Does Pwr have to be off to install additional breaker?

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Old 10-27-20, 11:16 AM
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Does Pwr have to be off to install additional breaker?

I have added breakers to panels in the past but it has been a long while. Seems like I did it without shutting off the "main" disconnect. Is that correct?

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Old 10-27-20, 11:20 AM
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It is a 15amp breaker in a residential Siemans panel
 
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Old 10-27-20, 11:34 AM
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Yes it can be done. But why add an element of risk. Turn the power off and be safe. It only takes second.

If you don't mind me asking why would you not want to turn off the power?
 
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Old 10-27-20, 12:04 PM
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Just not having to have computer, wifi, and cable restart. But you are correct. Not a good reason.
 
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Old 10-27-20, 05:16 PM
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It can be done and I do all the time, but there definitely is a added risk and risk is greater if you have many empty spaces on the bus.

Risk of shorting the bus to ground while pulling and wiring the wire is greater than the risk of electrocution because you would know not to put your finger on the bus bar, but the wire can just fling into the bus bar when you are focused on elsewhere. I had that happen twice, but managed to pull the wire away before melting it. (less than a sec).

Also, when you plug the breaker, make sure that particular breaker is turned off do avoid arcing on the bus bar.
 
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Old 10-28-20, 03:33 PM
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I have added breakers to panels in the past but it has been a long while. Seems like I did it without shutting off the "main" disconnect. Is that correct?
I am sure I have installed breakers in a panel that wasn't powered at some point in the past, but I cannot sit here now and think of when it may have been.
 
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Old 10-28-20, 06:41 PM
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I may have installed a breaker in an energized panel once or twice. (today ) But companies tend to get crabby when I shut their entire business down.

I don't recommend DIYers to do it in their own homes.
 
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Old 10-29-20, 04:29 AM
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And unfortunately many homeowner DIYers don't realize that even though you shut off the main breaker in the panel the panel itself is still live and danger is just as much present.
 
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Old 10-29-20, 06:26 PM
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panel itself is still live and danger is just as much present.
That technically is not accurate. The panel itself will be de-energized. However, the large wires that feed the panel, and the lugs where the wires terminate are still hot.
 
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Old 10-30-20, 04:14 AM
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Tolyn Ironhand: Yes, I stand corrected.

I was just trying to make the point overall that there was still some danger working in the panel even with the main breaker off.
 
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