Inspector said no Can't find in NEC

KenC3August 6, 2013

I am building an "addition" to our existing is more of an attached house (for an aging family member).
I have to upgrade the service to 400a where the new "house" gets it's own 200a panel. The existing service and panel are installed on a bedroom wife has expressed concern about EMF with regard to the main power proximity to a sleeping area.

There is a well house (7x7x7) about 15' from the house (and that much closer to the power pole). I wanted to mount the base and disconnects on it. This distance also removes some of the EMF issue. The inspector insist this cannot be done whereas there is no issue to mount everything on the house in the same configuration. He referenced 225.30 and up NEC (2005). I have NEC 2011 and I cannot understand, or find, where it is specifically stated that this method is wrong. I understand the disconnects have to be grouped and that the panels are now subpanels. This idea also makes sense because the new position is shaded where the house position is in full sun. Cooler equipment....

Is this worth disputing?

I appreciate any help


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Your wife's concerns are not supported by science. The EMF from 240 volts is probably not detectable from 2 feet away.

My sympathy at the irrationality in your household. Probably there are 100 million electrical services in the USA. And as the number of services has grown, the average life expectancy has increased. So where is the health problem with EMF?

The short length of conductors within the service equipment insures that the EMF at that point will be minimal.

This post was edited by bus_driver on Wed, Aug 7, 13 at 16:19

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 7:25AM
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Ron Natalie

If you are intending to feed two panels in the house (the old one and the "new" one) from the well house, then your inspector is quite correct right down to the code section cited. You can't use multiple feeders into a building unless one of the five listed exceptions apply. None of the exceptions appear to apply to you.

The only way that will accomplish what your wife wants I suspect is to put the new service at some remote location (perhaps at or near the original panel) and run a feeder (WITHIN THE STRUCTURE) to the panel in the new section of the house.

Note in addition to what bus_driver says, EMF fields are rather illusory things. The service is usually pretty well shielded and removed. Once it hits the first panel, it's separated out by loads anyhow which won't change much just because you shuffle things around.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 8:32AM
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Just HOW is moving the service off site going to alleviate SUPPOSED emf issues??? The SAME amount of POTENTIAL and actual power is available and/or being used inside the house.

Sorry, the whole emf issue inside a home is a crock IMO. It's COMPLETELY in one's head, and the ONLY way to deal with it properly is to not have electricity in the house.

Didja ever notice, it is always a similar personality type that has issues with things like this?

Oh, and the inspector is wrong.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 4:31PM
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Just FYI, you receive more EMF from your computer monitor 16" in front of your face, alarm clock just a couple feet from your head every night and cell phone at your ear multiple times per hour, than you will from the panel in your house.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 10:27PM
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Ron Natalie

The inspector is NOT wrong if he's talking about running two feeders to the same structure, which I imply was the case based on his discussion of "grouping disconnects."

The inspector's cite as to the relevant code section is spot on.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 7:09AM
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Thank you all for your comments and expertize.
I read section 225.30 a few times and apparently couldn't get past my own belief that what I wanted to do was entirely possible...Glad our inspector is on the ball!

EMFs...Like many topics some see it black and others see it white, who knows. I'm not sure I want to live to be 150 and not enjoy a few vises and worry about every potential health concern. Studies show coffee is good, oh wait, studies show coffee is bad. If I could have moved the main service etc.
it would have been a simple way to satisfy my wife's concern.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 8:13AM
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