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Old 01-20-2011, 03:25 PM   #1
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I was recently attempting to map out my un-labeled panel in my apartment. It is a pretty old building and has a very old electric panel to go along with it. (See attached picture) I was able to get down most of what the switches went to, except for the double pole switches, I only tried one, because after switching it off (it turned off everything in the entire apartment) I was too scared to try the other one for fear of messing something up. So I was just wondering what exactly do these special switches usually control? and if one of the single switches didn't seem to turn anything off, what could it be? Something like a water heater that wouldn't show any signs of life either way? I'm not too electrically savvy as you can probably tell, but I need to get a decent labeling sheet in that box in-case I'm in the dark one day, or need to shut something off in an emergency.

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Old 01-20-2011, 03:42 PM   #2
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What are the numbers on the double breakers? I can almost read them - it looks like one of them says 60? In an apartment situation - who knows what they were thinking when they put this in. Maybe one of the double-poles is supposed to be a master off switch for the unit, as would be supported by the evidence you found when you flipped it off.

For the one that seemed to do nothing - do you have an outlet in your bathroom? Or maybe a light outside the apartment door?

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Old 01-20-2011, 03:49 PM   #3
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Take a better picture, that shows the whole panel, along with the inside of the panel door. The info plate on the door will help those that know the older panels help you better.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:06 PM   #4
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Double pole breakers commonly feed stoves, water heaters, a c units and furnaces.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbarn
in-case I'm in the dark one day, or need to shut something off in an emergency.
Hate to burst your bubble, a labeling sheet is a great idea, but it will do you no good in an emergency.
In an emergency, flip off the main breaker and get out.
As long as your panel is a Main Panel and not a sub-panel there will be on big breaker at the top that turns everything off.
As a renter, that's the only switch you should need to know in the panel.
I show it to all my tennants, along with the main water shutoff and the shutoff for every fixture.
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:52 PM   #6
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The first double pole was the main breaker for the whole panel. The other double poles are things like stove, water heater, AC, dryer.

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