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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought an older home and it appears that the previous owner did some electrical modifications of his own. What he didn't do was install a main breaker between my meter and my panel box.

What is the best way to determine my electrical service from the power company so I can know which size breaker to install? There's a bunch of gibberish written on the meter. I am going to have an electrician do this but I still want to know what he is doing. I have a 30 position breaker box and right now it is full, so I will probably have the box upgraded to a 40 slot box at the same time. Not having a main breaker seems to me to be a fire hazard as I go adding branch circuits.

Thanks
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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Call the power company have them look at it, If you do an upgrade there may be code violations that will need to be fixed at the same time
The POCO is not going to make recommendations. You need an electrician.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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Show us a picture of your main panel. What is the manufacturer and model?
Can you determine the size of the conductors that run between the panel and meter?
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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What size (amperage) is the breaker in the top right position? The number is on the handle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's a 220V 50A breaker. The expert who did this install job didn't label anything in the box so I don't know what it feeds. Whenever I get bored I go down there and throw a breaker and walk through the house to figure out what doesn't work anymore and write it down.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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The info on the cover says it is a Square D Homeline Model HOMC30UC.

The HOMC30UC is a Cover suitable for Homeline 200A 30SP load center

The panel is rated for 200 amps. Whether the service conductors are rated to supply 200 amps is another question.

Show us a picture of the electric meter and any boxes near it.
 

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The only model number I can see (barely) on the label is for the cover (HOMC30UC, I believe). That is a 200 amp cover, but it is used for both 30/30 and 30/40 panels, with or without a main breaker.

If the OP can find a different HOM model number it would help.

I also am wondering about a main disconnect located elsewhere, possibly located near the meter.
 

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JOATMON
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He didn't label anything? Then what is all that writing on the inside of the door?

On the right side about half way down...is that a double breaker? If so, what size?

Can you give us a close up of the door labels?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think I may have answered my own question. The CL number on the meter is 200. CL corresponds to a max amperage rating. I probably should have checked that before I posted.

I don't know what's in the box with the meter since it is locked with a wire. Either way, I don't see a breaker and even if there is one locked in there with the meter it's pretty useless to me unless I want to bring the wrath of the power company down on me for tampering with their stuff.

I am planning to work on the wiring of this house, doing myself what I can competently do and getting an electrician for the rest. The work done by the guy that came before me doesn't fill me with confidence. I have found an ungrounded circuit where he added a length of grounded for a few receptacles. It only grounded by accident to one of the old metal gang boxes.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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There is no breaker in than meter socket and there is no reason to open it. The large gray cable existing the bottom of the meter, can you read any labeling on it?

Are there any 2 pole, 100 or 200 amp breakers in your panel?

Because the meter and socket are rated for 200 amps is not a guarantee the service is rated for 200. It all depends on the size of the grey cable. It is called SE (service entrance) cable.
 

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Is there a box between the meter and your main panel?
If you're comfortable taking off the main breaker panel cover, check out the interior and post a photo.
Are there any inspection stickers on anything?
 

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MEASURE ONCE, CUT TWICE
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............. It all depends on the size of the grey cable. It is called SE (service entrance) cable.
Not necessarily true.

I had 100 amp wire going thru my service mast into my 100 amp panel and I proceeded to melt down the wires between my house and the hydro pole.

Good thing it blew up my computer as I had just gotten a severe virus before this event. My "frugal" wife was not into upgrading too often, ha.
 

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Not necessarily true.

I had 100 amp wire going thru my service mast into my 100 amp panel and I proceeded to melt down the wires between my house and the hydro pole.

Good thing it blew up my computer as I had just gotten a severe virus before this event. My "frugal" wife was not into upgrading too often, ha.
How does this happen if you have a main breaker, properly wired? Sounds more like an issue from outside coming in then inside going out.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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Not necessarily true.

I had 100 amp wire going thru my service mast into my 100 amp panel and I proceeded to melt down the wires between my house and the hydro pole.

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Not sure of your point. The size of the SE will limit the max capacity of the service. They may be other factors that limit it further.

In the posters case, he has a 200 amp meter socket and a 200 amp panel. Hopefully the SE cable is rated for 200 amps also.
 
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