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Old 09-07-2011, 02:44 PM   #1
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Main Breaker Missing


I live in Texas and am currently renting a house. My landlord's "handyman/electrician" removed the main breaker from the panel in 2008 and I just noticed it recently when one of the other breakers tripped. Is this legal to do? There is no main breaker on the exterior of the house. Thank you for any input regarding this matter.

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Old 09-07-2011, 05:04 PM   #2
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Where is the meter? There may be a disconnect close to the meter. Is this a single residence dwelling?

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Old 09-07-2011, 05:32 PM   #3
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How did he remove it and still provide power to the panel? Did he just connect the feeder to the pass-through lugs at the bottom of the bus? Is there a disconnect between the meter and the panel? How many breakers are in the panel? If there are less than 6 breakers, then it's probably a legal installation. If there are more than 6, then there would have to be another disconnect.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:16 AM   #4
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The meter is on the back of the house, yes single family dwelling. I have no clue how he did it, I wasn't home. I really don't know that much about electrical issues. There are 10 breakers in the box right now. The panel is about 20' from the meter inside a pantry. I know there used to be a main breaker because I would flip that one to turn off the power to the house all at once...it is gone now. I was fixing an outlet the other day and had to flip all the breakers off 1 by 1...I don't trust how this house is wired, so I shut it all off. I experimented with a couple of breakers that aren't what used to be in there and they aren't the main breaker either. I went outside to see if there was something and I don't see anything different.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:45 AM   #5
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Are you sure it isn't a meter/main on the outside?
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:36 PM   #6
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I am not a pro, but did wire my own house a couple of years ago. I don't recall the exact number (I'm thinking something like 5 feet) but do know there is a limit to how far your panel can be from the meter before you are required to have a disconnect at the meter. I have one because my panel is more than 30 feet away. I also have a main breaker in the panel, more for convenience that anything. And because MLO panels actually cost more that those that come with a breaker.

I think such a requirement comes about because the service cable between the meter and the panel is essentially unprotected from overload. If the right (or wrong) thing shorts out in your panel, there is nothing to de-energize the cable. It will draw as much current as the POCO can deliver until it melts and burns down your house. Having a very short run minimizes this risk.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:01 PM   #7
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You should not be doing any electrical work on a rented house.
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Old 09-08-2011, 04:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joed
You should not be doing any electrical work on a rented house.
I just was too tired to rant about it; thnx, Joed.
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
I just was too tired to rant about it; thnx, Joed.
Too tired or too wet? Can we ship some of this rain to Texas?
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Too tired or too wet? Can we ship some of this rain to Texas?
That would be a sight.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port

Too tired or too wet? Can we ship some of this rain to Texas?
Jim - I'm letting the rain go CHEAP. The friend price is 0.01$ per 100 gallons. All you have to pay is the shipping

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