I am replacing an old fuse/Buss-style subpanel in a detached garage (overhead). The old wiring on the house and garage is/was a service entrance cable strapped to the side of the house and garage. Garage side went into the garage next to the splice point, then down along the inside studs.

The POCO service drop has SER strapped to the house, so I'm wondering if I can do the same for the feeder, or should I use PVC or ridged conduit?

  • Are you replacing the panel, or the panel and the cable feeding it?
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 9, 2022 at 14:34
  • Are you saying your main service feeder comes into the structure without being in a raceway (conduit)? This is a huge code violation if so. After coming to your panel their are over current protections so most locations do not require conduit (but some like Chicago do) for residential occupancy’s.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 9, 2022 at 14:43
  • @EdBeal -- some locations use SE for service entrances instead of conduit, don't ask me why Jul 9, 2022 at 16:19
  • Threephaseeel , unfused conductors entering the building envelope would violate NEC 230.70.A , if in conduit that is considered outside the building , some states do have minor exemptions of a few feet, the OP did not specify the distance so I was asking for a clarification as it is a violation of NFPA 70 and this has been code for decades unless an AHJ exception.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 9, 2022 at 20:08
  • I take it the feed to the garage is protected by an appropriate breaker in the main panel at the house? Jul 10, 2022 at 0:37

1 Answer 1


SER cable is fine for this

For a feeder application like the one you describe, SER cable is fine for the risers as long as local Code permits it, which most do. (This was spelled out in a change to 225.10 in the 2020 NEC that explicitly permits service-entrance cable for this application.)

  • 1
    Current code also requires an external disconnect are we picking and choosing what sections to observe? If this is unfused and a panel upgrade then we would need the jurisdiction to be able say if it is still allowed.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 9, 2022 at 20:12
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    @EdBeal -- the emergency disconnect requirement is for services -- the OP is talking about a feeder from their house to their (detached) garage Jul 9, 2022 at 21:39
  • The op did not say it was fed from a breaker in the main panel, I have seen many older services tapped prior to the main and there is still an exterior disconnect required be it at the main or at the garage. But the op stated a poco from the utility
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 9, 2022 at 23:36
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    @EdBeal -- they were mentioning the SER POCO drop for comparison's sake, from how I read the question's wording Jul 10, 2022 at 0:36

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