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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Charlottesville, Va.
    Posts
    292

    Default Distribution Panel/Neutral Question in Multi Rise

    I inspected a condo in a multi-story building today, something I've only done a handfull of times. I am wary of not knowing something in these mulit-story buildings that differs from typical single family detached homes.

    I want to get a double check on two things regarding the electrical service in this multi-story condo built in 1988.

    1) No primary means to disconnect the service (or six or less throws in the pictured panel) for me to find anywhere that is readily available to the occupants. Not in the unit itself or accessible to me down in the parking deck/storage area in the basement.

    2) While the grounding conductors and neutrals are mostly isolated from one another there are two neutrals improperly connected to the same buss bar as the grounding conductors.

    Both of these would be call outs in a single family detached home. I assume it is the same with this multi-story building ? Is that correct, or is there more that I don't know than I know I don't know ?

    Thank you

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: Distribution Panel/Neutral Question in Multi Rise

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    1) No primary means to disconnect the service (or six or less throws in the pictured panel) for me to find anywhere that is readily available to the occupants. Not in the unit itself or accessible to me down in the parking deck/storage area in the basement.
    Probably located in an electrical room on various floors - it is not unusual to locate an electrical room every third floor so that the next floor down and next floor up are served by one electrical room. However, while you will find a main disconnect for the units associated with that electrical room, that disconnect will not be "service equipment" as the "service equipment" will be located in a main electrical room, usually on the first floor level or off a parking garage.

    2) While the grounding conductors and neutrals are mostly isolated from one another there are two neutrals improperly connected to the same buss bar as the grounding conductors.[/quote]

    You are correct that the neutrals need to be isolated from the grounds. That is a call out, but the main disconnect is not. The overcurrent protection devices are to be accessible to the occupants and they are at the panel in the condo. There are cases where the overcurrent devices are not required to be accessible to the occupants, but I doubt you will find a multi-story condo with the required qualified personnel on staff 24-7-365.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Charlottesville, Va.
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: Distribution Panel/Neutral Question in Multi Rise

    Thank you for the replies.

    Is the requirement for the service disconnect to be readily accessible to each occupant only applicable to single family units and therefore not applicable to multi-rise buildings such as this condo is in?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,899

    Default Re: Distribution Panel/Neutral Question in Multi Rise

    From the 2011 article concerning feeders.

    225.35 Access to Occupants. In a multiple-occupancy
    building, each occupant shall have access to the occupant’s
    supply disconnecting means
    .
    Exception: In a multiple-occupancy building where electric
    supply and electrical maintenance are provided by the
    building management and where these are under continuous
    building management supervision, the supply disconnecting
    means supplying more than one occupancy shall be
    permitted to be accessible to authorized management personnel
    only.


    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: Distribution Panel/Neutral Question in Multi Rise

    IIRC you put the bldg as mid or early 80s vintage.There were exceptions (actually written as confusing prescriptions) for all-electric (heat, range, etc.) feeders for all-electric dwelling units in multi-family, and the code has been completely recodified (and the style of the NEC completely rehabbed) in nearly every of the areas that would pertain.Not enough information has been provided to be calling out N&G. in likely secondary riser taps and building power distribution, or feeder protection for a likely polyphase panel of pre 87 vintage supply.


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