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What did they do?


Bain
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So I busted this installation today for not having a main breaker to protect the SE cables from overcurrent conditions(And yes, I'm aware of the "six throw" school of thought). But then I began to wonder what exactly I was looking at. Did someone buy a 100-amp panel so there'd be more spaces, and not leave the main in place? Can the main actually be removed so easily from the panel?

Also, this was an old house converted into a business. The only 240 circuits were for the A/C compressor and a 12-gallon H2O heater.

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Originally posted by Bain

So I busted this installation today for not having a main breaker to protect the SE cables from overcurrent conditions(And yes, I'm aware of the "six throw" school of thought). But then I began to wonder what exactly I was looking at. Did someone buy a 100-amp panel so there'd be more spaces, and not leave the main in place? Can the main actually be removed so easily from the panel?

That's an MLO panel. (main lug only) It never had a main breaker.

They can easily fix this by installing a backfed main breaker. (If there's room, and if the panel is rated for use as service equipment.)

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Yes, Erby, which is why I thought someone replaced the panel and pulled out the breaker. Apparently someone thought no breaker is better than an oversized breaker.

Having said that, in Lexington I sometimes see 60-amp meters with newer, appropriately sized wires running out to the pole and also into the panel. I've phoned Kentucky Utilities and their position is that the 60-amp meter can safely handle a 100 amp load.

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Originally posted by Bain

Yes, Erby, which is why I thought someone replaced the panel and pulled out the breaker. Apparently someone thought no breaker is better than an oversized breaker.

Having said that, in Lexington I sometimes see 60-amp meters with newer, appropriately sized wires running out to the pole and also into the panel. I've phoned Kentucky Utilities and their position is that the 60-amp meter can safely handle a 100 amp load.

Bain:

Thanks for bringing that up. On older homes that were 60 AMP originally, and have upgraded to central air, I always look for #4 copper to the main. Some of them upgrade, many do not but for the ones that have pulled 100 AMP in I still see the original round meters.

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I have found some municipalities in my area are allowing the installation of an upgraded meter in the round meter base with 100 amp service to the panel. I had called a few of these out as a mismatched service till I talked to a local municipal inspector who informed me they are not requiring the uprade of the base.

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Originally posted by Erby

Doesn't a round meter can indicate a 60 amp service??

Not always. The oldest ones were rated at 60 amps but at some point (and no one seems to know exactly when) they changed to 100 amps. You can still buy a round meter base today that's rated at 100 amps.

There's no way to distinguish, from the exterior, whether a round base is rated at 60 or 100 amps. Makes it a bitch for home inspectors.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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