Distribution panel disconnect?

I inspected a home with a Main and a distribution panel. The feeder wires were not connected to the main disconnect switch in the distribution panel. The top left breaker was labeled as the main disconnect, I do not see how this would disconnect power to this panel. I would like to hear a few opinions on this set up as I do not feel it’s safe sense the homeowner could assume the top disconnect was off but in reality it would not be.

Well, the main is in the off position. Was there power to the panel or circuits in the home?

Yes there was power on the circuits and as you can see the lugs for that main disconnect do not have any circuits tied to them.

Right, I was just trying to understand your question. That center breaker has “main” stamped into the panel adjacent to the breaker. That is misleading and confusing and may lead to injury. Recommend removal of the “dead” main circuit breaker.

Okay, I agree as well. I guess another concern is how would the one that they have labeled as the main discount really be a main?

I’ll step out of it here, because I am not a sparky. I prefer you get a concise answer.

1 Like

I understand, me either. Haha

The 2 pole 60 amp circuit breaker is likely the main because it’s back-fed by the feeder conductors. If that’s true then it’s required to have a clip, rivet, screw, etc. to hold it in place. Where did the feeder for this panel originate?


I’m assuming it originated from the main service panel but nothing is labeled on that end, but am pretty certain that is the case.

I see a bare grounding electrode conductor is this in a separate structure?

the MAIN breaker is off, and there is still power to the rest of the panel? As I can see the MAIN has no wires going to it. Instead someone put them on the service disconnect breaker, as it was marked as such.
the MAIN should be Removed and plugged.

Someone did this as a Breaker is $20.00 - $40.00 and a MAIN breaker is over $100.00
it was a way to save a few bucks.

anyways it is correctly wired just confusing as they left the MAIN in place.

1 Like

No it is not, there are two panels located in the basement. I’m assuming the top left breaker is fed from the main panel.

So can the top left disconnect that’s labeled as main, disconnect all the power to this panel?

What size wire? Possibly not suitable for 100 amp breaker?

Based on what’s visible in the photo one can reasonably assume so. You would need to turn that top left CB off and test the terminals for voltage to know for sure.