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Dang2525 10-08-2012 12:28 PM

Can I add a main breaker to an old split bus panel?
2 Attachment(s)
The panel label is dated 1959, and the main breaker (fuse) is located outside the cabin on the pole next to the meter.

frenchelectrican 10-08-2012 12:48 PM

What ya have there is pretty much outdated split buss panel and I do not know why someone made a jumper to the main lugs.

Really IMO that panel there are few code voliations allready show up but to order to fix that first of all I know you may not like to hear this but replace that panel with more modern panel which it will have more space in there.

Second thing is the feeder conductor why this ran indival instead in conduit or in cable format that set up useally a major no-no espcally with steel panels or tubs

If you are really good on DIY project and can understand the NEC code if you are in USA side or CEC if you in Canada and the big plus that you have outdoor main disconnect device so therefore you can run new 4 conductor cable or 4 conductor in conduit it will look better that way.

If you want do it let us know we will guide ya plus if your area allow you do this yourself ( this part check with the state or provice to see what the requirement for homeowner to replace this part )


electures 10-08-2012 04:27 PM


Originally Posted by Dang2525
The panel label is dated 1959, and the main breaker (fuse) is located outside the cabin on the pole next to the meter.

Why do you want to install a main?

Dang2525 10-08-2012 06:58 PM

Thanks for the comments. Its an old cabin I just bought on the US side of Lake Erie. And as to why I would want to install a main breaker, I guess I assumed that there was supposed to be one in there...I've not seen one wired like this before. Everything in the place functions correctly so is there any issues just leaving it "as is"? Or should I bite the bullet and install a new panel? (Marc you are correct that I did not want to hear that, but that was my first thought when I opened it up.)

frenchelectrican 10-09-2012 11:31 PM

How far this breaker box to the fuse disconnect switch as you mention ?

To get the new breaker box the cost is not that bad at all you can get a common 100 amp 20 space panel that can be under 100 Euros ( dollars to your side ) and replace the conductors from the outside main fuse to the inside panel so therefore you will have to replace with 4 conductor cable which it will have a pair of hots , netural et ground ( typically black ,red , white et green or bare in correct secquine as I menton above.

You will have to get the permit for this one I do not know which state you are in so the codes will varies a little.


Dang2525 10-10-2012 11:13 AM

The box is only about 50 feet from the fused disconnect. The present conductors are underground so the new string will probably be overhead. Thanks.

Jim Port 10-10-2012 11:39 AM

Got to love how the two hots and the neutral enter the panel through 3 NM connectors. :no::eek:

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