Main breaker

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  #1  
Old 05-16-06, 07:38 AM
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Main breaker

I would like to add a new circuit to my basement for the overhead lights (I know all about whether my panel can handle another circuit, etc...). My panel does NOT have a main breaker. I went out to the power meter and there is a main breaker there, except there is some sort of clip on it that I could not seem to get off without breaking it. I could easily snip it with some pliers, but am I allowed to do that? Would the power co. care that I broke their clip (I assume they put it on there). Would I need to put a new clip on there when I was done (where do I find one)?

Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-16-06, 09:17 AM
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What exactly does the clip do? Does it hold the enclosure shut? Does it clip two breaker handles together? Does it keep the breaker locked in the on position?
 
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Old 05-16-06, 11:02 AM
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It just keeps the cover over the breaker shut. I guess just so no one walks up and turns off power to the whole house.
 
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Old 05-16-06, 12:02 PM
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Although power company rules do vary by location, in most areas of the country everything on the load side of the meter is under homeowner control. That means you probably are allowed to break the clip and de-energize your main breaker. A quick call to the power company should let you know.
 
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Old 05-16-06, 02:03 PM
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If I shutoff every breaker, will the only power be at the two main lugs? Could I safely add a new breaker if I avoided touching these two wires?

Or do I have to shutoff the main?
 
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Old 05-16-06, 03:21 PM
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Unless you shut off the main breaker you will have power in the panel at the two hot buses that run in the back of the panel, where the breakers connect.

In my opinion, you need to shut off the main breaker to make your job as safe as it can be.
 
  #7  
Old 05-16-06, 03:35 PM
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I am going to guess that since the panel is outside, you want it sealed to prevent someone from turning off your power. However you don't want it locked so the fire department open it and shut the power off. I would call the local POCO and ask them.
 
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