Thoughts on this one?

I recently ran into this auxillary electrical panel in a house built in the 1940s. It did not seem to control anything at the property (although some fixtures were removed because it was a foreclosure). I am curious how many other people have seen one of these panels before and what it controlled.

All thoughts will be greatly appreciated.


[FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium]Jonathan
Jonathan N. Leahy
*A Rock Solid Home Inspection, LLC. *](
US EPA Certified Asbestos Building Inspector
State of Colorado Asbestos Building Inspector
Residential Home Inspections, Asbestos Inspections, Radon, Mold Inspections[/FONT]

Did you pull the cover? It may have been bypassed.

It looks like a 1940’s (or thereabouts) panel. The residence may have been rewired.

don’t twist yourself up about it. It’s an old XO panel. If there are no visual hazards, let it pass

What does “XO” mean Marc.

model. Both sq d and ch made XO stuff.

Better Yet…here is a picture of the XO type breakers just for everyones reference…

Found some info on these for you all as well…well before MY time…I heard someone make reference
somewhere to a “recall” but I doubt it…

As for comments to your clients…I would mention it is an older style and breakers can be hard to find if needed
so they need to be aware of replacement costs if needed. While not a defect it is your obligation to your clients
to inform them about systems that are older in nature and possible costs associated with replacement or

Im with Jeff about pulling the cover & the thought that it may be bypassed…Did you pull it or not? These forclosed homes are somewhat scary when you do this because you just never know what kind of remodeling they did, or first and foremost what kind of vandalism/booby traps that they did.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and input. I did advise my client that it is an older style. Based on some other electrical issues identified and the fact that the client was planning some renovations, the client asked that I not pull the cover. They just added it to the punch list for the electrician to take care of.

Hi Guys. I have been reading this website for quite a long time, with great interest. This is my first time to post anything here, and I hope I will not come off as a smart-aleck, since this is certainly not my intention. I have collected a great many old electrical devices over the years, and I have several breaker panels of the type shown here. This particular model is a “Multibreaker” style, meaning that the electrical mechanism inside was manufactured as a single unit that contained two, three or four breakers, and could contain, sometimes as many as ten “units”, of breakers. They were manufactured by Cutler Hammer and Square D. They worked quite well, but the inherent problem was that if one breaker failed (as they all do on occasion), you could not replace just the one breaker - the entire unit would need to be replaced. One interesting fact about this little panel, and something to beware of, is that the breaker unit is attached to the cover, not mounted to the interior of the box. So, if you remove the cover screws, you may wind up with a live circuit breaker unit in the palm of your hand. Hopefully, as other have suggested, this little box will have been bypassed with something more up to date.

Mike Mills

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the additional information.


That is a old Multi-breaker panel, it predated the XO breakers and is of 1940’s vintage.

Edit to add, did not read whole thread so did not notice mamills post.