Electrician Talk banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When are owner's panels required for 2-family or 3-family dwellings? Does it matter whether the home owner is including electric in the price of the rent or not?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,246 Posts
The NEC requires a separate owners panel to power common area stuff. But oddly enough, that is very rarely done here in NJ. Most 2 family houses only have 2 meters, I guess the first floor tenant pays for the outside/hallway/basement lights.

Here's the code:

210.25 Branch Circuits in Buildings with More Than
One Occupancy.
(A) Dwelling Unit Branch Circuits. Branch circuits in
each dwelling unit shall supply only loads within that dwelling
unit or loads associated only with that dwelling unit.
(B) Common Area Branch Circuits. Branch circuits installed
for the purpose of lighting, central alarm, signal, communications,
or other purposes for public or common areas of
a two-family dwelling, a multifamily dwelling, or a multioccupancy
building shall not be supplied from equipment that
supplies an individual dwelling unit or tenant space.
 

·
I own stock in FotoMat!
Joined
·
39,117 Posts
That specific language only goes back to 1993. Before that, it gets vague as to it's intent to separate tenant & house loads.

So any multi-family dwelling built before the adoption of the 1993 NEC may not have a house panel. And some AHJs took several years to finally adopt the '93. It's entirely possible a duplex built in 2000 may have been wired under the 1990.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
But when is it required? Is it once a home owners decides to upgrade electrical or is it just whenever a home owner decides to rent out anything more than a single family.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,246 Posts
But when is it required? Is it once a home owners decides to upgrade electrical or is it just whenever a home owner decides to rent out anything more than a single family.
I don't know what they would actually do. Is the NEC going to be enforced when no electrical work is being done, no permits pulled, or no inspection performed? Probably not. But what about the inspector who will do the CofO? Will he notice it and require it? What process needs to be done to turn this into a legal 2 family in order to rent it out? Who will oversee it and how far will he look into it?

I think there are a lot of variables and many different possible outcomes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
But when is it required? Is it once a home owners decides to upgrade electrical or is it just whenever a home owner decides to rent out anything more than a single family.
I think it is unethical to make one tenant pay for something other tenants use. Imagine if there was a shared laundry space. :no:
 

·
I own stock in FotoMat!
Joined
·
39,117 Posts
They could do what I found (the hard way!) in a duplex.... run those circuits from BOTH tenants panels, through breakers on the same phase.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I my situation the owner includes electric with the price of the rent. So all the electric bills come in his name. So the renters are paying a flat rate every month no matter what.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,246 Posts
I my situation the owner includes electric with the price of the rent. So all the electric bills come in his name. So the renters are paying a flat rate every month no matter what.
The NEC doesn't have a provision for that. It says that common space stuff can't be powered by the equipment power individual tenant spaces. No mention or regard to who is paying for what.
 

·
Electrical Simpleton
Joined
·
3,350 Posts
^^^ That.

And, ownership can and most likely will change in the future and there is no guarantee that the same billing arrangement will be kept.

Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
When are owner's panels required for 2-family or 3-family dwellings? Does it matter whether the home owner is including electric in the price of the rent or not?
I ran into this in Massachusetts recently. I completely rewired a 2 family that didn't have a house panel. The inspector said I didn't have to install one. But he informed me that the owner needs to write a letter to the building department and the tenants Informing them of circuits that are on their panel. I put the little common area lighting that there was on the homeowners apartments panel in case deadbeats didn't pay electric bill and henceforth no lights in hallway.
 

·
Retired Account
Joined
·
39,697 Posts
We're lousy older large K&T nightmares cut up into 4-6 units via some overstuffed antiquated services

Inasmuch as an 'owners panel' is prudent, the state has it's hands full trying to keep up with the simpler life safety stuff, smokes & gfci's

~CS~
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,983 Posts
NEC language aside, around here the AHJ (strangely) leaves that option up to the LL. If there's things like a common electric water heater and common furnace, common area lights, common fire alarm, I approach it as if I'm going to put in an owner's panel, unless the LL specifically says otherwise. I do this only because the inspectors in my area don't much care if there's an owner's panel or not.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top