Circuit breakers and breaker box

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I had a electrician install a new breaker box on the outside of my house where the old one was. The install was done Friday and yesterday, Sunday (house is vacant) I found the main breaker tripped and loose (I think off it's track). I called the electrician back Monday and he was very prompt to fix it but I was not there when he did. When I came to inspect it later the same day, I found that the main circuit breaker was firmly in place and on but in the middle of the breaker (main breaker looks like 2 breakers side by side with one lever) was a screw and washer tightened to it in the space between the two breaker as if it was assisting to keep the breaker in it's present position. All looks good but I've never seen a screw/washer screwed into the middle of a main circuit breaker to hold it. Electrician who did original job told me that the metal box is grounded so I guess the screw is grounded but will the plastic housing of the breaker crack with a washer pressed against its outer face (visible face) in time? I've never seen a screw and washer in or around a circuit breaker so this makes me suspicious but all appears to work well so far today.
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How about posting a photo? It probably is fine.
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Can you tell, we're in the same business?

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*LOL
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On Mon, 20 Jul 2009 18:28:31 -0400, "John Grabowski"

Any suggestions where to post the photo? I'll try to do a photo or 2 later today.
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On Mon, 20 Jul 2009 18:28:31 -0400, "John Grabowski"

In pic 008, you can see a notch on the top and bottom of the main circuit breaker and it looks like the screw is in line with them and tho I could not see it, I get the feeling now that the same notch is in the middle where the screw is located. As you can see it's a small phillips screw with a small washer.
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*It's fine and thanks for the photos. If you want definite confirmation that the main breaker installation is correct you can contact the manufacturer with the model # of your circuit breaker panel.
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Wow, that's bizarre. Looks more like Torx than phillips.
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Christopher A. Young
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Wow, that's bizarre. Looks more like Torx than phillips.
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A picture here would be very helpful. Typically main breakers are screwed or clamped down, but it sounds like this may not exactly be a factory installation. Considering that this is new, I would expect and want it to be as the manufacturer intended.
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That is the way some brands work (Cutler Hammer for one). The screw is the legal hold down
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On 7/20/2009 5:11 PM snipped-for-privacy@aol.com spake thus:

Sorry, but this (http://www.flickr.com/photos/36766263@N04/3742839537/sizes/o ) just looks wrong and jury-rigged to me, and I would also be concerned about the screw and washer cracking the face of the breaker.
If the breakers aren't securely attached to the bus without adding hardware, isn't there something wrong with either this particular panel or with the design of the damn thing?
I wouldn't want this sucker outside my house.
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Found--the gene that causes belief in genetic determinism

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On Tue, 21 Jul 2009 11:47:17 -0700, David Nebenzahl

I have some of the same concerns but I'm not sure I can make the electrician change it since it appears to be working fine for the last 24 hours. I guess I will have to play this one out over the years and learn from experience but I'm with you. I'm sure not crazy about it.
Odd tho, I did notice only the main circuit breaker had the notches vs. the others so perhaps the screw is okay but I've seen a number of panels before and never saw a screw in them like this. I hate to trust when I have suspicions but I'm not about to take it apart.
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Observer wrote:

So, call up your local electrical inspector, tell him your concerns and ask him if he'd be kind enough to look at those photos via the web, and if he thinks there's something funky then to come out and take a look see himself.
Howzatt?
Jeff
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I second the motion.
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I second the motion.
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On Tue, 21 Jul 2009 11:47:17 -0700, David Nebenzahl

That is the way those breakers are supposed to work and the hold down is required by code for one that is back fed like that
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just

I agree, it looks perfectly legitimate to me

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You guys must know what you are talking about. I debated about calling the electrician's company but did so a little while ago. I asked about the screw and he said it was required by code to prevent taking out the main breaker without taking out the screw first. Maybe that explains the notches in the sides of the breaker tho it doesn't explain why it wasn't there in the first place. Oh well I'll assume the three of you are correct and just let it go. Thanks for the reply to both of you.
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just

It's probably a convertible panel which can be used as a main breaker panel with the proper main breaker and hold down screw. They probably just neglected to install the screw. This can be verified if you give us the make and model of the panel
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