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-   -   So who's worked in their main electrical panel? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/so-whos-worked-their-main-electrical-panel-385368/)

kevreh 01-28-2013 07:31 PM

So who's worked in their main electrical panel?
 
Just wondering how many out there worked in their main (house) panel to do wiring for their e-brewery. I understand the safety side (turn off main breaker, test leads, don't wear metal jewlery, etc..). I've done quite a bit electrical for remodelling, but am still a little spooked by it. Any success stories? :)

BTW, to make it 100% safe, is it possible to disconnect power to my house via the meter outside?


TIA

Hammy71 01-28-2013 07:53 PM

The power company doesn't like customers messing with the meter. Makes them get suspicious. Just be careful and you'll be fine. Course as an electrician...that's easy for me to say.

mbauer013 01-28-2013 08:02 PM

I've done it for remodel and my brewing setup - not a big deal really, especially for installing a breaker, you are never going to be touching the big leads and if you shut off the main power, even that isn't a concern (I guess depending upon your panel age and design) My breakers snap right in, connect the ground to ground bus and nuetral to nuetral bus and connect the leads to the breaker. 10-minute job really.

kevreh 01-28-2013 08:02 PM

Yeah, I was just reading on how controversial it is to pull power at the meter, plus I guess every state is different.

Related question- the main circuit breaker turns off all the branch circuits below it, at least in my panel. About it are more breakers, mostly 240. Why does the "main" circuit breaker only cut power to the circuits below it, versus, say, all the circuits? I guess that was phased out?

Hammy71 01-28-2013 08:06 PM

Do you have a disconnect outside? Weird that the main is in the middle. Only time I've seen that is in the older Square D panels with the split bus. My parents had one of the those...hated it. Like I said earlier....be careful.

kevreh 01-28-2013 08:13 PM

Its a GE Panel from the 60's.

Poobah58 01-28-2013 08:25 PM

If you have to ask those kinds of questions... GET AN ELECTRICIAN!!!

cfrazier77 01-31-2013 02:22 AM

I have worked on my panel before. As long as you pull the mains you are good. If you are concerned you can check that the power is dead with a multimeter.

You really don't want to do anything outside. I was a firefighter for many years and we pulled the meters on all house fires. We always wore heavy gloves and hit it off. Sometimes there was quite a bit of sparks.

thadius856 01-31-2013 02:31 AM

Jesus Christ. Don't listen to some these posts, OP. That's a recipe for disaster.

If you kill the main service disconnect, the lugs coming from the PoCo's side of the panel are still hot and carrying the full 240V @ 200A, or whatever your service is. If you don't know what this means, then really, you need to study up a lot more before attempting or hire it out.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kevreh (Post 4836821)
Yeah, I was just reading on how controversial it is to pull power at the meter, plus I guess every state is different.

Related question- the main circuit breaker turns off all the branch circuits below it, at least in my panel. About it are more breakers, mostly 240. Why does the "main" circuit breaker only cut power to the circuits below it, versus, say, all the circuits? I guess that was phased out?

The main service disconnect kills everything downstream from it, which is... everything. If yours doesn't, then you likely have a serious code violation on your hands.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mbauer013 (Post 4836816)
I've done it for remodel and my brewing setup - not a big deal really, especially for installing a breaker, you are never going to be touching the big leads and if you shut off the main power, even that isn't a concern (I guess depending upon your panel age and design) My breakers snap right in, connect the ground to ground bus and nuetral to nuetral bus and connect the leads to the breaker. 10-minute job really.

The "big leads" will kill you if you touch them, even if you shut off your service disconnect. If you want those to be de-energized, then you either need to have a pull disconnect upstream from the meter (unlikely) or have the PoCo pull the meter. My PoCo won't put the meter back in without the city inspector's tag, signature and date taped to panel. If your PoCo is anal, you could very well end up in the dark for weeks while you traverse the permitting process, then get an inspection.

If you want to do this yourself, please permit it. We just had a house fire this past year because I failed to find some unpermitted and faulty electrical work (burried under a foot of attic insulation).

Edit: Perhaps this will help show the seriousness of this. Here's pictures of what it looked like the morning after the fire department gutted the attic above my living room. I'm extremely lucky I didn't lose the whole house and nobody died.

http://i.imgur.com/cXuPNfPl.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/9LEqOWRl.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/r46Osj3l.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/rfdMqq0l.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/qf8crhnl.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/FuvmGcul.jpg

Total cost was about $45,000 and counting.

kevreh 01-31-2013 03:18 AM

Damn, sorry to hear that. What was the cause? Wrong gauge wiring?


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