Subpanel 6 throw rule

This is a condo unit subpanel, built and inspected in 1985. The 6 throw rule should apply here, right? No main shut off anywhere else in the unit. What am I missing relative to this?

Observations: There is one improperly terminated branch circuit ground conductor that I called. Square D 100 amp panel. Common and grounding conductors are properly separated. There is a strip terminal for the grounding conductors to the right of the image, just off the picture, bonded to the panel. Common white wires are not bonded to the panel. And yes, white wires connected to breakers and are not blackened.

There is a main disconnect on the exterior of the building for each unit?

1 Like

No. I didn’t locate or inspect the main service for the building. I believe it’s in the tuck under garage below the units. There probably is a main shut off located there, but it’s quite some distance from this unit.

The main disconnect is a single throw probably. Not fully understanding why you care as a safety inspector, rather than a code inspector.

The Fire Department is likely to just yank the meter out if they feel they have need to shut off power. That if I’m counting correctly, is a single throw :slight_smile:

In my area there are many “condo” panels just like that. In the early 1980s when the condo craze started around here apartment buildings started selling individual units as condominiums. In every case these buildings had separately metered units each of which had a main disconnect by the meter. These were located either on the outside of the building or in the basement by what had been the laundry room. You won’t know if you don’t look.

The disconnect will be at the electrical room location. A disconnect means is not required in the unit.


I see the main disconnect in an electrical room with meters also, but most of the time the rooms are locked and only the maintenance people have access. Is a locked electrical room still compliant?

Thanks for the replies!

About the fire department - totally of topic: The scary thing in this very rural area with only volunteer fire departments is that they do not pull the meter. They have to wait for the lineman to do that. Not a good thing when there is no shut off on a pole or pedestal away from the building and the fire is gaining momentum.

There is too much danger having untrained personnel pulling a meter, especially without proper PPE.

1 Like

Micheal, you are referring to the six disconnect rule. Each service is allowed up to (6) six disconnects to disconnect the power source. It is not hand movements to disconnect from that service.

As stated for these types of installations the service disconnect will be at the meter so the up to 6 service disconnect rule does not apply here. It is required by the NEC that the tenant is to have access to the service disconnect unless the building is under 24 hour maintenance management.

As you’ve stated there are a few visible issues, the bent copper wire is not a suitable handle tie for the two single pole circuit breakers, the EGC on the neutral bus must be moved to the EGC bus and the re-identification of the white conductors as an ungrounded conductor however that was not required in 1985.

230.72(C) Access to Occupants.
In a multiple-occupancy building, each occupant shall have access to the occupant’s service disconnecting means.
Exception: In a multiple-occupancy building where electric service and electrical maintenance are provided by the building management and where these are under continuous building management supervision, the service disconnecting means supplying more than one occupancy shall be permitted to be accessible to authorized management personnel only.


I did an 80’s condo like this yesterday. Each unit had a meter outside, but only some of those meters had a main switch added. My unit did not. I called it out.

Interesting, do you have any photos?

I neglected to take exterior CYA images unfortunately, I’m walking around on a healing fractured toe, so I was trying to get home. But I found it in listing images. The two red circles on the left are meters only (the middle one was mine). The meter on the right has a panel added with an integrated shut off.

I assumed there would be an exterior main shut off and initially labeled the interior panel as a sub, but had to switch things around after poking around outside. Only a meter.

Happy Fourth!

This was a change in code numbering that began in 2017. Previous code years the disconnect location was 225.32. Wording is slightly different but the meaning is the same.

I do lots of condos here in Maui and rarely see a shutoff. I usually just advise people to get with the AOAO (basically an HOA) and have them point it out so the buyers knows for an emergency, they need to do work, it trips, etc.