National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


Re: CQD answer published August 9 & August 21, 2018 - Service Equipment 4

In response to the article debating whether a 3 wire single phase conductor set  is allowed to a structure as opposed to 4 wire set, the petitioner referenced a " service pedestal" with an overcurrent device . We were all taught in apprenticeship any conductors on load side of an overcurrent device are feeders. Unfortunately this is only partially true. If this pedestal is installed and maintained by a serving utility, then the utility is responsible for declaring the "service point", as defined in NEC article 100 definitions as the point of demarcation where utility service ends and customer responsibility begins. The placement of an overcurrent device installed on the line side (utility) of a system does not render the conductors from said overcurrent device to the structure as feeders, but as service conductors if the utility declares the load side of the overcurrent device as the service point, which is the case with many utility supplied pedestals. This rendering of "service point" is completely the decision of the utility and not the NEC, nor any customer or other party. We can only declare "feeder" when and where the utility states it will be. Thank you much for this opportunity to clarify a greatly misunderstood area. Kelly Stockwill



Hey Kelly thanks for your comment. You are correct if the utility owns the disconnecting means at the pedestal then the service disconnecting means is downstream of that based on the definition of Service Point in article 100. The service overcurrent device must be located "at" the service disconnecting means location as stated in 230.91 but upstream overcurrent devices are not prohibited. Utilities are typically governed by regulatory commissions.

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ABOUT CHARLIE: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Charlie was also a member of NECA’s Academy of Electrical Contracting. Charlie’s experienced team of industry experts keep the CQD dialogue and discussions active and informative in the spirit of the man himself, as he wanted.

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