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Old 06-28-2008, 04:01 PM   #16
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


Exactly.
The top 4 to 6 two-pole breakers killed ALL power. One of them kills power to the lower portion of the panel. That breaker is typically called the "lighting main".

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Old 06-28-2008, 08:59 PM   #17
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


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How could those panels be compliant when all of them had more than six handle throws. What am I missing here? Please enlighten me.
Split buss panels act like a panel and subpanel in the same enclosure. Most commonly the 2-pole loads were up top with one of those feeding the bottom buss of the panel. With up to 5 240 loads and the 1 2 pole breaker to feed the bottom. This panel would comply with the 6 throws of the hand rule. The breaker indicated by the yellow X controls the single pole breaker portion of the panel.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:10 PM   #18
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The code where I live requires a disconnecting means within 10' of the service coming into the dwelling. If you are trying to sell your house usually the Grandfather rules are out. But sometimes if they go with a conventional loan you may be able to get by, but of the buyer is going FHA or VA forget about it, you will have to get the disconnect installed. $1000 sounds like alot but the price of materials for that job could approach 3-400 and typically they double material cost and consider the fuel surcharge too.
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:39 AM   #19
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


Speedy has a good point about a split buss being installed in 1986. I read right by the year the op said his house was built. This makes the possibility a little less likely. At anyrate I think it is even less likely that there is no disconnect for all power for a service installed in 1986. I wish the op would return so we could get this figured out.
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:26 AM   #20
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Split-bus panels were very common in the 70's and 80's. A split-bus panel has 2 separate sets of busses in it, top and bottom. The top set is always energized. It has no more than 12 poles on it. It's designed to accomodate 6 two pole breakers, one of which is usually a 60 that's factory wired to the bottom set of busses. Look at the Murray picture, and you can see that one of the 2 pole breakers feeds the bottom set of busses. On the other brands, the breaker marked with an X also goes to the bottom set, but the wire is factory welded to the bottom busses.

The basic idea here was to put the big 240 volt loads on the top set of busses, and the smaller loads on the bottom set. As long as only 2 pole breakers were installed on the top set, the 6 movements of the hand rule was satisfied.

These panels were outlawed in the 1990 or 1993 code, if memory serves. You can imagine some of the violations that occured in these panels. One of the most common was an all gas house, the bottom busses were full, and single pole breakers were added to the top set resulting in more than 6 service disconnect breakers. Another was a good-sized load added to the bottom set, which was usually fed by a 60, and the increased load tripped the 60, plunging the house into darkness. The dryer, water heater, and range still worked though. The most obvious is simply the confusion of a panel with more than one set of busses in it, even though the cover was marked 'service disconnect' on the top breakers.

Like Stubbie said, I'd bet just about anything it's a home inspector (not the city or state one), and a split-bus panel.

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Old 06-29-2008, 09:43 AM   #21
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thanks for all the help everyone, To be a little more specific, it is a real estate home inspector. There is a disconnect inside the panel. What they are saying is that there has to be one at the meter box on the ouside of the house. (This is what makes the code new). It helps firefighters disconnect the power before entering abuilding.
I had called a guy from Mr. Electric, he is the one that advised me it is a newer code and because they have to run more wire from the meter all the way to the panel inside the house it costs $1000. Does seem steep to me also. He also told me that he was not sure, but he thought my house would be grandfathered in.
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:11 AM   #22
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no disconnecting means at the electrical service entrance


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thanks for all the help everyone, To be a little more specific, it is a real estate home inspector. There is a disconnect inside the panel. What they are saying is that there has to be one at the meter box on the ouside of the house. (This is what makes the code new). It helps firefighters disconnect the power before entering abuilding.
I had called a guy from Mr. Electric, he is the one that advised me it is a newer code and because they have to run more wire from the meter all the way to the panel inside the house it costs $1000. Does seem steep to me also. He also told me that he was not sure, but he thought my house would be grandfathered in.

must be a state or local code. National does not require this. Not a bad idea though.

still sounds steep though. I would call around and ask a few other companies for a quote.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:14 AM   #23
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Thanks for the clarification gentlemen......John
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:42 PM   #24
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If the house was legal before it is legal now. End of story. Regardless of what new codes say.

Mr. Home Inspector can SUGGEST anything he wants. He CANNOT demand or even request ANYTHING. He has NO authority whatsoever.
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Old 06-29-2008, 03:37 PM   #25
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If the house was legal before it is legal now. End of story. Regardless of what new codes say.

Mr. Home Inspector can SUGGEST anything he wants. He CANNOT demand or even request ANYTHING. He has NO authority whatsoever.
Not neccessarily true petey. In several jurisdictions around me, a house is required to be brought to current electrical codes when it is sold.
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Old 06-29-2008, 03:44 PM   #26
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For real?
To what extent? Where do you stop?

IMO that is pretty un-American.
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Old 06-29-2008, 04:01 PM   #27
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Seems pretty ridiculous to me too. Is it just electrical? Seems like this could be very expensive.
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Old 06-29-2008, 04:05 PM   #28
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yep, its gonna be if I have to do it. Gonna try everything I can not to though.
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:02 PM   #29
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For real?
To what extent? Where do you stop?

IMO that is pretty un-American.
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Seems pretty ridiculous to me too. Is it just electrical? Seems like this could be very expensive.
Not real sure if any other utitlity is required to be upgraded.

actually, the FHA (like in housing lender) has required electrical services to be upgraded to current power level (40 or 60 to 100 amp) when a house is financed through FHA. That has been happening since at least 25 years ago (when I used to sell real estate).

Not all areas around me are like that. It tends to be more often seen inside of city limits situations.
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:53 PM   #30
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Not real sure if any other utitlity is required to be upgraded.

actually, the FHA (like in housing lender) has required electrical services to be upgraded to current power level (40 or 60 to 100 amp) when a house is financed through FHA. That has been happening since at least 25 years ago (when I used to sell real estate).

Not all areas around me are like that. It tends to be more often seen inside of city limits situations.
You live in a big union city?

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