Main Electrical Shut-off?


         I did an inspection today of a new home for a very nice lady. She is very knowledgable about a great many things. I noted that the main electrical panel outside the home had no main electrical circuit breaker. I made a note of it on her report saying that there was no main electrical shut-off for the main panel, but there was one for the auxillary panel. 200 amps worth. Unfortunately, if you flipped that one off, the main panel is still live. Isn't there a code stating that there has to be a main electrical shut-off? I looked through my code book and every other book I could find but nothing that comes out and says there has to be one. Help?



what is in the exterior panel, and what does it feed?




As I understand your question you must have a master cut off or six or less breakers regardless what they feed

I believe that a master breaker can be external with in sight but this should be substantiated by someone that can site code


#1, you should never attempt to shut down an electrical system.

#2, if you did (as you say) shut down the 200 amp auxilary panel and the power remains on, and there’s no other main breaker for shutting down the entire home…You have a safety issue.

I spoke with John last night. As it turns out, there were only five breakers in the service panel.

No need for a “main” disconnect.


Did he call you?

Asked another way (and with no inference of a lack of knowledge on John’s part)

If I ask a question here and don’t get a timely response, can I call you? (is there a ‘sheepish’ smile on here somewhere!)

Seriously, I view you as a hell of a resource (I spoke with several in Orlando who feel the same)


Yes, he did.

Certainly. I’m happy to help if I can.

You’re now in my phone as Jeff Pope-Ca (to remind me not to call you at 0900 my time :smiley:



Help me out a little — if a main disconect is required (over six throws) how accessable does it have to be?

I have seen a simular question in reff to condos but what about a normal home?


For SFH, the term would be “readily accessible,” meaning - accessible to the occupants for service and/or emergency operation. This would also include all applicable clearance requirements.

230.70(A)(1) Readily Accessible Location. The service disconnecting means shall be installed at a readily accessible location either outside of a building or structure or inside nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors.

230.72(C) Access to Occupants. In a multiple-occupancy building, each occupant shall have access to the occupant’s service disconnecting means.

Exception: In a multiple-occupancy building where electric service and electrical maintenance are provided by the building management and where these are under continuous building management supervision, the service disconnecting means supplying more than one occupancy shall be permitted to be accessible to authorized management personnel only.

Thanks Jeff

I know this has been explained before but for some reason it just did not stick

Sort of open for some common sense depending on how the house is built

When we spot some of these things and flag them I guess we should remember that there is some gray areas

Thanks again

and have a good day


Looking for input came across this in a home inspection today. The main panel has been upgraded. This is a 200 amp service.

Please don’t resurrect ancient threads. Zombie threads need to be put down