Need help determining Service Amperage

Hi, I’m a new inspector and of course I’ve come across a service panel without a main disconnect. There is not a disconnect at the meter either. This looks like a remodel job. Is there any sure way to determine the service amps. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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Looks like the main cables are 4/0 al which is good for 200 amps.
The meter label says CL200. That’s an indication but not for sure it could be less.
The circuit directory is incomplete.

I agree with Marc it appears to be 200 amps due to the #4/0 Al conductors. There is no single main because it’s a split bus panel. The label on the inside right of the panel should provide some information regarding the panel ampacity.

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Thanks a million!!

Do not guess, Greg. if it appears to be 4/0 service entrance wires, then that would make it a 200 amp service, may be better than, IT IS a 200 amp service.

Just a thought…:smile:

Hi. This could be big problem. First all conductors must be protected bye suitable fuse or breaker. “Not hot wired “and rated to protect the conductors. The meter is not suitable. It’s an metering device. So Story goes. They did Reno then phoned phoned power company. Got hooked up or they they did it hot. Maybe no permit and no notifications to inspection group in area Recommend consultanting authority in area. ??? There is no disconnect upstream.??? Explore more. Safety issues and

Good advice. Figures I would come across “could be a big problem” on my first inspection :slight_smile: I will recommend evaluation by an electrician.

Gordon, I think that is a split bus service panel. :smile:

It could be. But. From what things look like you still need protection. Local authorities have the right to change code ect as they see fit. I’m just recommending more info like our training recommends knowing local authorities. To ask them questions I my history as an electrian only time when there’s no disconnect of any sort was power generator stations. Even they had disconnects but no fuse or breaker. I’m recommend further elevations questions. Mainly local authorities eg code inspector for the area An ask them show pictures to find out. It doesn’t hurt to ask

Without exceptions, a service can have up to 6 disconnects, a split bus panel like the one in the photo can have up to 6 circuit breakers serving as the service disconnects. There is nothing wrong with that aspect of this installation.

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There is so much you need to learn. Looking at the breaker is only one indication of service. You need to be aware of your wire sizes and the breaker that you need with each. When it comes to the main supply, you look at the (1) main breaker, then you look at the (2) main supply wire, and then the (3) box rating. Just because a breaker says 200-amp, it does not mean it is a 200-amp service if the wire coming in is a 2-awg copper (125-amp), this is a 125-amp service and acts as if there is no true main at all, it is just a shut-off switch. Or, if it is a 2/0-awg copper (200-amp) with a 100-amp breaker, the system is a 100-amp service. Or, if the service box is rated for 100-amp service and you have a 2/0-awg copper coming in with a 200-amp breaker, the bus bar can melt down, arch, cause a fire, etc. because the box is not rated for this type of power. Another thing that is common is to have a 12-awg wire going into a 40-amp breaker, a 14-awg into a 30-amp breaker, etc. - fire hazards. What I am trying to say is that as a home inspector, the electrical service can mean life or death to your client and you need to know what wire goes with which breaker. Don’t go just by the number on the breaker, but know the wire also, does it belong? If something doesn’t look right, research it; otherwise, you may want to look for another job because as home inspectors, we are here to help our clients not only with the most important purchase that most will ever make but to protect their lives and well-being also. I hope you can hear what I am saying and I wish you all the best.


Greg, like Perry said, the service amperage, generally, is the smallest of the Service Entrance Conductors, Service Disconnect and Panel Board Rating.

In yours, Greg, I would think it is the size of the SEC for amperage rating. :smiley:

Hi. Got to do research. Larry was on the ball. I made mistake. Split bus panel. Used in the past. Goggles it very interesting My area didn’t seem to allow it. They stopped using them in the 80s. I’m back in the books researching it . And reading posts

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Great Resource:

Limitation, Unknown service ampacity.
*Note: Although the service size is determined by the main-disconnect rating, during a home inspection one can reasonably predict it is higher. 400 amp would be a typical residential service size from the POCO, POwer COmpany.
No guessing.
You you have several labels. That denotes distribution panel ampacity.

AL: cercuits.

Robert, Great advice. That’s what I’ll have to go with. Showed it to several Inspectors. Box labeled as 150 amps max. Nothing else to signify service supply size.

Just curious, will you list it as a 150 amp service in your report?

If it is the smallest of the above three components, it should be listed as such. :smile:

I agree. :sunglasses:

Buyer should verify that the service is in fact a 200 AMP service. Contact Georgia Power Company to verify ownership of the main panel. See Green plate.