Main Disconnect

I am schueduled to do an inspection on New Years day. I set up a radon monitor this afternoon & took a quick look around the basement & outside. I didnt open the panel yet. I will take pictures & post on Monday.

Question. The inside service has a white sticker that says main disconnect. There is no main in the panel. Is the main located outside below the meter. It is locked & I wont be able to inspect the outside. Home was built in 2004.

As you can see the city inspector signed off on the inspection.

It looks like a homeowner electrical job in the basement as there is a wire hanging from the ceiling. I bet it was done without a permit. Looks like the basement was just partially finished. Stay tuned!!

Oh I hope the utility company isnt going to leave there swimming pool around to long. I did a quick look but what utility is the box? Phone? And what is the cylindercal utility next to the green box?


89107 Broadview Heights 013 (Small).jpg

89107 Broadview Heights 013 (Small).jpg

89107 Broadview Heights 003 (Small).jpg

89107 Broadview Heights 012 (Small).jpg

89107 Broadview Heights 002 (Small).jpg

See the meter base’s bottom door. I’m willing to bet money it’s in there. :wink:

Remember to ask for the key(to that padlock) from the home owner to check it out.


Plastic box next to the meter is phone.
The white cylider is probably fiber optic.


 If you are not able to look into the panel on the outside under the meter may not be able to inspect that portion. However, since it is underground can assume that the connection from the disconnect below is tried to the meter socket..even if it is not...chances are it will be sized based on the rating of the enclosure.

Be more concerned about looking at the size of the SEC's as they enter into the panel for the labeling...many stick stickers on things not knowing...would not worry to much about that.....BUT make sure the conductors coming into the panel inside are sized right based on the panels it to the conductors inside as well....

Do all the things you have come to learn with regards to the inside panel…you are doing a fine job at that…most excellent !

I also agree with TOM here as well…ask about a KEY…someone has to have one…and IF you are not able to inspect that part of the system be sure to disclaim it on your report as to WHY you could not inspect it…and snap a shot of it…( which you already have ) and make reference to the picture in your report.

The key to me will be your observation of the panel inside when you get to remove the panel cover.

AS for the others…thats the Transformer and the TV Cable connection pod.

What is the transformer for? cable??

Does this panel comply with the 6 or less breakers for shutting off. Is not this misleading to the home owner having a white sticker saying main shut off. They may think the top breakers shut off the entire service.

If the main is under lock & key does the NEC have an exception for that?

Sorry about all the questions. I am sure that when I take off the covers I can answer my questions. And of course if I dont know you know where to find me!!

Thanks everyone for your help.

Master Paul

Grass hopper is going to figure this out someday & then I can answer more questions then I ask.

That partially submerged padmount transformer scares the crap out of me. As a former lineman, I can tell you that the water level is very near the 7600V “elbows” inside. The secondary flag terminals may or may not be presently submerged. This is something that any ordinary citizen should call into the POCO immediately. Somebody may have recently drastically changed the grade, or the padmount was set at the wrong elevation when the development was piped out, and ended up that way by accident. I suspect that this transformer is in a back easement that doesn’t get many eyeballs on it.

That cylinder is the catv splicing pedestal.

Your main disconnect is in that lower section below the meter. If there’s a utility seal tag on that section, there rightfully shouldn’t be. This is the customer’s section. Sometimes, the meterman or the lineman will mistakenly seal this section. Feel free to cut a utility seal tag off this section with full immunity. If there’s a lock on that section, that’s the customer’s. A customer will sometimes lock their outdoor main disconnect to prevent tampering or for no good reason at all. It may interest you to know that these underground fed meter cans that have a main disconnect section below have an enclosed “gutter section” inside along the edge to prevent access to the meter line side conductors that pass through the lower section.

That’s about all I know about that. Hope that helps.

If you are talking about the big green box in the sinkhole, that is the POCO transformer, for the electricity.

Dave…no those are VERY good questions…VERY GOOD ones and I am in NO way the master…found that out today…

No that panel would not comply to a 6 disconnect rule IF that was the only panel…we can only assume right now the MAIN disconnect is out under the meter socket…

I would mention that as well about the sticker…however personally I would not get overly concerned on that part…but it really depends on IF you can get into that outside panel…to take a PEAK at it.

Dave I had a reference for you…BUT can’t get it to POST right…so I will leave it off…


I personally do not have a problem with it being locked as long as the KEY is present, chances are people come and screw with their panel so they had to resort to locking it…if the owner of the house has the key I would not have a problem with them locking it. If its POCO’s they will TAG it…and it is UP to them…

The moral picture here is that your client may choose to not lock it if it is their choice…that is their choice…not really something I would call a problem…but make them aware that it is the main shut off for the house…if indeed it is…which I hope it is.

If they have children of a certain age…they might have locked it. I know in an area around here the local AHJ’s require a lock on the service equipment IF located outside…many have locks built into the panel cover itself in commercial applications…but again being practicle just make your client aware of it.

On the big BOX…thats the Electrical Transformer…the smaller TUBE is a CATV connection hub.

If you would like a CODE reference…check out SECTION 110.26 as it will say a panel can be locked and considered accessible to qualified persons.

I get to now mark this down on my calendar, but then my calender comes down in a few days. :frowning:

As far as the lock, I’ve heard the same question asked many time. Relating to some fire or other emergency. If this was a typical installation, the shutoff would be inside the house, inaccessible to the outside. So regardless of where the main disconnect is, emergency crews carry tools to cut locks, or they just yank the meter.


Heck yeah…and they YANK EM very quickly…:slight_smile:

Aren’t the keys tucked into the panel just below the breakers in picture #2?

OMG…man Larry you have some GOOD eyes…yes those DO look like keys…great VIEW larry…


Now I need to inspect the outside.:mrgreen:

Excellent Eyes!! I bet you find things that some may overlook!!

Welcome Marc: Your input will be a breath of fresh air here!

Yep…you have to now check that outside panel Dave…lol…now you know they could not make it too easy for ya.

your pictures are very good, it definitely helps for others such as myself to understand what you are seeing and asking.

Just one note:
When posting pictures, you should try to be more careful about posting pictures with names of companies and persons.
The inspection made by the company/individual may have been made not knowing what was really being installed. Even if it was a mistake, it should not be there for the world to see.


That green sticker is an inspection approval from the Electrical Inspector, from Broadview Hts., OH

I understand that, I just think that names should not be pictured in public forums without those individual’s approval/consent.

OK, I understand.

What procedures do you use when inspecting rough or finals?

I always carried Green, Red, and Orange stickers. I think they are very intimidating, do you leave any Red stickers, or have you been asked to accept an envelope with a crossed neutral inside?

Do you carry any weapons when inspecting in the lower edges of the areas you are asked to go into?

Just think about an inspection when entering a building where there are a few persons sitting on the stoops, and in their homes when you have to do a thorough inspection, something only a NYC guy will understand!

Now what would be cool, if the OP shows up with one of those “Command Adhesive” hooks and removes those metal keys from the inside of the panel, and hangs them on the side. With the home owner’s permission, and they might get a kick out of how the home owner is physic, and protecting them.