No Main Disconnect

Originally Posted By: psmothers
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Found this on my morning inspection today. The system was mostly ungrounded. The meter was a round 60 amp meter. The panel was a square D 125 amp panel. There was no main disconnect… Can anyone try to explain why?








--
Foxe Smothers

"Its not a matter of will we rebuilt it is matter of how soon..."

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Originally Posted By: jpope
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The meter rating is not relevant to the service amperage.


I inspect homes on a routine basis, that have a 15 amp meter on 100 amp service. It was explained to me, that the meter is tested for accuracy at the indicated amperage.


--
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
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Originally Posted By: psmothers
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Sorry Jeff I should have better stated my question. What I was looking for an explanation to was why an electrican would have installed the panel without a main disconnect. The only answear that I could come up with is that the home is outside city limits and never had to have permits. When did more then 6 breaker needs a main disconnect rule come in to play?



Foxe Smothers


"Its not a matter of will we rebuilt it is matter of how soon..."

"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Originally Posted By: bking
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I think the six breaker rule has been around for quite some time and somewhere I read that you should be able to turn off all power with “two swipes of the hand”


I would write that panel up for missing a main C/B, missing bushing at top and hot white wires.


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www.BAKingHomeInspections.com

Originally Posted By: kmcmahon
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You’re sure there wasn’t a disconnect under the meter on the outside? I see this on condos quite often.



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Originally Posted By: psmothers
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Hey Kev,


Non outside either.
![](upload://b8dvpnlylJNNWPagKT4vfDbxqQF.jpeg)


--
Foxe Smothers

"Its not a matter of will we rebuilt it is matter of how soon..."

"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Originally Posted By: Steve Costa
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I know this isnt what you were looking for, but that is actually a square meter base normally rated at 100 amps.


Originally Posted By: wdecker
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I have run into a large number of no main disconnect boxes, usually in condos and townhouses.


I call them out as unsafe if there are more than 6 breakers (six throws).

I usually get sellers who bring in electricians who say that it meets code (which is, surprisingly, true in some municipalities around here).

When confronted by the seller or their agent, I ask if he is willing to put in writing (risking his license and E & O) that it safe. That shuts them up real quick.


--
Will Decker
Decker Home Services
Skokie, IL 60076
wjd@DeckerHomeServices.com

Originally Posted By: Joey D’Adamo
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wdecker wrote:
I have run into a large number of no main disconnect boxes, usually in condos and townhouses.


Maybe they are fed from a larger panel, and those are "sub" or "equipment" panels. The disconnect being in that larger panel.


Originally Posted By: wdecker
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This may be true, and often is, when checked on. My point is that the individual condo owner has no control to shut off their power.


In all the cases I have seen here, the main shutoffs are behind a locked door and the owners have no key. Some fire dept rule, I am told.

Still ain't safe.


--
Will Decker
Decker Home Services
Skokie, IL 60076
wjd@DeckerHomeServices.com

Originally Posted By: Kyle Kubs
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I see a lot of posts in this section talking about meters being rated at this or that, and I think there is some confusion going on… In considering what the service rating is, the factors governing would be the gauge of the service entrance cable, the rating of the service or main panel, along with the main disconnect and the rating of the meter BASE… The meter base being the glorified junction box that holds the meter and houses the connections to the meter (glass bubble thingy…) After the crimp connections at the weather head (the handoff from the power companies service drop to the homeowners service entrance cable) the power company is only responsible for the meter itself, not the meter base to which the meter is mounted. In almost all areas the power company has sole discretion on what size, type meter is appropriate - The “meter base” (grey metal box) on the other hand is part of the structure and must be of the proper rating… and as Steve said this one is apparently a 100 - 125 amp meter base and is fine… You have what looks like a 100 or 125 amp service there… If the meter base was the little round type just barely bigger than the meter itself… that is an issue… That’s an old 60 amp. meter base. The power company alone (in most areas) determines what is sufficient for their equipment. I have installed several service upgrades from and old low service to a new 200 amp. without the service drop (line s from the pole) being changed… If they say it is ok for a 200 amp. service than it is good. Doesn’t matter if they are the same lines that were there for a 100 amp. service before…


Hope this clears things up a little for those of you not so familiar with the juice supply…


By the way I didn't hear you say anything about the gapping hole in the top of the panel that has wires coming through minus the benafit of the proper connectors...

Kyle Kubs
Benchmark Home Inspection Services
North New Jersey


--
Those that say it cannot be done should stop interupting those of us who are hard at work, doing it...

Originally Posted By: Greg Fretwell
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FPL also supplied the meter base in SW Fla. When I did my service upgrade they had me pick up a new cabinet and base assembly at the meter shop. I installed it but it was their part. The conductors from the service point on were all mine though.


Originally Posted By: Joey D’Adamo
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wdecker wrote:
This may be true, and often is, when checked on. My point is that the individual condo owner has no control to shut off their power.

In all the cases I have seen here, the main shutoffs are behind a locked door and the owners have no key. Some fire dept rule, I am told.

Still ain't safe.


I agree with you. My last apartment had no electrical disconnect whatsoever. Not even a panel in the suite. (And it was not an illegal apartment. It was a 404 suite highrise complex built this way from day one. I have no idea how they even got it built like that.) They told us when we moved in that if we tripped a breaker, we'd have to call them, and if it was after 8 pm, don't expect it until the next day. Real nice eh? Of course all the while I was wondering what to do if something went wrong. Considering the place had AL wire it wasn't all that unlikely.

Where I live now has a panel in the suite, plus an unlocked closet in the hallway with mains for each suite. Oh and copper wire. Oh and heavy duty P&S decorator devices as opposed to cheap 50 cent home depot devices. I feel a lot safer here.

I'm glad if something went horribly wrong I could just run out to the hallway to turn it off. I agree. Not enough emphasis is put on electrical disconnect.