is this true.
    What does 6 swipes really mean?
    Would the panel below not fall under the 6 swipes of the hand rule?
    Thanx,

    MaMa Mount

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Six breakers. Not six swipes of the hand.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Six throws of the hand, I think, is what MaMa is referring to.
    Is that panel the service equipment?


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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel


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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Quote Originally Posted by MaMa Mount View Post
    Would the panel below not fall under the 6 swipes of the hand rule?
    Yes, it would "not fall under" ... there are more than 6 breakers in that panel and it is not a split bus panel.

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  6. #6
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    A little vocabulary, please ....

    The "six throws" rule is for services, not panels.

    Panels of any size require a disconnecting means. This can be either in the panel itself, or at the place where the panel gets its' power.

    Let me correct that: Panels of any size require overload protection ... not a disconnecting means as such. Though, of course, circuit breakers are a convenient device that does both.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    IRC 2003
    E3501.6 Service disconnect required. A means shall be provided to disconnect all conductors in a building or other structure from the service entrance conductors.
    E3501.7 Maximum number of disconnects. The service disconnecting means shall consist of not more than six switches or six circuit breakers mounted in a single enclosure or in a group of separate enclosures.

    Jim Luttrall
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  8. #8
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    IRC 2003
    E3501.6 Service disconnect required. A means shall be provided to disconnect all conductors in a building or other structure from the service entrance conductors.
    E3501.7 Maximum number of disconnects. The service disconnecting means shall consist of not more than six switches or six circuit breakers mounted in a single enclosure or in a group of separate enclosures.
    Will this apply to a sub-panel? The main exterior service has only the 200amp breaker/disconnect. The sub-panel located in the garage. see photo has 17 breakers with no main breaker.

    Best

    Ron

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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Would the panel below not fall under the 6 swipes of the hand rule?

    Yup--Top Right is a main breaker. One throw


  10. #10
    Richard Pultar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Some panelboards are suitable as service equipment and are so marked.
    Main overcurrent protection may be an integral part of a panelboard..
    A lighting and appliance branch-circuit panelboard is a panelboard having a maximum of 42 overcurrent devices..
    6 swipes does not apply unless the house is huge .. just guessing probably in the 40,50 thousand square ft size


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    Will this apply to a sub-panel? The main exterior service has only the 200amp breaker/disconnect. The sub-panel located in the garage. see photo has 17 breakers with no main breaker.

    Best

    Ron
    That's a Zinsco/Sylvania ain't it?

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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    That's definitely a Zinsco John. Those breakers really stand out.


  13. #13
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    That's definitely a Zinsco John. Those breakers really stand out.
    Yes it is!! I could not see any problems between the breakers but sparky will be looking into the replacement. 2 of the breakers have cracks along with grounding issues is the panel.

    Best

    Ron


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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    Will this apply to a sub-panel? The main exterior service has only the 200amp breaker/disconnect. The sub-panel located in the garage. see photo has 17 breakers with no main breaker.
    Ron,

    I don't see the sub that is in, however, being as that *is not "service equipment" (i.e., it is a "panel") *, no, there is no requirement for a maximum of 6 disconnects for a panel which *is not* "service equipment".

    Being as that is a Zinsco panel, recommend it be replaced anyway, it is obsolete and is problematic by its design.

    By the way, I see the groundING conductor and its terminal, which looks like it is wrong, but I cannot follow the groundED conductor (neutral) to its termination. The neutral should be terminated into one of the large end terminals on the neutral terminal bar, but I don't see it there - the neutral just kind of 'disappears', is it split into strands and then run to the neutral terminal bar?

    Also has multiple tapped neutrals in the same terminals, at looks that way to me.

    Then there are all of those grounds twisted and wrapped in green phase tape, probably all going into one terminal - also not good.

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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Miller View Post
    Would the panel below not fall under the 6 swipes of the hand rule?

    Yup--Top Right is a main breaker. One throw
    Roland,

    Ron was asking about his photo, not the original photo, plus, that "might not" be stating that is the "main". It "might", but it also "might not" be a main (in the top photo).

    In Ron's photo, no way Jose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Pultar View Post
    6 swipes does not apply unless the house is huge .. just guessing probably in the 40,50 thousand square ft size
    Richard,

    Say what?

    Please explain and give the code reference.

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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Pultar View Post
    6 swipes does not apply unless the house is huge .. just guessing probably in the 40,50 thousand square ft size
    Ditto what Jerry said. From my understanding, the 6 throws of the hand to deenergize the entire panel requirement has been around a long, long time with no delineation for size of the house.


  17. #17
    Richard Pultar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    If it was for panelboards how could anyone do 42 breakers with six swipe 1996
    NEC 384-14,16


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Pultar View Post
    6 swipes does not apply unless the house is huge .. just guessing probably in the 40,50 thousand square ft size
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Pultar View Post
    If it was for panelboards how could anyone do 42 breakers with six swipe 1996 NEC 384-14,16
    Richard,

    You post in such incomplete sentences and thoughts that no one can follow you, okay, maybe TM can ...

    You mentioned the 1996 NEC, 384-14, 16, so ... I am presuming that you are using that code reference to back up your previous post (also included above), but I don't get the connection of 384-14 and 16 to your 6 swipes????

    Here is the 1996 NEC 384-14 and 16:

    - 384-14. Lighting and Appliance Branch-Circuit Panelboard.
    - - For the purposes of this article, a lighting and appliance branch-circuit panelboard is one having more than 10 percent of its overcurrent devices rated 30 amperes or less, for which neutral connections are provided.

    - 384-16. Overcurrent Protection.
    - - (a) Lighting and Appliance Branch-Circuit Panelboard Individually Protected. Each lighting and appliance branch-circuit panelboard shall be individually protected on the supply side by not more than two main circuit breakers or two sets of fuses having a combined rating not greater than that of the panelboard.
    - - - - Exception No. 1: Individual protection for a lighting and appliance panelboard shall not be required if the panelboard feeder has overcurrent protection not greater than the rating of the panelboard.
    - - - - Exception No. 2: For existing installations, individual protection for lighting and appliance branch-circuit panelboards shall not be required where such panelboards are used as service equipment in supplying an individual residential occupancy.
    - - (b) Snap Switches Rated at 30 Amperes or Less. Panelboards equipped with snap switches rated at 30 amperes or less shall have overcurrent protection not in excess of 200 amperes.
    - - (c) Continuous Load. The total load on any overcurrent device located in a panelboard shall not exceed 80 percent of its rating where, in normal operation, the load will continue for three hours or more.
    - - - Exception: An assembly, including the overcurrent device, shall be permitted to be used for continuous operation at 100 percent of its rating where it is listed for this purpose.
    - - (d) Supplied through a Transformer. Where a panelboard is supplied through a transformer, the overcurrent protection required in (a) and (b) above shall be located on the secondary side of the transformer.
    - - - Exception: A panelboard supplied by the secondary side of a single-phase transformer having a 2-wire (single-voltage) secondary shall be considered as protected by overcurrent protection provided on the primary (supply) side of the transformer, provided this protection is in accordance with Section 450-3(b)(1) and does not exceed the value determined by multiplying the panelboard rating by the secondary-to-primary voltage ratio.
    - - (e) Delta Breakers. A 3-phase disconnect or overcurrent device shall not be connected to the bus of any panelboard that has less than 3-phase buses. Delta breakers shall not be installed in panelboards.
    - - (f) Back-Fed Devices. Plug-in-type overcurrent protection devices or plug-in-type main lug assemblies that are back fed shall be secured in place by an additional fastener that requires other than a pull to release the device from the mounting means on the panel.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    230.71 Maximum Number of Disconnects

    (A) General. The service disconnecting means for each service permitted by 230.2, or for each set of service entrance conductors permitted by 230.40, Exception No. 1, 3, 4, or 5, shall consist of not more than six switches or sets of circuit breakers, or a combination of not more than six switches and sets of circuit breakers, mounted in a single enclosure, in a group of separate enclosures, or in or on a switchboard.

    This code rule is for the electric service only. It does not apply to sub-fed panels.


  20. #20
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    Question Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Being one to question the obvious, how can this be a Zinsco panel when the top and bottom of the label on the door say Square D on it. The breakers are ones I typically find in Square D panels and are common in my area. I usually do not find defects with these panels and do not associate them with the familiar "Zinsco quality panels" I see infrequently in my area. Again, deferring to the experts here, what am I missing?


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Gainey View Post
    Being one to question the obvious, how can this be a Zinsco panel when the top and bottom of the label on the door say Square D on it. The breakers are ones I typically find in Square D panels and are common in my area. I usually do not find defects with these panels and do not associate them with the familiar "Zinsco quality panels" I see infrequently in my area. Again, deferring to the experts here, what am I missing?
    Jeff, I was referring to Ron Bibler's photo, not the OP's.

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  22. #22
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    Red face Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Thanks John. That is the reason I usually stay off the comments until I have my first cup of coffee....


  23. #23
    Michael Greenwalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    If I remember right the requirement for 6 throws dates back to 1959, NEC -230.71

    Not that I am that old, but....


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Greenwalt View Post
    If I remember right the requirement for 6 throws dates back to 1959, NEC -230.71

    Not that I am that old, but....

    In the 1931 NEC the requirement was one switch (disconnect) for each set of service conductors, with an exception for single-family dwellings which were allowed to omit that switch if there were no more than 6 branch circuits (there is the first appearance of the maximum of 6 disconnects per service).

    Prior to that (my 1928 and earlier editions), the references all state that each set of service conductors have "a switch", "the switch", etc., all with the singular references of "a" or "the" in reference to the singular reference "switch", not the plural reference switch"es".

    Thus, only one was allowed until 1931, then for single-family with not more than 6 branch circuits was allowed to eliminate that one, leaving six.

    I'm sure I could read through more of the editions and find where the maximum of 6 began to apply to other-than-just single family dwellings ... but I did not.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  25. #25
    charles bolden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can someone explain the 6 swipes of a hand in turning off a panel

    most electrical panels have a main breaker to disconnect all branch circuits leaving that panel.However if that panel had no main breaker the maximum number of breakers you can install in that panel would be 6.The code states, no more than 6 breakers are allowed to disconnect power from its service sweetie.


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