Main Disconnect needed for electrical panel?

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We are in the process of buying a home and as part of the home inspection it was found there was not a main disconnet in the electrical panel. The sellers agreed to have one installed. They just sent us note from a contractor stating "The panel in question is a spIit bus bar panel with a main breaker for lighting and receptacles only. Although it is outdated it is not an unsafe system. These panels were used frequently in new construction through the 1970's. (The house was built in 1982)
My question: Is this something that really should be updated? We have 2 small children plus my parents lost everything in an electrical fire several years back so I am pretty concerned.
Any advice, thoughts, would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
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For the cost of installing a main disconnect or a new panel I think the piece of mind would be worth it.

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HotRdd wrote:

But I don't think the seller is obligated to pay for it since split bus panels are certainly code compliant.
It seems way to common anymore for "home inspectors" to decide that everything should be as if it were done last week according to current practices.
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Last time I heard the US was in a buyers market. Whether the home owner "has" to replace it or not does not mean it can't be negotiated in the selliung price.

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HotRdd wrote:

...
Like always, that depends on "location, location, location". The major metro areas are all in the news now with the subprime lending fiasco (where the rest of us are getting ready to be soaked to subsidize the fools and greedy who signed up for all these mortgages they couldn't afford :( ), but in other areas things are pretty much as they've always been...
That said, it's a negotiating point, agreed...
--
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Does it matter what it is? We always pay for the fools... Maybe we are fools for not being fools
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dpb wrote:

Problem is, it wasn't all "fools and greedy" signing up for mortgages they couldn't afford per se, a lot of it was predatory lending. The bulk of the people in trouble now were indeed making their mortgage payments just fine when the interest rates were reasonable and only had trouble when the greedy lenders raised those rates through the roof.
All that is necessary to eliminate the so called sub prime meltdown is to implement an interest rate freeze / cap to punish the greedy lenders while helping the consumer victims by allowing them to continue paying their mortgage at sane rates.
The greedy lenders get slapped, but stay afloat due to the fact that they'd still be receiving payments and still making a more reasonable profit, the market stabilizes and the victims who had been making their mortgage payments regularly get to keep their homes and not be further victimized.
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Pete C. wrote:

Bullshit...
The terms were all published and nobody held a gun to their head and forced them to sign up for zero-percent balloon mortgages.
--
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HotRdd wrote:

Hi, Last year here, people were buying houses without even seeing it. Price was going up by the day. Most were paying over the list price just to get it. No time for inspection or such. Now that craze is cooling off. My neighbor's house, ~2400 sqf 2 story built in 1994 at a cost of ~250K was sold for 1.25 million 2 months ago. That is what hot economy brought us, high inflation, high wages, extreme housing shortage, population influx, increased crime rate, etc. I don't see anything exciting in it.
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Tony Hwang wrote:

Current inflation is about 2.36% (50% less than in 2000)

Wage growth is 2.4% (latest figures), this is below the inflation rate.

Most crime rates are down from, say 1995: All violent: 469 vs 684, car theft: 416 vs. 560, and so on.

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HotRdd wrote:

Anything can be negotiated. But it is just plain silly for "home inspectors" to critique a property on current standards.
If someone is buying a used house they typically are already paying a lower price than a comparable new house.
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George wrote:

Hmmm, Yet, I never ran into a HI who are competent in anything, electrical, plumbing or sutructual matters overall. Piece of paer saying certified HI, whatever hanging on the wall does not mean much.
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While you are doing major electrical, go with a new panel.
--
.
Christopher A. Young
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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net wrote:

What brand is it? If it's Federal Pacific or Zinsco, you should replace it in my opinion. (Has nothing to do with the split bus, but they are fire hazards)
Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

Sorry for replying to my own post, but I realized that last sentence was ambiguous. Zinsco and Federal Pacific boxes are fire hazards. Split bus is unusual these days, but OK.
Bob
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Here's a thought. Tell the current owner your concerns and that you want a new panel installed. If it's to much offer to settle on a main disconnect, installed, either inside or outside. Once the disconnect is installed it's simple enough to swap in a new panel down the road.

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James,
You have some concern about the lack of a main breaker and the seller has agreed to remedy this by installing a main breaker. What else do you need to know? Are the sellers refusing to honor their word?
Dave M.
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The problem with split buss panels is that at the time the NEC allowed up to 6 main disconnects in them. In the original installation there wouldn't be a problem as the electrician calculated the load of the building and sized the mains accordingly, the problems with split buss, multiple main panels arise later, when other people, not always professionals add to the original mains, without recalculating the entire building load, and possibly overloading the main entrance feeder. This situation can't occur when the entrance feeder has only one disconnect. In my opinion, it isn't a violation, so I don't believe it's something the seller should be responsible for paying for, however for my own peace of mind I would have a professional do a load calculation, or have a single main disconnect installed

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On Fri, 7 Sep 2007 19:56:52 -0400, "RBM" <rbm2(remove

The NEC still does. I could install a split bus panel tomorrow.
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My understanding is that the NEC has, or is going to reduce the number to two main disconnects
wrote:

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