Location of main breaker in panel

At today’s inspection I found a 100 amp Siemens main panel. I normally find the 100 amp main breaker located at the upper right-hand position. See the photograph that shows the main breaker has been mounted two positions lower than the top position. A single pole 20 amp breaker and an exposed opening exist where I normally find the main breaker. Is there an issue placing the main breaker in a location other than the top right. Thank you for your opinions




Since the panel cover is factory marked MAIN, IMO the CB shall occupy the top two slots. It also requires a screw or clip to hold it in place since it’s back-fed.

I agree with Robert.

Does the main breaker CB close the service or all breaker below it?

  1. Was it an auxiliary panel?
  2. The conductors look small for a 20 amp breaker IMO. 12 AWG is required.
    Any photos further back?

This a main panel not a sub panel
Breaker interrupts power to entire panel
20 amp breaker has #12…see the yellow insulation if you follow the wire

I have seen this before. Rightly or wrong I only wrote up what I could identify. You have an open knock out. I will also state that I would calibrate or measure the AWG. It look 14. Color means nothing to me after awhile. There is a thread, I forget where it is that has the neutral missing and most of the wiring is backwards. I think Chuck’s thread.
Did you read the legend and go the the code for reference?
Here’s something of interest.
Double Pole Service Disconnect The main breaker should be at the closest point to the service connection.

A panel can be installed top up or upside down. As long as the main CB or disconnect is nearest the connection on the bus.
So where is the top of the panel and the bottom.

Did you get a shot of the remaider of the label? I couldn’t find the same label online, but this one indicates exactly where the backfed main breaker is to be located.

Chad, Thank you for the diagram. I finished the report this morning and wrote it up as being in the incorrect position and recommended an electrician. I appreciate your research.

I believe this is related to this post…can someone explain it in slower terms.

Thanx in advance

from the photo it appears that the panel was originally MLO or main lug only and they simply added a back-fed breaker (top left) as the MIAN. The back-fed CB requires a clip, bolt or some other device to keep it in place.

I agree with Robert.

The clip is to prevent accidental removal…Yes

Anybody care to share a narrative.

Thanx in advance


Tom, what do you think needs to be written up? The panel has a main breaker.

Needs clip…am i missing something. I said slowly.

Not an HI, but if missing the hold down how about something like the required breaker holddown or breaker retention device is missing and should be installed.

Here’s the NEC wording:

That is not an incorrect statement but it is an incomplete explanation of why main breakers are secured. It is helpful to understand why things as they are but it is not necessary to explain why in an inspection report. Mention that the main breaker ought to be secured with a screw, clip or rivet and leave it at that.