600 AMP Service. Use CAUTION!

I inspected this home last week with a 600 Amp, single phase incoming service! This could fry you, and your entire high school class-No Romex here! Down stream there were (5) 200 & 100amp panels. There was also a whole-house generator(YES-WHOLE HOUSE).

If you look at the 600amp panel, it makes the 200 amp panel to the left look tiny.

Notice on the exterior shot the bottom access panel has no pad-lock. Anyone can open this panel door making incoming service line completely exposed. Use extreme caution, and if ever unsure how to handle a situation like this…make a phone call- don’t guess!

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On most panels like that one MUST shut the power off (big handle) before one can open the panel to expose service cables

True Charles,

However, not on this systems. Actually this had two location where service lines were accessible; the bottom access door at the exterior and an additional access in the garage where service lines tied into the whole-house system.

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What are you guys going to do when you get into high voltage?! :wink:

60 amp or 600 amp they all Can kill .

If you are unsure then stay away and get an electrician .

:mrgreen: But it’s the amps that kill you…and it only has to be 1 amp! 20,000 volts can leave you with a little more than a zap without adequate current.

Think of it this way…take a metal vessel (lets say 1 liter in volume), and pressurize it with 500 PSI of air …you have a bomb which you don’t want to be near! Now pressurize the same vessel to 3000 PSI with hydraulic fluid. Relieve a few drops of fluid out of the system, and pressure quickly goes to 0.

You’re absolutely correct Roy!

So can a screwed up wiring system that we don’t want to have checked.

Home Inspectors want everyone to have there houses inspected but won’t hire a Pro when they can’t explain an obviously screwed up electrical system.

Just come to NACHI and we will tell you whats wrong from here,

The hot ground did not go away by replacing a breaker.

If anyone should know better…

I find it sad to see some who know so little giving advice to others who know even less .
I try to not give advice to those do not have enough knowledge to absorb what is said… Roy

That was an elegant remark that more should practice.
The value of personal and public safety is understated by many.
When in doubt “leave it alone” and recommend a professional.
Note it under recommendations and limitations in the report.
RECOMMEND: Licensed electrician evaluate the electrical systems panel.
Do all the branch testing, sockets and switches GFCI,s etc…
LIMITATIONS: High voltage panel. Beyond the scope of --------your company name inspections for a residential building.
Honesty is the best policy.

600 amp services are not uncommon for high-end homes. Even though these larger services will have different equipment associated with them, 600 amp services are no more “dangerous” than 60 amp services. The same caution should be used with either.

Yes Jeff… caution needs to be used in 60 or 600 amp. However 600 is more dangerous…just like 60 amp is more dangerous than 20 amp. It’s like stepping in front of a moving car, a moving truck, or a train…they all kill you. However, you can’t install 60amp services in residential. A wall recepticale will electrocute you.

Just like dealing with “deadly” or “Hot” neturals…you wont typically see this with Romex…but it’s “very common” with conduit because of “shared” neutrals on two circuits out of phase…or working with 3-phase 440 or 480V(not typical in residental)…which you better have quality testers for since sparks can “jump” air gaps.

It’s not just enough to know how to inspect electrial; but it’s best knowing how electrical systems function. I did an inspection after another inspector wrote up a service panel as a SAFTEY HAZZARD when 12 guage wire was used on 15amp breakers…obviously he had no clue what he was looking at.

I don’t agree. This is like saying that falling from 500 feet is more deadly than falling from 100 feet.

Yep! Infact I think 60 Amp systems are the worst because of the the average individual does not understand the danger of Amps thinking there might be less chance to be thrown across a room than 100 Amps which we know is not true.
Plus older system design is not as safe as a new panel with 600 Amps because of the stringent electrical codes involved in the installation of this set up.
It is the lack of knowledge that kills whether it is 600 amps or 6 amps it makes no difference when the heart stops.

Originally Posted by dmusielski http://nachi.cachefly.net/forum/images/2006/buttons/viewpost.gif
However 600 is more dangerous…

Bunk touching with your bare hands ,Your Heart has no idea what the size of the service is less the fraction of an amp kills you .
I don’t agree. This is like saying that falling from 500 feet is more deadly than falling from 100 feet.

Right on Jeffery . Many do not know 26 volts can kill .

Please some incorrect information is getting posted .

Do not get complacent with Electricity .If in doubt call it out .

Get in an expert .I let my electrical license drop 10 years ago to help remove me from being an expert .


My head hurts sometimes to Jeff! :wink:

There is no additional hazard with a 600 Amp service than there is a a 30 A Service.

Just more to look at.

A few milliamps in the right place is enough to kill you.

Why aren’t the meter cans flashed?

Roy…I have to correct you…Voltage does not Kill…Current does. Yes, in the sense that 60amp or 600amp will kill is 100% correct…you can easily die with 0.20 amp (200Milliamps). A wall outlet will kill with ease! There is no arguement…its basic physics, and knowing how much current it takes to stop the heart, and what causes severe burns!

People also get complacent thinking they are 100% safe that if they turn off a breaker there is no current in a circuit. Conduit wiring shares “Neutral” for two circuits all the time. This is a deadly situation because all the DIY books say you are safe when the break is off- not true…if someone doesn’t understand the concept…then they don’t know circuitry.

What people are also failing to realize…is you can survive electrocution, and depending on the Amps your heart took… your heart can fail 12 months later. Working around guys who work in substations, panels the size of a house, of with “EE” designers on explosion proof systems, you develop a strong respect for electric.