Main Panel vs Sub-Panel and main disconnect?

I am filling out an inspection report on a 1979 condo. The main disconnect is at the meter in a central utility room which also contains the meters and disconnects for the other 8 condos in the building. The meter room is 100 feet from the subject condo. Is the panel inside the condo considered the main panel or a sub-panel? There is no main disconnect in the condo’s panel so it would take more than 6 hand motions to turn off the power from inside the condo. Can the remote disconnect in the utility room satisfy the less than 6 hand motions rule to disconnect the power for the condo?

Also there are 2 double taps in the panel which I plan to write-up, however I’m not sure if I should write-up the drywall finish overspray which could also be on the non-visible busbar under the breakers and cause heatup due to a poor contact. I just say an educational video which said this could be a problem, though it’s probably been that way since 1979 and not caused a problem yet. What do you think? Note: Panel photo attached.


I state where the main disconnect breaker/panel is located and I refer to the other one as the main distribution panel.

Normally, the panel containing the disconnect (even if that is the only breaker) is the considered to be the main panel and any downstream are sub-panels (some call them remote distribution panels), subject to the rules governing them.

More discussion on past thread.


If we lose the word “main,” it becomes much less confusing.

There is “service” equipment, and there is “other” equipment. The service equipment contains the service disconnect, which also disconnects power from other equipment. A service disconnect (six or less throws) is required only at the service equipment. Other equipment does not fall under the “six throw rule” (exceptions do apply).

There also appear to be some low voltage wires (those orange wire nuts) at the top of the panel. Thats a violation worth mentioning

I don’t see any ground conductors…?


If metal conduit is used, the metal conduit serves as the ground conductors. This is common in the Chicago area

Thanks Richard. I thought of that, but couldn’t see how the conduits/panel were bonded.


Scratch that - bonded at meter. I’m a little slow today…


Thanks to all for your comments. They have been very useful!
Bob Bassett

Check the breaker brands, They may not be the allowable ones for that panel brand
I see some “color” wire on the neutral buss… too

Just my .05 cents…