Does a subpanel require a main breaker by code?
Sunday, February 2, 2020
The means of disconnection for a subpanel is provided by a breaker serving it in the service (main) panel, so an additional breaker at the subpanel is not necessary. But you can put a main breaker at a subpanel is you want. The National Electrical Code only requires a main disconnect for a subpanel when located in a separate building (NEC 225.30 and 225.31).
The means of disconnection can use up to six switch-throws [NEC 225.33(A)]; so, even if the subpanel is in a separate building, if the panel has a total of six breakers or less you’re good. Also, main disconnect(s) must be marked as such.
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