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NEC Article 230 Number of Sevices

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  • NEC Article 230 Number of Sevices

    Would appreciate help from you guys.

    Article 230, allows only one service per building, with exceptions.

    It is not uncommon for us to have a multi-tenant building, each with their own service, which is allowed as one of the exceptions. However, our electrical department has always required services to be combined when a single tenant removes the tenant separation wall to combine two spaces into one.

    A similar case is in the historic downtown area, where a single tenant removes a fire wall (or two exterior walls) to combine two buildings into a single building.

    Time and time again, we are told that nobody else has this requirement, but to me it's black and white.

    Are we incorrectly interpreting this section?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    That is the way I enforce it! When it becomes one space it has one service.
    This issue come up all the time.
    There are a few condition listed in that make an second service necessary. listed in 230.2 a to d
    Last edited by RJJ; April 28th, 2011, 17:34.


    • #3
      Of COURSE no one else has the requirement... that's always the case.

      Occassionally one of the exceptions works, but rarely will the BO buy it.
      some days are just that.. :banghd


      • #4
        Thanks so much for the responses RJJ and Peach.

        Peach: yes, I'm aware of the exceptions, but the question was, if it doesn't meet the exceptions, are other departments requiring services to be combined when 2 or more tenant spaces are combined into one.


        • #5
          Considerable substantiation would be required by the building department I work for to give speical permission to install / allow more than one service at a building or structure. The NEC (230.2) identifies several reasons [(A)-(D)] when additional services would be permitted, other than those, you may be hard press to prove why it is needed...

          The NEC is rather silent on your specific case. It would more likely be something that needs be addressed in a property maintenance code / local ordinance.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bryan Holland View Post
            ...The NEC is rather silent on your specific case. It would more likely be something that needs be addressed in a property maintenance code / local ordinance.
            Bryan, thanks for your input. Could you talk a little more about this last sentence?

            Since the NEC allows multiple services for multiple tenant buildings, it implies that each tenant could have their own service. However, it doesn't specifically prohibit a tenant from having more than one service in that case. is that what you're saying? Thankjs again.


            • #7
              What I mean is that the NEC doesn't have language which details what you do when you have two services on a two occupancy building that is converted to one occupant. The code is not retroactive in that way...

              So, it would be weird to require an existing service to be removed from service based on an NEC requirement, becuase one doesn't exist!


              • #8
                OK, keep playing with me here, because I'm very, very weak in the NEC.

                Let's say there is a single building, with two tenants. They each have a sparate service as allowed by 230.2. Everything is legal.

                Now, one tenant moves out, and a permit application is submitted to remove the tenant separation wall to create a single tenant building. However, now the two services are not legal. Are you saying that I can't call this a violation per the NEC?

                Thanks again for walking me through this.


                • #9
                  I would not require the second service to be removed. Seems a little overbearing when the tenant may be gone in six monthes and you once again have two tenants.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Min&Max View Post
                    I would not require the second service to be removed. Seems a little overbearing when the tenant may be gone in six monthes and you once again have two tenants.
                    I never looked at it that way either.

                    As long as the tenant wants to pay for two services to the utility, I'm agreeable if they want to combine the service to one that's an even better option, but not my call.


                    • #11
                      Min&max, Fred: how do you reconcile your answers with Article 230.2, which allows only one electrical service per building, and none of the exceptions are met to allow more than one? I understand from a practical standpoint you may be ok with it. However, from a code standpoint how would you justify it? What I'm looking for are actual NEC provisions that either allow or prohibit it, and so far all I've found is prohibition. Again, I appreciate the participation.
                      Last edited by texasbo; April 29th, 2011, 17:18.


                      • #12
                        & & & &

                        From the 2008 NEC, Article 90.2(C) will allow it!

                        "Article 90.2(C) Special Permission. The authority having jurisdiction
                        for enforcing this Code may grant exception for the installation
                        of conductors and equipment that are not under the exclusive
                        control of the electric utilities and are used to connect the
                        electric utility supply system to the service entrance conductors
                        of the premises served, provided such installations are outside
                        a building or terminate immediately inside a building wall."

                        In some cases in this AHJ, the bldg. owner does not want to go to the
                        expense of removing existing feeder conductors, panels, etc. just to
                        expand a tenant space, AND, in order to make the potential agreement
                        attractive to the tenant space leasee, we will allow the CT meter to
                        be removed and any conductors to be disconnected or otherwise made
                        safe WHILE being left in their original exterior panel box.....The costs to
                        connect the additional space, and it's various electrical components,
                        being absorbed is the price of doing business in that tenant space.
                        It CAN be done!....The costs to do it are always to be considered first,
                        BEFORE applying for a bldg. permit!

                        FWIW, around here, ...there are some excellent Commercial electrical
                        contractors who would be happy to connect the additonal tenant space
                        to the existing tenant space, a compliant manner....The costs to do
                        this is what "kills the deal" sometimes!

                        & & & &
                        Last edited by north star; April 29th, 2011, 17:41.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by texasbo View Post

                          Article 230, allows only one service per building, with exceptions.

                          It is not uncommon for us to have a multi-tenant building, each with their own service
                          This is where I see a great deal of confusion as to the definition of the word "service". Tex, you didn't give details of the service involved here. Would it be;

                          A) POCO service entrance conductors hit a main disconnect then a line gutter that serves multiple tenant meters and discos?

                          B) POCO service entrance conductors hit line gutter that serves multiple tenant meters and discos?

                          If A then your service ends at the main disco and a tenant can have as many POCO cash registers as the design requires.
                          Quotes are from the 08 NEC unless otherwise noted.


                          • #14
                            North star, chris; good input! What I am talking about in this case are two separate overhead services, two separate meters, and two separate disconnects serving a single building. If I understand what you're both saying (remember, I am really weak with NEC), you would allow a single service conductor with a gutter to serve multiple panels/meters. I completely agree and allow it all the time. We suggest they remove one overhead/underground service, but keep all existing equipment at the back of the building and feed it from the panel behind the space where the service is. Basically, everything remains the same, except one main panel is fed from another. I have no problem whatsoever with that. If the FD kills the service, they kill everything in the building/tenant space. Really appreciate it guys.


                            • #15
                              Texasbo: Just has this issue yesterday. The electrical contractor says they allow this second service in other AHJ's to remain. I could have guessed that was coming.
                              Our decision is base on 230. 2008 NEC. None of the exceptions applied.
                              Besides the language given in the section for services under 230.1 & 230.2 the heart of the matter is contained in 90.5 Mandatory Rules.(A)
                              Both 90.5 and 230 have a shall clause contained and that creates a mandatory command for code application.
                              I can agree with Bryon that code doesn't state that an existing service needs removal, but it clearly states that only one service can be present.