|> Michael Shaffer wrote:
|> > Ok, I just looked and I guess I thought there were more. There are 5
|> > breakers, one emtpy slot.
|> > email@example.com wrote:
|> >> |> >>
|> >> | That's all there is except for the meter.
|> >> To totally disconnect all power, how many breakers and/or switches do
|> >> you have to operate into the off position to get it all off? The NEC
|> >> code allows for no more than 6.
| It is very unusual to have ready access to the mains when they are only
| protected by the primary fuse at the service transformer. That seems to be
| you situation.
| Before working on this panel hot I would carefully perform a hazard analysis
| to determine the risks that you may be taking. The fault current could be
| extremely high and you could be placing yourself in harms way by working
| this panel hot. I am an electrician with over 40 years experience and I shy
| away from working on any hot circuits on the supply side of a service
| disconnect. These hot circuits are like working with nitroglycerine.
| I would contact the utility company and see if they can pull the meter to
| de-energize the panel before working on it. I would also ask for a courtesy
| inspection by any authority having jurisdiction including the utility
| company. Most utility companies seal any disconnect, box, meter, or panel
| that allows direct access to the supply side energized circuits.
IANAE, but if this were me, I'd definitely NOT work on a panel hot, and
especially NOT the one I see in that picture. I especially don't like
the placement of the neutral and ground bars relative to the main lugs.
This is most definitely a case to have the power company come out and
pull the meter for the day, at the very least.
IMHO, you should hold off on adding a circuit and take a look at doing a
complete changeout to a new panel with more space and a real main breaker.
Or at least add a separate enclosure for a main breaker by itself and run
the service through that first.
Do you have children living in the house?
Also, you need to consider the added load this is putting on the service
entrance. Since there is no main breaker, you have to add up all the
lower section submains, plus the breakers above them (which should total
no more than 6), and make sure the service wiring can handle that amperage.
What I see doesn't look like it will do more than 100 amps, but there could
easily be over 100 amps of unchecked load with an added 2 pole breaker.
What is that disconnect box on the left?