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I'm planning to add a disconnect on the outside of my house between a meter pan and my 100A main panel (inside). This is a follow up question to an earlier question. After I've added the disconnect I will replace my main panel and upgrade it to 200A. The meter pan and utility wiring is already 200A. The idea of initially just installing a disconnect is that I do the following in one day:

  1. Get utility to disconnect me
  2. Install disconnect switch
  3. Get inspected and approved
  4. Have utility re-connect power

After that is complete I can work on my main panel upgrade without needing to coordinate with the utility.

The plan is to first install this disconnect as an emergency disconnect, but not as a service disconnect (230.85(b)(3). So that I don't have to redo grounds and neutrals in my existing panel. I bought the following disconnect: Q2200MBRE. Unfortunately the label states "Suitable only for use as service equipment". This is puzzling to me, because it does have a green bonding screw, and when I remove the bonding screw the neutral lug is isolated from the enclosure. The description has this section:

These rainproof Residential Enclosed Circuit Breakers are suitable for use only as service equipment since they feature a service entrance barrier, factory installed neutral bar bonded to the enclosure, factory applied emergency disconnect, and service entrance labels

But their manual also shows: bonding screw (if required) see picture below.

Is there any way I can use this without the bonding screw and keep my main-bonding-jumper in my existing main panel? Once I switch out the new main panel, I will do the bonding in the outside disconnect switch.

Edit: looking at the 2020 and 2023 code for section 230.85 I noticed that the 2023 language specifically says:

"Other listed disconnect switch or circuit breaker that is marked suitable for use as service equipment, but not marked as suitable only for use as service equipment, installed on the supply side of each service disconnect"

My permit is still under the 2017 code, so this shouldn't impact me, but I'm still puzzled why they added that language.

Panel label Image from manual showing removable screw

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An emergency disconnect upstream of the service disconnect is bonded, just like anything else upstream of the service disconnect

In emergency-disconnect applications, the labeling of "Suitable only for use as service equipment" is a misnomer (it predates the NEC emergency-disconnect rule). Why? Because just like a meter pan or tapbox upstream of the service disconnecting means, the emergency disconnect case is bonded using the neutral as per NEC 250.92(B). So go ahead, fit the bonding screw, and use the box.

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  • That makes sense. It seems like as long as I don't connect any grounds in the box, it will just have the neutral bonded to the case (via the screw) and will not be a service disconnect. I'm planning to use a 2" rigid offset coupling between the meter base and this enclosure. Should the jumper from the bonding bushing connect to the small neutral lugs(next to the large ones)? Feb 15 at 17:27
  • I added a note to the original post, showing how the 2023 code specifically excludes "Suitable only for use as service equipment". Still puzzled why they did this. Feb 15 at 18:30
  • @ChristianK -- I'll have to do some more research on when that was introduced o.O Feb 16 at 3:01
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    @ChristianK -- late response, but it seems that the exclusion was a new thing in 2023. very strange indeed. Apr 13 at 13:59
  • thanks for getting back to me. I will install it as Service Equipment. Apr 17 at 15:10
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If it is marked suitable only for use as service equipment, then it has to be installed as such. That means it can be installed as Emergency Disconnect, Service Equipment. Bond the neutral to ground and run a separate neutral and ground to the panel inside the house which is technically a sub-panel. All neutrals and grounds are required to be separated in the sub-panels.

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