National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Monday, December 18, 2023


Hi Charlie, per our county electrical code I am required to install an emergency shutoff for a 200A single-family residential service. The county electrical code specifies the shutoff must be installed within sight/30ft of the wall of the structure and labeled clearly. The service pole and meter are in direct line of sight but measure 39ft from the nearest wall of the residence. Power comes in overhead and then goes underground to the residence.  I want to install the emergency shutoff on the service-pole the inspector wants it on a pedestal within 30 ft. What does the NEC® require for this emergency service disconnect? I am hoping I can provide some evidence that will change this inspectors mind. My objections being added expense and aesthetics, and arguments being that installation on the pole satisfies the codes intent and puts the shutoff where it will be most easily located by emergency responders. Regards, Michael B.


Hello Michael, thanks for participating in the CQD. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide insight on your County Electrical Code requirements, or on how to change the inspector’s mind. As for the requirements in the NEC®, Section 230.85(A)(1) require that the service emergency disconnecting means be installed in a readily accessible outdoor location on or within sight of the dwelling unit it serves. NEW Section 110.29 explains that “Within sight from/of” means the one piece of equipment is visible from the other piece of equipment and not more than 50ft away.

ABOUT CQD: The Code Question of the Day (CQD) is NECA and ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine’s flagship National Electrical Code (NEC®) public forum for the industry, sponsored by EATON. The daily distribution of Q&A generates a lively dialogue and shares relative Code-based practical responses.

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CHARLIE TROUT: 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. Even though Charlie passed away in October of 2015, his work continues in spirit. NECA continues to maintain this question forum for its many subscribers in memory and recognition of all his significant contributions to making the NEC what it is today.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Unless the question requests a response based on a specific edition, all answers are based on the latest edition of NFPA 70® National Electrical Code®.

This correspondence is not a formal interpretation of the NEC® and any responses expressed to the questions are opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of NECA, NFPA, the NEC Correlating Committee any Code-making panel or other electrical technical committee. In addition, this correspondence is neither intended, nor should it be relied upon, to provide professional consultation or services. 

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