What will they think of next?

I see alot of bizarre homeowner concoctions in electrical panels. This just happens to be one of the most recent that I thought I would share.

This panel is in a detached garage. I have never seen anyone try to get 240 VAC by installing a jumper on a the main.

There actually is a 50 amp, 240 VAC outlet, and a 30 amp, 240 VAC outlet installed off of this panel. Just a few feet away sat an old stick welder. :roll:

…and the house main panel was an FPE, with an additional distribution panel made by Zinsco (an old Magna-trip)

…somebody needs an electrician.:smiley:


From what I see in the photo I can see no way that there is 240 VAC available to any outlets fed from this panel. If I have missed something, someone please explain.

What I see is a backfed 2 pole breaker on the left, serving as a main. It is shut off. At the upper right is a 2 pole breaker with a jumper on it, and it is in the tripped position, as one would expect. The “why” of it all, I have no idea.

Jim King

Visually there is no way of knowing what are the feed wires .
It needs an electrician to find and fix many things wrong with this system.
I would expect this is just a small part of many things that need immediate repair in this home
I would just write in my report needs immediate repair by qualified person and move on .
… Cookie

My main concern about this panel deals with 480.36(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.

If the jumped breaker is the supply then the 240 circuits simply will not work but the ability to remove a hot breaker is a life safety issue.

Thanks Mr. King. I did not see the tripped breaker. (my new glasses will be in next week:-))
I’ll bet is was a bit of a surprise when Mr. DIY Electrician tried to turn the jumpered breaker on. :shock::shock: What was he thinking?

I do not see how you can tell where the feed is coming from via a picture.
I would not make a decision with out a set of testers to confirm how this is fed .
It could be fed with a 120 volt supply via the top right breaker and the jumper would be so both sections of the panel are energized…
This we all know is a disaster .
I as a home inspector would not make and decisions as how it is fed .
I would just transfer this to a properly trained person to repair as required.
… Cookie

I know it is hard to see what is going on in these small photos, so I will explain.

(a)Top right breaker is rated for 100 amps, and is the main disconnect for this distribution panel. It is fed by a 10 guage conductor, 120 VAC, with a 30 amp disconnect at the upstream panel. …and the jumper is there to feed the other buss. This is supplying 120 VAC to each buss.
(b)The 30 amp and 50 amp, 240 VAC breakers are wired to their respective outlets, but are turned off.

As always it is important to recommend an electrician review the panel. I just posted this to illustrate another example of why so many home owners should just keep their hands out of the electrical service equipment.

And they had 240 vac at those oulets the way it is wired. They must have given up and turned them off.

Honestly I don’t know what you would acutally get at the two pole breakers, but I can guarantee, it isn’t what you want. :slight_smile:

Since they are on the same leg via the jumper you would get 120 VAC on each pole of the breaker when measured to ground or neutral and 0 vac from “hot” to “hot” of the 240 vac outlets.

My main concern is WHY they would jumper a 240V breaker like they did…lol…Agreed…DEFER…DEFER…DEFER…this panel needs some loving attention by a qualified electrical contractor ( not jimmy down the street who SAYS they have a license but can’t find it right now )