works....but is it okay?

30year old Townhouse… 100 Amp Service

Exterior 100 Amp main disconnect breaker beside the meter with ground and neutral connected (all good).

The main distribution panel in the garage has been replaced. When they did this they installed it with the lugs at the top. I assume the old one had the lugs at the bottom since the conductors from the exterior main disconnect to the distribution panel in the garage didn’t reach the lugs on the new panel. They should have just flipped the panel over.

Here is how it was dealt with: They spliced an extension onto the neutral so it would reach the neutral bar but did not do the same for the 2 hots so they could reach the lugs. The lugs have some electric tape over them. INSTEAD they installed another 100 Amp breaker (there is already one at the meter) at the bottom of the distribution panel in the garage and attached the incoming hots to this breaker. The neutrals and ground busbars are separated as they are supposed to be in the distribution panel.

This set up seems to work.

Is there any problem with a second 100 Amp disconnect breaker being located in the distribution panel instead of using the lugs as intended?

Any advice is appreciated.





It looks funky to me.

That is probably not a breaker, just a disconnect (no writing on the handle) It should have a retainer clip.


Based on what I see it is quite funky BUT I think most AHJ’s would allow it as part of a upgrade situation.( except it 100A in the panel is incorrect type )

The 100A Meter/Main Breaker Disconnet is fine as I believe I see 100A on the breaker…

The backfeeding of the panel located “remote” is somehwhat of a weird thing on this layout as you are correct it would have been better to simply split bolt the extentions and run them to the actual MLO connection points like they did with the neutral.

I do question the OTHER larger wires going from the breaker on the right…where is THAT going…but you did not ask that one so I will leave that one alone.

Based on what you stated it probably is fine…BUT it will hindge mainly on the breaker in the meter cab/disconnect setup…does that breaker say 100A on it…I can’t tell from the image…

**408.16 Overcurrent Protection. **

(F) Back-Fed Devices. Plug-in-type overcurrent protection devices or plug-in type-main lug assemblies that are backfed and used to terminate field-installed ungrounded supply conductors shall be secured in place by an additional fastener that requires other than a pull to release the device from the mounting means on the panel.

So as Greg stated I doubt that has a retaining clip setup…

I am sure that is a standard 100A SQ D breaker…not meeting the requirement above…but ofcourse they really dont need it to begin with if they would have just extended the ungrounded conductors up to the main lugs to begin with…

I would probably suggest they have an electrician come and extend those up to the main lugs…opening up 2 more spaces…to get rid of those tandoms that are obvioulsy AFTER market ones…probably exceeding the space allowance of the panel anyway…:slight_smile:

Oh yeah…they can label the tap from the white to the black wire for the neutral with white tape…

As I can’t remember ever seeiing a retainer clip for a Square-D back-fed breaker, I looked it up. The following links appear to be to the only “official” clips.,%20QO%20(LK,%20PK,%20QO,%20QON)/1100HO9902.pdf,%20QO%20(LK,%20PK,%20QO,%20QON)/40272-804-02.pdf

You will notice that the back-fed breaker has to be in positions 2 & 4 (upper right in Jeff’s panel) for the clip to work. In other words, there would be no way of properly installing the listed clip for Jeff’s panel without moving the breaker and extending the hot feeders.

Which is what I personally would suggest…but hey…Thats me…:slight_smile:

Hopefully, all of us. I didn’t mean to give the impression that it required too much work to fix.

Noo…your cool Richard…I am like you…the best method to me honestly would be to split bolt them on and take it to the ACTUAL main lugs…which would take me all of about 15 minutes to do…

Sloppy is often easier than best.

Thanks for your input Paul,

If I remember correctly, the larger wires on the right are for the electric range. No worries there.

The main disconnect at the meter cabinet is 100A

I recommended further evaluation by a licensed electrician.


Isn’t it a shame that ‘mediocrity reigns’… :roll: