Is this an approved installation?

Main lugs jumpered and receptacle installed on side of panel (non-GFCI in unfinished basement…)




Based on the color of the receptacle cover, it appears this may have been done back in the 70’s. It was a common practice that is no longer allowed. Recommend a repair be made by a licensed qualified electrical contractor.

Looks like a 3 phase panel being used on a single phase system.

What do you base that statement on? It’s less commonly done nowadays, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a prohibition against it.

With regard to the pictures in total, it is a 3-phase panel, with a couple phases jumpered to make it a single phase panel. Non conventional, but okay. The mechanical lug reducing adaptors used on the jumper are properly employed. The installer did have his head in the game on that one. The double tap appears to be old type TW insulated wire (really fat insulation), so the wire gauge may be okay for double tapping a square d breaker. You’d have to double check that. The backfed main doesn’t appear to have a hold-down clip, but this may have been installed when that was not a requirement.

Is that jumper large enough?

These are items I don’t normally see (back fed main) and just appeared odd to me…

Thanks for your reply Marc

I don’t know. You havn’t given any information about the jumper yet, or the service size. The service entrance conductors appear to be aluminium with XHHW or RHH insulation, and the jumper appears to be coppery with THHN or THW insulation, so that would account for some disparity in size. Got any more information for a more educated guess about the jumper?

It’s probably not a shame for you to call this all out, since it is a weird install that you’re likely to never see again. Probably okay, but weird just the same.

It would be proper to recommend GFCI protection for that recepatcle when the panel is located hanging from a joist in an unfinished basement. Correct?

200A meter box, 100 amp SEC (from meter), 100A main breaker, … jumper appeared to be 6 gauge copper


This does look to be a 3-phase panel “converted” for 120/240 use.
It looks like the left hand phase A lug has been removed and the 3 polebreaker is feeding bus A and C with bus B fed by the white jumper.

Is this a permitted application?

It’s not prohibited, and that’s all you can say. The jumper size may be an issue, now that we know it’s probably 6 gauge copper.

Is it definitely a 200A meter pan, or just a 200CL meter?

I must say, I have seen this done (3-phase jumped to single phase) a few times but I do not like it. Someone went through some work to convert an old 3-phase panel when they could have gone out and gotten the correct single phase main breaker panel and done a MUCH neater job.
This is what happens when your brother in-law gives you old surplus material he got from the plant.

As marc said though, there is nothing specifically prohibiting it.

Yes, I think it would be fair to say that this is probably along the lines of what happened here.

Yes it was definately a 200A meter pan (older)

I figured it was a friend of a friend or relative install since there were no approval tags and the house is 107 years old. That’s what threw me since it was an odd install (and I didn’t much like it either) but nothing really glaring about being wrong except the bonded sub in the garage and the possible size of that jumper.

Thanks for all your input.

I can still find some of those brown bakolite (sp?) covers around here at hardware stores. So although yes it may indicate an older install, I wouldn’t put my money on it based on the receptacle cover.

It sounds like your gut feelings were correct. Good job.

I’m an electrician who often gets charged with fixing items that home inspectors find that need correction. I wouldn’t hold it against any home inspector who flagged a really weird installation for evaluation by an electrician. In fact, I’d encourage you to do so in really odd cases, such as this one is. I just tire of the HI’s who constantly flag things that are absolutely proper in anyone’s book, such as double taps on Square D 15, 20 and 30 amp QO breakers. There’s one inspector in my area that suggests an electrician evaluate every 2-prong receptacle he comes across. That’s costing a lot of people a lot of money.

Resepectfully (really).

Why is “that’s all that (we) can say”.

As to your references to what is ‘legal’, are you aware of the specific AHJ codes in effect, in the specific jurisdictions that are refereced? Legal refers to the specific area and the codes in place.

Besides, “Legal” does not always mean “safe” (according to current standards) or “best practice”.

Different jobs, (HI vs. electrician) with different standards of practice and VERY different liability exposure.

I have never heard of an electrician having fiduciary responsibilty. :wink:

Dearest Napoleon,
Substitute “I” for “you” in my original statement, and that would be what I was originally trying to say. You can say whatever pleases you most. You can even say something that displeases you, if you want to.

Just curious, other than the jumper size, which I excepted in my statement, are you seeing any special hazard here that is otherwise permitted by a model code?

Your posts were very helpful Marc. Thanks for your help!:smiley:

It may be ‘OK’ to electricians, but is is not in the best interests of the client.

Electricians DO NOT have a fiduciary responsibility.

Most HIs do.

Kind of like the difference between a medical technician and a Doctor.

More liability for HIs, and more insurance.

How many electricians carry E&O insurance?

How many get (successfully) sued if they just follow local AHJ codes?

Different worldviews, different qualifications, different requirements, different liabilities, different jobs.

And why would electricians choose to turn down work? :wink:

Is it safe? Is it in the best fiduciary responsibility (backed by E&O insurance).

Would you come in, and present a letterhead report, with licensed number and insurace certifications, and say its OK?

If so, you just removed the liability off the client’s (AND the HIs) sholders.


It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially since the vast majority of HI’s are not electricians but just general practictioners. I’d rather flag a two prong or double tap and avoid potential problems.