Exterior meter

Just finished an inspection and need opinions. There is an exterior 60 amp panel next to the meter housing at the back of the home. It feeds the garage panel and is directly wired from the meter through the connecting conduit. Come to find out an electrition lived there at one point. Doesn’t look right to me. Let me know. Stan

A picture would help. A 60 amp panel feeding a garage panel is perfectly acceptable.

The 60 amp panel is connected to the meter housing by conduit and the wires are fed to the 60 amp panel from the exterior meter, not from the interior main panel. Looks fishy to me. Stan

Which part does not look right ?
Was there a separate meter for the home?

They may have been leasing out the garage.

No, one meter for the home and garage. The 60 amp panel is fine that feeds the garage. My question is should the 60 amp panel be wired at the exterior directly from the exterior meter housing? Someone had to open the exterior meter housing to access the connections. Stan

OK ,so you figure they should have created a subpanel and instead they footballed or did they double tap?

60m amps is not enough for a home anymore.
I think some of these lenders are asking for 100 now.

When you say “main panel,” I assume you’re referring to the service equipment.

If the 60 amp panel is not supplied from (or part of) the service equipment, it is improper.

I don’t think that’s what he described. I picture double-tap at meter socket feeding 60 amp box and also interior panel.

A photo would sure help.

Not sure. Looks like it is a double tap off of the meter lugs. I can’t tell, I can’t see inside the meter box. One of the past owners was an electrition and I have a feeling he did it on his own. I have never seen it, so I thought I would see what you guys had to say. Stan

150 amp main service panel at interior basement. Exterior 60 amp panel fed directly from exterior meter not from 150 amp panel in basement. Third panel in garage fed from 60 amp panel by meter. Sorry for the confusion. Stan

I know they make meter bases with 2, 4 or 6 supply lugs, but I think they are on 325 amp bases and up. Could somebody stuck a 325 amp base on the house?

Possibly, but the point of connection is irrelevant. The 60A panel must be supplied from the service equipment, or it must be part of the service equipment.

There are cases where multiple panels can be used as the service equipment, but they must be grouped and bonded. They cannot be located in various locations throughout the residence.

In my area, you are allowed to run two separate service panels and they can be one inside for the house and one outside for the outer buildings. It is pretty common here.

Thanks for the help guys, this is why I belong to this organization. Endless knowledge at the press of a button. Stan

Is that because your area follows no model code, or do they have a code-section that allows for this?

There are exceptions that allow for additional “service disconnects,” but those generally apply to emergency systems, fire pumps, required “stand-by” systems, etc.

If it is in the code book, the cities are turning a blind eye to it.

I imagine if the power needed to be turned off quickly to an outer building, it would be faster than going into the basement. In rural areas, the newer electrical has a disconnect right underneath the meter base. This to me would be a better way to go.

Here is the rule and the exceptions;

230.2 Number of Services. A building or other structure served shall be supplied by only one service unless permitted in 230.2(A) through (D). For the purpose of 230.40, Exception No. 2 only, underground sets of conductors, 1/0 AWG and larger, running to the same location and connected together at their supply end but not connected together at their load end shall be considered to be supplying one service.

(A) Special Conditions. Additional services shall be permitted to supply the following:
(1) Fire pumps
(2) Emergency systems
(3) Legally required standby systems
(4) Optional standby systems
(5) Parallel power production systems
(6) Systems designed for connection to multiple sources of supply for the purpose of enhanced reliability

(B) Special Occupancies. By special permission, additional services shall be permitted for either of the following:
(1) Multiple-occupancy buildings where there is no available space for service equipment accessible to all occupants
(2) A single building or other structure sufficiently large to make two or more services necessary

© Capacity Requirements. Additional services shall be permitted under any of the following:
(1) Where the capacity requirements are in excess of 2000 amperes at a supply voltage of 600 volts or less
(2) Where the load requirements of a single-phase installation are greater than the serving agency normally supplies through one service
(3) By special permission

(D) Different Characteristics. Additional services shall be permitted for different voltages, frequencies, or phases, or for different uses, such as for different rate schedules.

Additionally, where more than one service is provided, it must appropriatly identified.

(E) Identification. Where a building or structure is supplied by more than one service, or any combination of branch circuits, feeders, and services, a permanent plaque or directory shall be installed at each service disconnect location denoting all other services, feeders, and branch circuits supplying that building or structure and the area served by each. See 225.37.


The follow up to that (because that actually refers to the drop or lateral from the utility company) is this;

230.71 Maximum Number of Disconnects.
(A) General. The service disconnecting means for each service permitted by 230.2, or for each set of service entrance conductors permitted by 230.40, Exception No.1, 3, 4, or 5, shall consist of not more than six switches or sets of circuit breakers, or a combination of not more than six switches and sets of circuit breakers, mounted in a single enclosure, in a group of separate enclosures, or in or on a switchboard. There shall be not more than six sets of disconnects per service grouped in anyone location.