Panel and Meter

On an inspection last night I ran across an electrical panel that was 200 AMPS, but the meter was the square meter associated with 100 AMP service, also inside the meter was both Siemens and Cutler Hammer breakers, this seems to be homeowner upgrade, is any of this OK anywhere?

Elec 038.jpg

Inside the meter?

What size were the service entrance conductors? 2/0 copper or 4/0 aluminum would be right for 200a with a 4ga copper ground electrode conductor to the water pipe. (GEC to a rod could be 6ga). The meter pan is POCO equipment and may or may not get changed on a service upgrade, their call. The wire to the service point (usually the drip loop) on the line side of the meter should still be 200a rated but the drop from the pole is also POCO equipment and again, their call.

The entrance was lateral, 2/0 Copper. Everything was OK, my concern was

  1. Different breakers in the box (I have been told this is a no no)
    2.) Different size meter can (This is the first time I have come across it).

The meter can is not a limiting factor (it can be an indicator of the amperage, but it does not necessarily limit the potential). In other words, if you have no other way of determining the service amperage, the meter base may give you an indication.

A better indicator is the 2/0 CU conductors and (obviously) the service disconnect breaker.

Most manufacturers don’t allow components of other brands to be used in their equipment (there should have been a listing label that would verify this) and the NEC requires that components are used in accordance with their manufacturers listing and labeling.

That is what makes me think this is a homeowner special, the box is Sieman’s the 200 AMP main breaker is Sieman’s, all other breakers are Cutler Hammer, it seems to me that the original breaker box was a 100 amp Cutler Hammer and someone upgraded to a 200 AMP Sieman’s.

From above site:

[FONT=Times New Roman]UL Classified to Fit Virtually[/FONT]
[FONT=Univers-CondensedBold]any Panel…Even SQUARE D****®[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Cutler-Hammer UL Classified[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Replacement Circuit Breakers by[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Eaton Corporation are the key to[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]safe installation and streamlined[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]inventory. They virtually eliminate[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]the need to carry any other manufacturer’s circuit[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]breakers. Why carry up to seven other brands when the[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]industry’s most reputable brand, Cutler-Hammer, is all[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]you need.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Coming in both 3/4-inch Type CHQ and 1-inch Type CL,[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]one- and two-pole configurations, these breakers are[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Classified as direct replacements by Underwriters[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Laboratories Inc. In addition to a UL listing, they also[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]come with an outstanding 15-year warranty.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Specified vs. Classified[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Specified breakers are listed by the manufacturer of the[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]panelboard for use in a particular panel. This doesn’t[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]mean that the panelboard manufacturer produced the[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]specified breaker it mearly means that the panelboard[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]manufacturer has tested the breaker in the panel. In[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]fact, through the years the Cutler-Hammer business has[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]manufactured thousands of breakers for other[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]panelboard manufacturers.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]UL Classified breakers are produced by one[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]manufacturer for use in place of the breakers specified[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]on the panelboard. Like specified breakers, UL[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Classified breakers have been tested in the panels for[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]which they are approved.[/FONT]

You can get a fist fight started at an IAEI meeting about these breakers. Some folks say they are a 110.3(B) violation, others say the U/L classification makes them OK.
I tend to vote in the OK column and look at the panel label saying you have to use Square D breakers (and that is the company that squalks the loudest) in the same light as a note on the package that says Hebrew National hot dogs are best when served with Hunt’s ketchup. (both ConAgra products)

You can always report on the situation without making a big deal out of it.

If there is an issue (such as an overheated breaker connection) you at least have a cause for the overheated condition.

Testing the efficiency and capacity of the breakers is an issue which does not fall in our inspection purview.

Thanks for all your input.