What could this be for?

I ran into something this past week that I have never seen before. In this area you will often see the disconnects for the major appliances as separate breakers along with the main disconnect for the interior service panel below the electric meter. I pulled the exterior panel cover and found dead man switches and I have no idea what they were for. The breakers for the heat, AC and stove were at the interior panel along with the main disconnect 200 amp breaker. There was no female receptacle as you may find for a generator hook up to be found—so that is not what it is. A barn was on a 100 amp disconnect breaker in a second interior panel. Has anyone seen a set up like this before and what could it be used for?


Those are shorting/test switches for a CT type meter. You’re not supposed to have access to that section. It’s supposed to be sealed.


I sure hope you did not cut the seal, if you did the owner will be fined for it.

Thanks for the replies. No I did not break any seal–I could be fined also.

Actually, you need to actually steal power to be fined, despite rumors to the contrary, but it’s still not a good idea to break seals.

Walton EMC will fine you down here, they think you chnge out the meter and steal power, so it is automatic.

I don’t doubt that they might try somehow, but I guarantee you that there’s no basis in the law for that. Consequently, a utility cannot levy “fines”. If this matter is interesting to you, I’d certainly encourage you to reserch the exact wording of the law in your area. If you believe what you wrote, you’ll be surprised when you read the real text for yourself.

The utility can’t “fine” you but they can slap a service charge on you for resealing the meter, a distinction without a difference.

Always red flag seals that are missing at the meter. I see them a few times a year.

I do happen to pull the cover open just because I’m nosy, but these should definitely be red flagged if the seal is missing.

Here’s a brand new meter installed on an existing service with no cover whatsoever.



There is a situation where the H-O probably doesn’t have a clue and the POCO just perpetuated that.
That should have been called-out/reported big time my the meter crew/guy!

I inspected a commercial space, a deli. It was located in a strip mall. I went into the common basement where the meters and breaker panels were. The neighboring store actually wired into what would be my clients panel, for some equipment he installed in his pizzaria.

He was stealing power, and knew EXACTLY what he was doing. Store owner called police and utility who told him it was a “civil” matter, and that they refused to get involved.

What a joke…

Wow Joe. I am surprised. Our POCO would be ALL over that.

Hello Joe
I am surprised. I believe you live/work in Rockland County. Orange & Rockland was purchased by Con Ed.
Con Ed vigorously pursues these types of situations, usually with pretty steep fines.

Maybe the ‘right’ person was not contacted.