Originally posted by julmer
If you do not have your main panel "close" to the meter (close can vary somewhat with the inspector but 6 feet is an often used number) you will need a disconnect at the meter which will become the "main" disconnect. From that point, you will need to run 4 wire (separate neutral and ground) to your distribution panel. Because of the distance, you breaker box becomes a "sub panel" Sub panels can not have the neutral and ground tied together in any way (no bonding screw on the busses). They have to be separate all the way back to the main panel. National Electrical Code is pretty specific but a lot of people get confused and are suprised when they flunk the inspection.
Ah, you must be an electrician too! Yeah, what julmer said is right.The distance between the meter and panel is a grey area as to the distance. There is no specific distance in the NEC book. Technically, you could go 100' or more but I doubt you'd ever find an inspector who would let that fly. Most inspectors want to see the shortest distance as possible, meaning disconnecting means as soon as possible because this wiring is unfused.
In NJ, the inspectors want to see 2 ground rods. If impeadence is more then 25 OHMs, (250:56) you must have 2 rods. Unless you can prove to the inspectors you have LESS then 25 OHMs, 2 rods it is. It's cheaper to buy a $10 rod then the test equipment.