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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Texas
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    2

    Default Two Main Breakers

    I'm writing up an inspection for a new home that has two main breakers. One below the meter at the front of the property (200 amp), and another one at the front of the garage (200 amp). These are both separate from the main panel and subpanel in the garage.

    I've never seen two mains in series before. Is this acceptable? Thanks in advance.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
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    1,984

    Default Re: Two Main Breakers

    Yes if done properly.
    I'll let the master sparky Jerry answer further.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,898

    Default Re: Two Main Breakers

    It would help if you recognized the service at the pole near the meter. The others are just panels. The breakers are the required disconnects.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    26,248

    Default Re: Two Main Breakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Kosmoski View Post
    I'm writing up an inspection for a new home that has two main breakers. One below the meter at the front of the property (200 amp),
    To clarify: The above main is on a pole or pedestal, right?

    If so, then that one is the main service disconnect and that is the service equipment.

    and another one at the front of the garage (200 amp).
    Which makes this disconnect the disconnect for the second structure (the pole or pedestal was the first structure) but which is not service equipment.

    These are both separate from the main panel and subpanel in the garage.
    The best (simplest) thing is to drop the "main panel" and "sub panel" thinking and terms and replace those with "service equipment" and "panel" ("remote panel" also works) as there are two types of panels ... "service equipment" and "other than service equipment".

    If my assessment of the panel by the meter is not correct, let me know.

    If my assessment is correct, look at the panel at the meter as the service equipment (and report it as such) because that is what it is.

    Which leaves you with just one main disconnect (the one at the meter).

    Additional information will be required to complete this, but we need to clarify the above first.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,898

    Default Re: Two Main Breakers

    Pictures might help.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: Two Main Breakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The best (simplest) thing is to drop the "main panel" and "sub panel" thinking and terms and replace those with "service equipment" and "panel" ("remote panel" also works) as there are two types of panels ... "service equipment" and "other than service equipment".
    Good explanation...

    Recently I was talking to master electrician about the "remote" panel and he said, "You mean the sub, right?"

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Two Main Breakers

    Thanks everyone, that does help.

    Jerry that is correct, meter and service equipment on a pole. Instead of running the overhead to the home they ran it to a pole with the service equipment, with a buried line to the front of the home.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia, electrical only
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Two Main Breakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Good explanation...

    Recently I was talking to master electrician about the "remote" panel and he said, "You mean the sub, right?"
    Even though it's not required here, it would be a very good idea for the new owner to add signs by the disconnects, indicating where the other equipment is, including the distribution panels.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wenatchee Wa
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Two Main Breakers

    I agree with Jerry on naming "Service Equipment". Could this also be a 400amp service?

    Typically the service equipment will be grouped.

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
    Posts
    1,842

    Default Re: Two Main Breakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hester View Post
    I agree with Jerry on naming "Service Equipment". Could this also be a 400amp service?

    Typically the service equipment will be grouped.
    Yes, Donald I concur. Jerry's hobby and past career help model the systems and components we assess as a group of home inspectors.
    Jerry, you're the king mate!

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

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