Electrician responds

I inspected a small home that was remodeled by a church and friends. My main concerns were undersized wiring in the main panel, a neutral wire used as a hot leg and then the service panel that was 200 amp (a replacement during the remodel) on what I felt was 100 amp service leads. I told them if the licensed electrician certified in writing that the panel and service was indeeed correct and the other items were corrected, I would come back and check when completed.

This is the response from the electrician as written,
the 200 amp main in the panel simply acts as a disconnecting means and is not the means of over current protection for the electric service. the over current protection is in the meter base outside the home in the form of a 100 amp main breaker which is appropriatly sized for the service entrance wire. the panel and service entrance wire are protected by that 100 amp main breaker.

Now I’m not an electrician and always look to be educated were I lack some knowledge, but I feel that this is an incorrect statement.
Constructive Comments please.

So its a sub panel inside protected by the 100 amp breaker outside. I agree with the electrician.

Why would you upgrade the panel to a 200 amp unit, load up the panel with circuits, and still have the 100 amp service wires installed from the meter?


Do you have any pictures of the panels in question?

I don’t know why they did it that way but the only possible issue is if the 200 amp breaker isn’t rated for the size of the conductor. Its properly protected from the main breaker though.

Got pic’s on inside and out?
My concern is the statement above in RED
Meter bases should be sealed. If the ocp needed resetting, how is the homeowner/tenant supposed to accomplish that?
Need more info!

It sounds like that an upgrade was what they had in mind without the proper implementation.

Because it was done without permit. If the power company increases service size to the house, they would normally require a permit issued by the AHJ. The electrician just changed the panel without upgrading the service.

The electrician is right.

Probably just a meter/disconnect combo

No permit? Improper implementation? You guys are making too many assumptions. This set up sounds fine to me.

The setup sounds fine to me as well, for a 100 amp sub panel, but I bet they thought they were upgrading the service with the work they did.

Panels with breakers are more common than MLO panels. Consequently, they are more readily available and often less expensive. There is also the convenience of having a disconnect indoors. They could have used an MLO panel or a safety switch but there is nothing wrong with the way they did it.

Maybe they did upgrade the service. Maybe it was a 60 amp fuse panel.

It is probably a combination meter socket and service panel. Only the top portion would be sealed. A picture or two would be good to see though.

I agree. Nothing Steve said suggests an improper or illegal installation. Of course, it is possible that it is an illegal installation but Steve’s description sounds like a typical installation.

So it’s rated as a 100 amp service, not at 200 amp. Correct?

Yes, that’s right. The 200A breaker is merely serving as a switch.

I agree also that the electrician is correct. You could remove the 200 amp CB and it would still be code compliant. Think of the 200 amp CB as a 200 amp non-fused disconnect switch or a fused disconnect with 200 amp fuses both of which would also be code compliant.

Sorry guys had to leave for a time. I will look for the pictures.
My point was if you remodeled the home, you upgraded the panel to 200 amp, why not have the service upgraded. I guess I’m wrong, but I felt like they were skirting doing the service, 1. because it was tough to get to. and 2. this was free install. Also if it was being done correctly I asked why was there a neutral wire used a Hot Leg and a new panel with multiple knock-outs missing. I also believed that one double breaker had to small of guage wire. But again, I’m not an electrician.