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Where is the first whole-house disconnect switch or breaker after the meter?

That box or enclosure represents "the main panel."

Sometimes it is under the meter.

Sometimes it may have two to six "medium sized" separate toggles or joined toggle pairs as opposed to one "large" toggle or joined toggle pair.

In a "subpanel" neutrals and ground must be kept separate.

If you needed to install a new ground bus bar and some of the bare ground wires reached and others did not reach then you might be able to do something like this. Get a (usually green) wire nut with a hole in the small end. Slide it up the (momentarilly unhooked) longer ground wire to where the shorter ground wires (same size or skinnier) can get to and fasten them to the longer ground wire.

Short jumper wires (as pigtails) may be used to extend neutral wires but two or more neutrals may not be combined and may not share the same hole in the bus bar.
 

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It should conform to the code that was in effect when it was installed.
 

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It is not unusual for a new whole house disconnect to be added upstream of what was the main panel, and typically under the electric meter and also the existing panel not being updated. At least today, a new 4 conductor feed or cable (hot, hot, neutral, ground) needs to be run to that former main panel if not already present.

Rewiring the existing panel to meet the then current code is part of the job of completing the installation and inspection of the new disconnect. (Some grandfathering might apply to this specific job.)

In the large panel I see three fat black wires going to three big lugs respectively at the top disconnect switch and also three medium wires (red, black, white) going to those same spots. Which set goes to the older looking switch box next to the outside chimney and where does the other set go?
 

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