2 Main Panels / 1 Meter

Hello all I’m new to this forum. Thought I would join in on the fun. I inspected a home today that was 3000 sq ft built in 2003. This home had 2 main panels, bonded and grounded and only 1 meter. Service to the home is underground. Can 1 meter control both panels or is two meters needed?

I see this a lot on larger houses.


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The panels must be grouped and in the same location. It’s not referred to as “two main panels,” but rather, the service equipment, or possibly even a parallel service.

The code refers to shutting off a structure with “six throws of the hand” or less. So the meter could supply six grouped main breaker panels. Or a main lug panel with six throws (like a split bus panel).

Just to add…John, a meter controls nothing as it is not considered service equipment. You asked could a single meter control…again it controls nothing as it is passive equipment.

That is a misnomer which we should not perpetuate. The code makes absolutely no reference to “hand” motions. I can flip many breakers with one “hand” motion.

The code refers to switches or breakers, or sets of switches or breakers. In other words two or three breakers/switches with a handle tie is the same as one.