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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Western Montana
    Posts
    255

    Default Two buildings become one

    My brain is tired and muddy, help clarify my thinking. Inspected a house today that from what I can gather began life as a house, and a detached garage. One set of service feeders go from a single 100-amp main disconnect breaker at an exterior panel at the meter on the power pole, but are then spliced out at the top of the pole to become two different service feeders going to two seperate mast heads, and then down to two different main panels, one in the house and one in what was originally a detached garage structure.

    Since that time, someone has poured a concrete pathway, then a breezeway, and then sometime in recent years has enclosed the breezeway, so it is now one building. I can see very little of the plumbing and electrical, but what I can see leads me to believe that galvanized and copper supply pipes from the well, water heater, and hot water boiler are now connecting the two originally seperate buidings, probably through a slab. Of coure in the meantime, no one has bothered to have the electrical system remodeled. My assumption is that at that time, they SHOULD have re-routed all service feeds to one panel, and re-wire the garage panel as a sub-panel. Correct? (but of course that would cost money). The picture is the panel in the garage part of the structure. There are several other obvious problems at this panel (no code police for one), but my question is more about what are the functional dangers in having two service feeds to the same building?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Two buildings become one

    I would look at it the same as a multifamily with separate entry cables run from one service drop. More common when a house or building gets split up or a service added to the existing one. I don't see any "functional danger", other than inconvenience.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,317

    Default Re: Two buildings become one

    (bold in quote below in mine)
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Beck View Post
    Inspected a house today that from what I can gather began life as a house, and a detached garage. One set of service feeders go from a single 100-amp main disconnect breaker at an exterior panel at the meter on the power pole, but are then spliced out at the top of the pole to become two different service feeders going to two seperate mast heads, and then down to two different main panels, one in the house and one in what was originally a detached garage structure.
    I suspect your problem is in your terminology.

    The part I made bold are just "feeders". Using "service feeders" implies "service", which would be "service entrance conductors", however, once the service entrance conductors get to the service disconnect (the main disconnect), conductor to another panel are now simply "feeders".

    Depending on how they were spliced at the top of the pole, how they were supported at that splice, there is likely nothing wrong with it.

    Provided, of course, they did not run circuits between the two panels connecting the two panels together (and I doubt they did anything like that).

    Now, it's no different than if you ran to a house to a main, then split up to two separate panels.

    PROVIDED, and this is what you would want to check for, that the neutrals were *not* bonded to ground at either panel *AND* that if they had previously installed a separate grounding electrode system at the detached garage, that would now need to be bonded to the main house grounding electrode system.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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