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Old 02-16-2010, 11:50 AM   #1
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Changing breaker in box with no main breaker


Our house is at least 50 years old. The main box has 6 breakers in it, located just below the meter. I have not been able to find a main breaker, even though I can see the service coming in from the pole.

We've been having problems with ne circuit in the house - acts as if the breaker is tripped but it's not, then the circuit comes alive for again for no apparent reason. All the wires look tight. I'd like to replace the breaker in the main panel, but there is no main switch.

Is this something I should leave to an electrician? I've got all the right tools to do the job, but I know it would be safer if I could throw the main.

Any other ideas on the mysterious circuit? It does not seem to be related to load or weather, so I'm just replacing parts trying to figure out what it is. If the problem does not occur when the electrician is here, I'm not sure what they would do anyway -

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Old 02-16-2010, 11:55 AM   #2
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Changing breaker in box with no main breaker


Older panels may not have a main breaker - it is code to have up to six breakers you must turn off to cut power to your house.

If you're not sure, I'd call an electrician.

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Old 02-16-2010, 12:39 PM   #3
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Changing breaker in box with no main breaker


In the long run, it might be worth the expense to hire an electrician to replace the existing panel with one that does have a main breaker and has room for expansion, especially if you have plans for future additions.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:46 PM   #4
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Changing breaker in box with no main breaker


Breaker can and do go bad, but not often in my experience. I suspect a loose connection in the circuit.
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