Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-26-2007, 12:32 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,283
Rewards Points: 1,014
Question

Main panel design question


when the meter is directly connected to your main panel box (as it usually is) and if your meter stupidly does not have an on/off switch, there is no way to turn off the feeder cable before the main panel switch.

in my opinion, this is a safety hazard or a design contrived to keep electricians or power companies happy. when you if you want to do work inside the panel SAFELY, you want the power to not even come through the feeder cable.

as an alternative to replacing the whole meter with one that has a switch, is it possible to introduce a switch device between the meter and the panel that will switch the power off outside the box.

beats me in the head why this is not a standard ? in my panel box, the feeder wires go into some kind of fastening nuts that are bare after you take the cover plate off and they are always hot - i tried with a multitester. as such, i do not feel comfortable replacing breakers, for example ...

what is the most economic solution to this situation ?

thx,

- a
Attached Thumbnails
Main panel design question-panel1.jpg   Main panel design question-power_meter_size.jpg  

amakarevic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2007, 08:23 AM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 682
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Main panel design question


Beats me too. I often thought there should be a disconnect either before or after the meter.

The only reason for not doing it is the cost of the equipment. A main breaker panel is about the same price as a main lug panel. You could add a disconnect after the meter, making it the main panel, and use a sub panel to feed the rest of the home. The extra disconnect would cost about 600 installed.

__________________
Master Electrician
jwhite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2007, 10:31 AM   #3
Licensed Electrical Cont.
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 6,858
Rewards Points: 2,020
Default

Main panel design question


Quote:
Originally Posted by amakarevic View Post
in my opinion, this is a safety hazard or a design contrived to keep electricians or power companies happy.
OK. I would like you to explain exactly what you mean by this. I am truly curious.



Quote:
Originally Posted by amakarevic View Post
...as such, i do not feel comfortable replacing breakers, for example ...
And as such you should NOT even be taking the cover off. If you cannot comfortably work with the small amount of live parts in a panel, and know what NOT to touch or go near, you have NO place working in there.

This is where training and experience comes in.

You want to work only in a panel that is completely dead, go and drop the several hundred dollars extra it is to have a main disconnect installed outside.
Remember, there will ALWAYS be someplace the power cannot be turned off on the customer (and POCO) side of the meter. This is unavoidable.
__________________
Sometimes I feel like if I answer any more questions it is like someone trying to climb over a fence to jump off a bridge and me giving them a boost.
Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
Speedy Petey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2007, 04:24 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,283
Rewards Points: 1,014
Exclamation

Main panel design question


speedy petey - i meant that it was a design to scare and discourage DIY-ers into hiring big money tradesmen to do a no brainer or to get the power company to make $350 for pulling a switch off and then back on for you.
amakarevic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2007, 05:33 PM   #5
Licensed Electrical Cont.
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 6,858
Rewards Points: 2,020
Default

Main panel design question


Quote:
Originally Posted by amakarevic View Post
speedy petey - i meant that it was a design to scare and discourage DIY-ers into hiring big money tradesmen to do a no brainer or to get the power company to make $350 for pulling a switch off and then back on for you.
I truly think this is one conspiracy theory that hold no water.

"Big money" huh? Yeah, I guess it does COST big money to run a legitimate BUSINESS.

Not all POCOs charge for cutting the power. In fact I'd venture to say very few do.
__________________
Sometimes I feel like if I answer any more questions it is like someone trying to climb over a fence to jump off a bridge and me giving them a boost.
Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
Speedy Petey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2007, 07:41 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,283
Rewards Points: 1,014
Default

Main panel design question


PEPCO in wash., DC will charge to show up and pull a switch.

you may be living in a less greedy part of the country.
amakarevic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2007, 09:35 PM   #7
Pro
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Main panel design question


The "switch" is the main breaker at the top. However after reading your post PLEASE put the cover back on and NEVER take it off again. Electric is not a game, The reason Electricians get paid well (depends where), is because the KNOW how to do the work. A few 100 dollars is much easier to pay for than a funeral or new house would be.
pruane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2007, 10:12 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,283
Rewards Points: 1,014
Default

Main panel design question


NO - i will make my setup safe and do my own electric work because it is fun to do and i ain't paying anybody for the stuff i can do myself.
amakarevic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2007, 07:01 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 682
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Main panel design question


According to the new rules under NFPA 70 E, which have been adopted by OSHA, noone should be doing any work (except for testing) in a panel that still has live wires. For testing a person should be in an arc flash suit.

The only way that we could comply with 70E is to either call the utility every time we add or remove a breaker, or install a main beaker only panel between the meter and the branch circuit panel.

This would make the branch circuit panel a sub panel. Neutral to ground bonding would need to be done in the new main breaker only panel.
__________________
Master Electrician
jwhite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007, 10:01 PM   #10
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 16
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Main panel design question


The issue is "Your Safety" and Protecting your home. I have NEVER found a power company that refused or even charged to come to the house and pull the meter and wait or come back so I could make repairs or conversions. Call them the worst that can happen is, they say "NO".
jdoherty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 02:40 AM   #11
" Euro " electrician
 
frenchelectrican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: WI & France { in France for now }
Posts: 5,369
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Main panel design question


Quote:
Originally Posted by amakarevic View Post
NO - i will make my setup safe and do my own electric work because it is fun to do and i ain't paying anybody for the stuff i can do myself.

Huh ??? you say fun to do it ?? ,, I have no idea why you say that just wait until a arc flash or something short out and it will scare ya out of your mind.

keep in your mind the lugs above the main breaker i did see it that always be hot and UNfused or UNbreakered if that main wire short out there is good chance the house can burn down or POCO [PowerCompany ] transformer fuse kick out belive me they do nasty damage there.

That the reason why we the electrician do have extra time and training to deal with the system.

Most POCO useally dont charge for comming out and cut the power off in safe manner but some i say some will charge small fee for it.

350 bucks ? maybe little high in some area but 350 bucks for POCO to come out and cut the power off is better than the house burn down.

http://www.pieperpower.com/images/arc_flash.jpg

this link will show how powerfull the flash if something short out

http://www.spril.com/rapidan/Images/...PowerMeter.jpg

this link will show what the electric meter look like after fire damage


now you can understand how serious this is if you dont follow the code and safety here

Merci, Marc
frenchelectrican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 06:29 AM   #12
I have gas!
 
Clutchcargo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,780
Rewards Points: 1,012
Default

Main panel design question


I thought pulling the meter was the cut off. I didn't realize you could have a main cut off switch that wasn't the main breaker.
How would that work... Is it part of the meter assembly or a standalone box? Does it get installed in the interior or exterior of the house?
While I do a re-siding project on my house, I'm going to have an electrician come out to figure out what to do with the meter in the meantime. Is there any reason I wouldn't consider adding a pre-panel power cutoff?
__________________
I tear things down and build them up.

Last edited by Clutchcargo; 05-31-2007 at 06:40 AM.
Clutchcargo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2007, 11:21 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,508
Rewards Points: 2,004
Default

Main panel design question


When in doubt get a professional.
J. V. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2007, 04:35 AM   #14
Master Electrician
 
JohnJ0906's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 332
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Main panel design question


Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
When in doubt get a professional.
Second that.

__________________
John from Baltimore
One Day at a Time
"Experience is what you get when you were expecting something else"
"The bitterness of low quality lingers long after the sweetness of low cost is forgotten"
JohnJ0906 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Glass Fuse Panel box question? pouncerw Electrical 4 10-05-2009 09:01 PM
This doesnt seem right. JoulesWinfield Electrical 27 07-26-2009 07:40 PM
Another Neutral/Ground/Bonding Question michael5 Electrical 3 01-30-2007 11:38 PM
Arced main lug in service panel burgeke Electrical 4 11-02-2006 11:28 AM
Main Breaker panel question stagger19 Electrical 5 08-15-2006 03:57 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.