No Main Disconnect

Neither of which would warrant a shutoff in this panel.

Sure it does, it is my opinion that it would be the best practice and safer. And my client is paying me for my opinion.

bump to Jeffs last post

In your opinion, wouldn’t it be “safer” just to have a residence with no electricity at all?

Nope. The benefits outweigh the risks. I am just glad that I can mitigate some of the risk by informing my clients of what I believe to be safer.

With all due respect, the client is not paying for “your” opinion (you are not Buddha or Gandhi), they’re paying for “a professional” opinion and they just happen to have chosen you.

We do not serve our clients best interest by inferring that a system, component or structure is unsafe when there is no factual information that will support our position.

Yes they are paying for my opinion, which happens to be a professional opinion, just as yours is. I didn’t tell them it was unsafe, I told them it would be safer. Do you believe that it would be less safe to have a disconnect in that panel? If your answer is no, then I am correct.

I believe it is safer to be able to throw one switch as opposed to 6 hand movements to cut the electricity. If you disagree then that is your opinion.


When you do go ahead and note your recommendation of installing a shut-off at this LSE panel (which is foolish), the Electrician who is called upon to perform this task is going to tell the requester that it’s absolutely not required.

So why bother with the recommendation of fixing something that isn’t broke, simply because you feel it is safer?

Good one:)

I will state it again;

We do not serve our clients best interest by inferring that a system, component or structure is unsafe when there is no factual information that will support our position.

You are, in fact, inferring that this condition is less safe, and you have no factual information or proven experience to support your opinion.

If you don’t see the flaw in your logic, there’s nothing else that can be said.

Hey guys I need votes on my website this month. Come check it out and vote for me here…

OH… Hey Mike! lol O:)

Hey John, going to other topics for votes huh? I didn’t think of that. :wink:

LOL They said solicit didn’t they!!! 8-

Jeff-I understand your view point and appreciate it. I know that you are very knowledgeable in this subject and I am not saying you are wrong. I know that there does not have to be a disconnect in that panel. MY opinion is that it is safer to have a disconnect. In post 34 I asked a question that no one has answered yet. If a disconnect was added to the panel, and assuming it was done correctly, what would the disadvantage be? Would it be less safe?

David-Why is it foolish? What would happen if you added a disconnect to that panel? Again, assuming it was done properly. You may be right, an electrician may tell them it is not required. But, if the client says I want it and I am willing to pay, would the electrician install it?

I never inferred or stated to the client that the panel was unsafe. I told them that it would be more convenient and safer to be able to turn off 1 switch as opposed to multiple switches. I know the argument is going to be that I said “safer”; and that it implies that the panel is unsafe. But, safer is just another level of safe. Seat belts are safe, seat belts with an air bag are considered safer.

There would be no disadvantage, and it certainly wouldn’t be “less safe,” but that completely misses the point I am trying to make. It’s not really about this panel setup, it’s about this type of arbitrary recommendation in general.

Hey Mike,

I understand what your getting at. But if we look at every aspect of safety then the argument could be applied to many other things within the house.

I bet the figures for people falling in their homes and hurting themselves is much higher then moving 6 breakers to deal with an "electrical “issue”.

I too would like to have a second means of disconnection. Some places do have it.

That is nice but if it was based on hard facts, studies and data to back up hazards, I think the NEC or Code authorities would have made it a requirement. Think about the changes such as GFCI, AFCI’s and other “safety oriented” equipment now. If it not for the deaths and large numbers of incidents, insurance claims, we wouldn’t have many of these improvements. Sadly people have to die in numbers for any financial impact for changes in requirements to happen. How did the human race ever survive from cave dwellings.:smiley:

It’s a balance of minimum requirement “code” with respect to cost. Sadly everything comes down to what is your life worth. Can you put an estimate on it? I can’t, but I can tell you that the plane you fly in, the car you drive, the appliance you use, the house you live in the food you eat all have a minimum level of “acceptability” for lack of a better word.

No ABS breaks in your truck…Need em… Rat hair in your peanut butter… yummy
4 wires for the electric stove… Not mine… Air gun nailer has no safety… Hosptial…maybe… Plane has flameable materials within cabin seating…sorry, present and deadly…

I remember watching a TV investigative program on the crash of commercial plane in the eighties. Basically it was about safety in the air. Guess what the outcome of the program was about. The balance between requirements, authorities NTSB, FAA, airline costs and profit and the average insurance claim of a relative of a victim via the lawsuit! Your life is estimated at 1 billion in terms of lawsuit!.. Prices may vary, check with your local air carrier…:D:(

Think of it this way.

When I see a solid fuel fireplace with a gas log lighter, I SD it. Sure, it is accepted by local and national codes, but it is unsafe.

It IS unsafe, when you take into account your client and their level of understanding of how to use it.

And warnings can be very instructive. Think of it as a teaching moment.

Way back in the day, when we had gas lighting, there was, really, very few accidents. The reason? People learned how to light and maintain and use the gas lighting properly. Call it Darminsim in action.

Today, there are so many requirements for thermocouples and oxygen sensors on gas log fireplaces that it is very difficult to have an accident (read: stupid people doing stupid things). We have “safetyed” ourselves into complacency.

With gas log lighters, people are so used to haveing a safety device, in place, that they forget that they are resonsible for their own safety. Little kids find the key and turn it on (and I get MANY calls about this from former clients whose house is full of gas!) or the beieve that they can just buy ceramic logs and use it like a gas log fireplace or they try to re-light a smoldering fire and lose their eyebrows.

So, I SD them. The client reads the report and has been informed and warned.

Besides, most people think they want a solid fuel fireplace, but go out and get wood from the guy down the street who just cut down an old tree. Not seasoned wood, then they have a chimney fire (I have seen 3, so far, this year).

I recommend that the fireplace be retrofitted for a gas log and that it be installed by a certfied chimney sweep.

Also, with the un-vented gas logs, no one actually reads the directions. I used to be a really good computer guy. My bosses knew that they could always rely on me to have the answers they needed, even when no one else did. The reason for my success?

I was the only one who actually read the manuals on the new hardware and software. Most times, it is just that simple. Read the freakin’ instructions!

Common warnings for ventless gas log fireplaces:

  1. Do not operate for more than 2 hours in any 24 hour period.
  2. When operating, open a door or a window
  3. My addition: Install a digital, plug in, CO detector in the room with the fireplace (withing 6 - 10 feet of the ventless gas log.

Believe me, it has save more than 40 of my clients from themselves. They call me, usually the next day, and thank me.

And, you cannot buy that sort of advertizing!

Hope this helps;

Why not just put in the warning without calling it Significantly Defecient? (I assume that’s what the SD was)

There are lots of areas in a home that are unsafe if people don’t know how to use them. Where do we draw the line?

Does having a single shutoff in the panel make it less safe? No, of course not. It wouldn’t be less safe if there were a breaker at each receptacle, either.

More safe, I don’t think so. The key for me is (if you’re going to call stuff a safety hazard that is acceptable by common standards) to be able to explian WHY it’s safer. I haven’t seen that, in this instance.

Why is it safer to have an additional shut off in the panel as opposed to the one in the mechanical room?

I can see an argument for convienient, I’d like to see one for “safer”.

It’s kind of like one GFCI protecting other receptacles. Is it less safe to have a GFCI at each receptacle? No. Is it more safe? No.

Is it more convientient when one trips - oh yeah.

Especially when the GFCI in the master bath protected all the outlets in the three other baths (one on a lower level). Since they all operated as intended, they were indeed safe. I explained the convienince aspect of it and the client had a good laugh.

If you continue recommending a shut-off installation at a sub-panel, you are going to be one busy guy. Not only that, you’re going to be receiving a boat load of phone calls from Electricians asking you why you recommended such a ridiculous upgrade?

My advice…Leave good enough alone. Code is code for a reason. If homeowners never needed LSE shut-offs in the past (and stayed incident-free), then what makes you think that they would they need them now?