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Main breaker on panel

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Topic by siouxdawgs0409 posted 02-03-2010 09:28 PM 11699 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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siouxdawgs0409

10 posts in 3034 days

02-03-2010 09:28 PM

Ok..So I have wired a sub panel in my prior house and went to start doing the same on this new house I bought. The only thing is that my panel has no main breaker! How am I supposed to shut the power off to add and remove breakers? The box outside is locked up with a seal so I can not see if there is a breaker in there. What am I supposed to do? Is the only way to kill the power is to have the power compnay do it?



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slooper

16 posts in 3437 days

02-06-2010 08:50 AM

A “sub panel” would be connected to the main panel. So look in the main panel for a breaker to cut the power.

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Todd Thomas

735 posts in 3446 days

02-06-2010 11:03 AM

do you mean that there is no main break in your main panel box? Or in your sub-panel? I ran into this same thing and we replaced the main panel….real bummer..

-- Todd- Oak Ridge, TN

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siouxdawgs0409

10 posts in 3034 days

02-06-2010 06:58 PM

There is no main breaker in my main panel. I guess what I was saying is that I had previously wired a sub panel in my old house and I went to wire one in my current home. The only problem was that I could not find the main breaker in the main panel in my current home, which makes it hard to wire a sub panel.

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TopamaxSurvivor

5 posts in 3024 days

02-13-2010 10:37 AM

You have what is called a split buss panel. They were outlawed by the code about 15-20 years ago. The main wires from the meter feed the top of the panel. You have up to 6 -2 pole breakers that are considered mains in the top. One of them should be a 60 amp that feeds the bottom where all your small 120 volt breakers are. The new breaker to feed the subpanel should be up in the top with the mains. If it is in the botom it will be fused by the 60 amp feeding the bottom. What brand is it?

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siouxdawgs0409

10 posts in 3034 days

02-13-2010 06:25 PM

Well I can say for sure that it is not a split bus system. I have seen split bus panels I know that this is not one. This has the normal breakers in two vertical rows. Plus as you said the split bus systems has not been allowed with current code for some time. The house was built in 2007. This looks just like a current system except there is no main at the top of the panel. Now I know that some codes require the main to be at the meter if the panel is located too far from the meter. And next to my meter is another box that looks like it could house a main breaker. The only issue is that the only way to open it is to break the seal on the meter. I think the brand is Siemens. I cant say for sure and cant check til tomorrow.

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TopamaxSurvivor

5 posts in 3024 days

02-14-2010 12:47 AM

In that case, if there is no main breaker readily accessible, it is a violation of the National Electrical code.

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siouxdawgs0409

10 posts in 3034 days

02-20-2010 07:36 PM

Ok guys after some work to get into that panel next to the meter I finally tapped it with a hammer to break it free. The cover slid down and I could open it. Ta da there is the breaker! Home has 200 amp service and I can finally continue with wiring the sub panel.

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MattODoors

9 posts in 2990 days

08-13-2010 09:54 AM

I surprised that so many handymen attempt to do electrical work without having any prior experience. Do yourself a favor in get the electrician in. At least then you can follow his lead; no pun intended, and learn by observation.

Matt
Plasmo – UPVC Windows and UPVC Doors

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Houston

47 posts in 2831 days

08-26-2010 02:11 AM

Yea, there is too much information to take in first-hand as an electrician (being physically there to look at what the house contractor did, age of the house, wiring, brands, if it’s been re-worked). It is really hard to safely give info over the web as a professional… just too risky on a number of fronts. I’m sure there is an affordable electrician in your area. I have also noticed that electric contractors are more and more posting coupons online.

-- If you need an electrician in Houston, we'll do a great job and respect your time. http://www.ontime-electric.com

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seane360

4 posts in 2809 days

09-20-2010 08:52 AM

I sense that you are not a registered electrician. Please ensure you do work alongside an electrician as this is live energy and if you run into problems later your insurance will not be covered.

Seane Threeks

-- Seane - http://www.360rugs.com/Large-Area-Rugs/

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sweebs

2 posts in 2725 days

12-10-2010 06:02 AM

FWIW, you don’t “have” to shut off all the power to simply pop in a new breaker, I mean of course you “should” de-energize the load center before removing the cover, because you just may stick your finger onto the hot bus bar, but then again, unless you’re a 4 yr old, you probably know better,,,,

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branover

4 posts in 2860 days

04-06-2011 08:21 PM

i agree with matt. no reason to play with electricity if you dont know what you are doing. better to get a skilled pro. just a thought

Electricians Los Angeles | Air Conditioning Los Angeles | LA Lofts

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mivpl

1 post in 2395 days

11-04-2011 07:21 PM

I went to wire one in my current home. The only problem was that I could not find the main breaker in the main panel in my current home, which makes it hard to wire a sub panel. food business

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Grandpa

139 posts in 2555 days

11-06-2011 05:10 AM

Well, the question that comes to my mind is why would the main breaker be in a closed panel with a seal on it. It am told the mains is there to be turned off in emergencies such as a gas leak or fire. Why would a person need a hammer to open the main panel??

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TopamaxSurvivor

5 posts in 3024 days

11-06-2011 05:27 AM

It is probably old enough to have a split buss panel without a single main, but can have up to 6 disconnecting breakers in the top part of the panel.

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Grandpa

139 posts in 2555 days

11-07-2011 05:41 AM

Topa,
In the post below your first post he said the home was built in 2007. This just doesn’t seem right. Maybe a non electrician wired the house in 2007….???? Then the main is concealed in a sealed box. The seal is the strange part. I see homes that have had mains added to the system and they are usually outdoors near the meter then the panel is inside the home. That is ok. I understand the 6 swipe procedure. Here, we grandfather so if it was wired to code it can remain in service until that portion is worked on then it has to be upgraded to today’s code. We have homes with wiring that is nearing 100 years old and we have barely been a state that long. We may have FP panels in service for another hundred years…..!!!

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TopamaxSurvivor

5 posts in 3024 days

11-07-2011 06:42 AM

I am assuming mivpl on an old thread, s a new poster, is a new situation.

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