Main panel does not control all circuits

Is that a concern? Here’s a photo of a home where the AC circuit feeds directly off the meter (to the right of the meter). The “main” is below the meter and feeds a sub-panel on the other side of that wall. Therefore, pulling the main fuse will kill all the circuits but the AC.

So the A/c has no OC protection?

Yeah, that’s a problem.

Yes, the AC has OC protection in its panel, which is fed directly off the meter and therefore bypasses the main panel. My question is, is it acceptable when the main breaker does not actually control all circuits?

So, that is not simply a service disconnect in that AC box (picture’s kinda dark)?

I was under the impression that the A/C was fed direct from the main, simply through a service disconnect 9not a breaker).

Generally, if it’s less than 6 throws to kill all circuits, you’re ok. I look forward to hearing a sparky’s opinion.

My concern is the false sense it gives the homeowner to have a breaker labeled “main” which is not in my view a main breaker. My un-sparky definition of a “main” breaker is a breaker that controls all circuits.

As long as the “six-throw” rule hasn’t been exceeded, and the equipment is in the same general location, I’d say it’s okay - similar to a parallel service where there are two panels.

I believe this will fall under the number of breaker throws to shut all the power off in the house.

I know nothing about a requirement for all breakers to be under one main disconnect[FONT=Tahoma][size=2].[/size][/FONT]
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[FONT=Tahoma][size=2] We have electrical panels on the exterior of the house that contained the Main and other subpanels. In some cases subpanels are not controlled by the main breaker, however there’s only two breakers in the main panel blocks. Two throws and you’re out![/size][/FONT]
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[/size][/FONT]In your instance they have two separate panels (immediately adjacent to one another) and it only requires two throws to turn off all the power.

The main breaker in a panel is required because there is 15 or 20 breakers below[FONT=Tahoma][size=2].[/size][/FONT]
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[/size][/FONT]Just my perception. I’m not Paul [FONT=Tahoma][size=2]A.
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As long as it’s 6 throws of the hand or less AND the disconnects are grouped pretty close to each other, you’re okay. The main violation I most often see in that case is a little more difficult to narrow down. Anything used as service equipment is to be marked “Suitable for use as service equipment” or “Only suitable for use as service equipment if…”. The typical air conditioner disconnect, even if it contains overcurrent protection inside, is almost never marked as being suitable for use as service equipment. In fact, many are specially marked “NOT suitable for use as service equipment”. Your air conditioner disconnect in your picture appears a bit more robust than normal, so it may be marked as being suitable. Check the labels over well.

Is that meter base intended for two main panels?

We can’t see inside those but I have heard about loose double taps in those causing dimming lights etc. when the pictured configuration is present.

You can compliantly double lug some styles of meter load side lugs, and there are some other legal ways to tap the load side of a meter (Polaris bugs, for instance). Since the meter is sealed, there’s really no good way to evaluate it. I suspect there’s a certain wisdom is specially disclaiming the meter can in cases where you come across this type of situation.