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kangaroogod
05-07-2013, 08:51 PM
Does anyone know the reference for clearances of air conditioning equipment to an outdoor electric meter? I cannot find it anywhere but I am told it is 4'? I am not sure if that is in front of or laterally?

rundawg
05-09-2013, 12:26 PM
Does anyone know the reference for clearances of air conditioning equipment to an outdoor electric meter? I cannot find it anywhere but I am told it is 4'? I am not sure if that is in front of or laterally?

I think that would fall under NEC 110.26 (Spaces About Electrical Equipment)

Access and working area "free off obstructions" around the meter has to be a box that is :

Depth - 3.0 - 4.0 feet (depending on voltage and conditions)

Width - width of equipment or 30 inches (which ever is greater)

Height - 6.5 feet


Local codes might be more restrictive.

kangaroogod
05-09-2013, 01:01 PM
Thanks,, appreciate it

timebuilder
05-09-2013, 05:55 PM
I think that would fall under NEC 110.26 (Spaces About Electrical Equipment)

Access and working area "free off obstructions" around the meter has to be a box that is :

Depth - 3.0 - 4.0 feet (depending on voltage and conditions)

Width - width of equipment or 30 inches (which ever is greater)

Height - 6.5 feet


Local codes might be more restrictive.

Using table 110.26 A 1, a condensing unit falls under "condition 2," with live parts on one side and the wall behind being grounded.

So, believe it or not, a condensing unit that must be serviced using the control section facing the building, can be no closer to that building than 3' 6".

I'm just sayin'.

For the lateral distance from an electric meter, it is the width or the equipment or 30", whichever is greater.

The meter must have the same clearance distance requirements as the condensing unit, but the meter faces open space, and so it falls under condition 1, and must have 3' of working space in front of the meter. Some rowhomes have a very narrow walkway between the homes to access the rear of the building, and it used to be accepted practice to put the meter sockets inside that space. Because it is a condition 3 situation when the meters face each other, that walkway would have to be a minimum of 4 feet wide today.

rundawg
05-09-2013, 06:24 PM
Thanks for the clarification.

kangaroogod
05-09-2013, 06:30 PM
I live for this stuff :) thanks

jmac00
06-07-2013, 10:51 PM
Does anyone know the reference for clearances of air conditioning equipment to an outdoor electric meter? I cannot find it anywhere but I am told it is 4'? I am not sure if that is in front of or laterally?

I asked an RG&E meter reader that very question last year. His basic un-official response was "as long as I can get to the meter without tripping your good-to-go"

I put a condenser 3 to 4' from the meter, he didn't seem to care? just say'n

timebuilder
06-08-2013, 08:13 AM
Meter guys are not code officials, so their say-so means zip.

jmac00
06-08-2013, 08:39 AM
Meter guys are not code officials, so their say-so means zip.

read my response!!!!! I said "UN-OFFICIAL response was....."

the best thing to do in these situations is to call BOTH the town Code Enforcement person AND the local power company. If you get approval from both of them you should be good-to-go.

If they both defer to the other?....use your best judgment.

The condenser I put in front of that meter was moved to install a addition, the code enforcement guy gave them a C of O, so it apparently was not an issue

timebuilder
06-08-2013, 09:03 AM
read my response!!!!! I said "UN-OFFICIAL response was....."

the best thing to do in these situations is to call BOTH the town Code Enforcement person AND the local power company. If you get approval from both of them you should be good-to-go.

If they both defer to the other?....use your best judgment.

The condenser I put in front of that meter was moved to install a addition, the code enforcement guy gave them a C of O, so it apparently was not an issue


What I said was that since he is not a code official, his opinion means zip, which means "even his UN-OFFICIAL opinion means nothing."

The power Co is not an entity that can give a code opinion. Most power company equipment is specifically exempted from the code. The utility has ZERO interest in whether your meter meets code regarding it's placement to any other device. Their only care is that it is sealed and works reliably for the billing of power.

The local enforcement person can only give a binding opinion if there is a permit issued and a written approval issued by his office. In a small town, they may be willing to issue an opinion without a permit, but the permits are how they cover their department costs.

jmac00
06-08-2013, 12:39 PM
What I said was that since he is not a code official, his opinion means zip, which means "even his UN-OFFICIAL opinion means nothing."

The power Co is not an entity that can give a code opinion. Most power company equipment is specifically exempted from the code. The utility has ZERO interest in whether your meter meets code regarding it's placement to any other device. Their only care is that it is sealed and works reliably for the billing of power.

The local enforcement person can only give a binding opinion if there is a permit issued and a written approval issued by his office. In a small town, they may be willing to issue an opinion without a permit, but the permits are how they cover their department costs.

I guess Im good-to-go then, the customer got a C of O. The condenser is about 18" from the addition and 3 to 4' from the meter?

timebuilder
06-08-2013, 12:52 PM
I guess Im good-to-go then, the customer got a C of O. The condenser is about 18" from the addition and 3 to 4' from the meter?

That doc means the municipality is satisfied with the requirements that they choose to enforce, either via standards they have adopted, or more stringent standards that they have passed as local ordinances.

Obviously, they are choosing to not require the nec standard for work area between the condenser and the building.

jmac00
06-08-2013, 04:36 PM
That doc means the municipality is satisfied with the requirements that they choose to enforce, either via standards they have adopted, or more stringent standards that they have passed as local ordinances.

Obviously, they are choosing to not require the nec standard for work area between the condenser and the building.

it's quite possible that the building inspector doesn't have a clue about the NEC

But no one has complained yet, :angel:

timebuilder
06-08-2013, 04:48 PM
it's quite possible that the building inspector doesn't have a clue about the NEC

But no one has complained yet, :angel:

That is certainly a possibility, since many inspectors use the IRC (International Residential Code) which sources some, but not all of the NEC residential rules.

It is VERY possible that he is completely unaware of much of the NEC.

timebuilder
06-09-2013, 02:46 PM
Just an FYI: if the controls section of a condenser faces the building, the distance from the building must be 3' 6" according to NEC 110.26 A, with condition 2 in play.

bourbon
12-09-2014, 10:06 PM
The meter is property of the utility company, it is not utilization equipment which is covered by the NEC. Our local power company hands you a sheet when you pick up the meter base with some basic requirements like center line of the meter (not the base) is no less than 4' or more than 6' above finished grade level. They also send a rep out to approve the meter location before you set it. They mostly want to make sure it has easy and safe access for their meter readers. They don't want them to have to walk across sidewalks that might be iced over, be responsible for opening and closing gates, or battling overgrown landscaping, etc. Obviously meter location can have a substantial cost impact on the job. If you have to extend the service entrance any more than putting a conduit nipple out of the meter base through the exterior wall to the service panel, you have to install an outdoor weatherproof service disconnect which in addition to being expensive its ugly too. Our power company has been very good to work with in my experiences.

VTP99
12-10-2014, 12:01 AM
If you have to extend the service entrance any more than putting a conduit nipple out of the meter base through the exterior wall to the service panel, you have to install an outdoor weatherproof service disconnect which in addition to being expensive its ugly too.

I had a conversation with an electrician a while back about this. I asked him why, on his new service install, there was not a main breaker at the indoor panel. Instead it was on the outside of the house. He told me the code dictated if the indoor panel was not within x amount of the point of entrance it had to be outside. Why is this ?

CleterD
12-10-2014, 06:42 AM
I had a conversation with an electrician a while back about this. I asked him why, on his new service install, there was not a main breaker at the indoor panel. Instead it was on the outside of the house. He told me the code dictated if the indoor panel was not within x amount of the point of entrance it had to be outside. Why is this ?

The cable to the service panel is unfused except for the high voltage fuse at the transformer which is often grossly over sized to prevent nuisance trips. They want to limit how much of this unfused cable is inside of a structure. Unless it feeds directly into the rear of the interior panel there will always be some so it's kind of a compromise, making it as safe as reasonably possible.