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code question (counting handles)

Posted by ionized (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 7, 10 at 21:24

I have an electric code question. I understand that until 1968, 6 handle throws were allowed to turn off power to a residence. I have seen several split bus panels that are built to take advantage of all those 6 throws.

Some of you have seen the pictures of my three-ph residential service. I have two main panels. One is a split bus panel with 6 mains. The other is a very conventional three-phase panel (single main). They are connected to the meter in a big splice box. My question is, could anything installed in the time of circuit breaker panels have ever met electrical code?

It seems to me that it would have met code requirements if 6 or fewer actual throws were allowed that it would have until 1968. That is because not all of the mains in the split-bus panel are in use. If the POTENTIAL number of throws, assuming that all main breakers can be used are counted, the total is 7 since there is a second panel.

How were they counted?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: code question (counting handles)

They are counted pretty much like they always have been. this excerpt from current 2008 NEC;

The disconnecting means for each supply permitted by 225.30 shall consist of not more than six switches or six circuit breakers mounted in a single enclosure, in a group of separate enclosures, or in or on a switchboard.

Hope that helped.


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RE: code question (counting handles)

I doubt it did.

If I understand the question correctly, he wants to know if the extra spaces count (since somebody could conceivably add breakers to them later).


I believe they DO NOT count, but I'm not an expert, so I haven't answered this myself.


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RE: code question (counting handles)

Blanks would not count, it would be up to whomever added another breaker to deal with the 6-throw rule.


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RE: code question (counting handles)

Thanks, guys. I am sorry for the delay. My father-in-law is in town and we all got busy for the weekend. pharkus interpreted my question correctly and put it much more succinctly. Brickeyee seems to be very sure. It looks like this would have been O.K., in this respect, when installed.


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