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.
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.
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.
On 7/20/2009 5:11 PM email@example.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.
Found--the gene that causes belief in genetic determinism
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.
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
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.
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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