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Question about 220V

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Forum topic by Jesse posted 226 days ago 584 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jesse

25 posts in 250 days


226 days ago

I am moving into my new shop soon and I need to run a 220 outlet for my dust collection system. Normally it is no problem, I know how to run basic wiring and 110 and 220/240 outlets safely. However, this panel does not seem to have a main breaker to shut off power to the entire panel. Is that possible? If so, is there a shut off outside at the meter perhaps or something like that I should be looking for. If not, is there a safe way to install the breaker while the panel itself is hot or no? This is not a residence, it used to be a auto mechanics building before I got my hands on it.


14 replies so far

View mrjinx007's profile

mrjinx007

1349 posts in 391 days


#1 posted 226 days ago

Every panel has a shot off. Normally on the top with two switches attached to each other. If you have an outside panel, same thing.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View teejk's profile

teejk

1208 posts in 1308 days


#2 posted 226 days ago

If it’s a sub-panel, the shut-off should be on the main feeder panel. In many cases the sub is supposed to have its own kill switch but it doesn’t always happen.

View bbc557ci's profile

bbc557ci

541 posts in 698 days


#3 posted 226 days ago

What mrjinx said….there’s gotta be a shut off somewhere on a panel/service. Yes, you can remove and install breakers when the panel is hot and you can run/connect new 220V when the panel is hot. But I wouldn’t advise it. If I were in your position and not able to locate a shut off, I’d call an electrician to look things over. Regardless, you should know how/where to kill the power to the building if/when it becomes necessary…. JMHO

-- Bill, central NY...no where near the "big apple"

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mrjinx007

1349 posts in 391 days


#4 posted 226 days ago

If you haven’t found it yet, take a picture.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

1054 posts in 939 days


#5 posted 226 days ago

Like bbc said … “Yes, you can remove and install breakers when the panel is hot and you can run/connect new 220V when the panel is hot. But I wouldn’t advise it.”

More people are killed every year with 220v. than any other power source
Please! Consult with or hire a licensed electrician before you kill yourself.

Looking forward to seeing you on this site again.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

2876 posts in 1709 days


#6 posted 226 days ago

There were a lot of old panels installed that did not have a main shut off, the power came directly from a
meter box that usually did have a shut off. The new boxes thankfully do come with main shut offs that
are also breakers that give you a backup just in case a regular breaker manages to weld itself in a closed
position.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View teejk's profile

teejk

1208 posts in 1308 days


#7 posted 226 days ago

Wiring live is possible. The new circuit is harmless until connected to the bus-bar but the problem is hooking in the neutral/ground wires with live power all around and the lack of non-conductive screw-drivers…one slip and you’ll learn how to weld. If I remember correctly a separate disconnect is not required on a sub panel if it is within a reasonable distance and in the same building as the feeder panel.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14720 posts in 2299 days


#8 posted 226 days ago

Older panels installed prior to the single main code change about 1980 or a few years later will be what are known as split buss panel. They have an area at the top with room for a maximum of 6 – 2 pole breakers. One or 2 of those will feed a section or 2 lower in the panel where the 15 and 20 amp single pole breakers will be installed. The mains that feed the lower section will be 60 amps maximum. The top section with the mains will normally have the range, dryer and heating circuits. That top section is hot all the time and does not have a main to disconnect it.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14720 posts in 2299 days


#9 posted 226 days ago

As an afterthought; I have been an electrician for over 45 years. If the panel is a Zinsco or FPE, I would not try to change a breaker in it while it is hot.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Jesse's profile

Jesse

25 posts in 250 days


#10 posted 226 days ago

Thanks everyone, I did some exploring around the outside of the building and found a shutoff for my bay at the meter. It looks like 4 breakers in one kind of deal but it killed the power to my part of the building. Thanks for the tips guys, the people on this website save me a lot of money and give me a lot of new knowledge.

View papadan's profile

papadan

1125 posts in 1992 days


#11 posted 226 days ago

If your panel has no main disconnect you can pull the meter to kill all power to the panel and connect your breakers and wiring.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14720 posts in 2299 days


#12 posted 226 days ago

Jesse, glad you found the main. A multiple occupancy is a much different animal than a single occupancy building. You are still limited to a maximum of six disconnects at the service location.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14720 posts in 2299 days


#13 posted 226 days ago

you can pull the meter to kill all power to the panel

Maybe. If it is over 200 amps, it may be a meter connected to current transformers. 320 amp meters have only been out for a few years.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View teejk's profile

teejk

1208 posts in 1308 days


#14 posted 225 days ago

I don’t think you want to pull the meter ever without informing the utility. They tend to freak out when that security lock tag is broken and will assume you have been pirating power.

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