Main Circuit Breaker

Discussion in 'Life After Brown' started by over9five, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    My mission for today....

    My main breaker keeps tripping, and it's really hard to turn off/on/reset. I suspect it's bad.
    Can you replace one of these without shutting off power to the box? I've installed many breakers, but never the main one.

    Off to check it out. If I do not return, you'll know it didn't go well.....

    Disclaimer: Do not try this at home. Over9five is a professional, and has done this thousands of times.
  2. raceanoncr

    raceanoncr Well-Known Member

    Should be just like any other breaker. Just pop it out, disconnect lines, connect new one, pop it back it. JUST DON'T TOUCH ANY WIRES OR METAL TOGETHER! Kinda risky but it can be done. Just did a whole new panel in one of my garages. Well, not ME, but watched!
  3. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    Can you say 'electrician' ??
  4. cosmictrucker

    cosmictrucker counting the months

    I wouldn't attempt that trick without first popping the seal to the main power meter and removing the meter from it's socket. After you're finished the main breaker swap, re-install the meter and notify the power company you had an emergency repair, and the seal was removed.
  5. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    I just looked at it and chickened out. You REALLY should have the power going to the house shut off. Those live feeds attach directly to the breaker. Not sure how you'd disconnect them without dying!

    I hate hiring "professionals"!!!!
  6. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    Realizing your limits is showing true intelligence and makes for a much better looking father of the bride. . . . . other wise you'd look like Jim Ignatowski (sp) from Taxi!!
  7. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    That's what I'm talking about! Ours is one of those fancy new electronic ones that they don't even have to come read. I suppose I could buy the breaker first and have the power company remove the meter? Do you think they'd charge for that?
    I'm so gd cheap.
  8. beentheredonethat

    beentheredonethat Well-Known Member

    An electrician will be cheaper then a mortician. The electrician will handle everything that needs to be done, just make sure he is licensed and carries insurance.
  9. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    Call the utility company and ask the helpful representative!
  10. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

  11. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Damn, I can't believe I clicked on one of Upstates fake links....
  12. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    If a live wire like Upstate can fool you, do you think you should be messing with live wires?
  13. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, I'm not. That project is on hold for now.
  14. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

  15. brownmonster

    brownmonster Man of Great Wisdom

    The key to any project like this is first to drink a dozen beers. I've changed many breakers and added a sub box. I wouldn't tackle the main one.
  16. curiousbrain

    curiousbrain Well-Known Member

    I believe that Bob Ross made this quite clear: can't have happy little trees without a dozen beers.
  17. bigbrownhen

    bigbrownhen New Member

    Im on the "call a professional" team. Electiricity scares me. There is no way I would do this on my own, or expect my hubby to do it. What would your advice be to someone in your family if they asked the same question of you? Hire a pro or attempt yourself?
  18. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member


    The problem may not be the main breaker but something loose in the panel causing an excess load. Turn off the main breaker and tighten all connections including the ground and neutral bus. Stay on the load side (breaker side) of the main as the line side (street or meter side) is still very hot. Before you turn the main back on, load shed (turn off) all circuit breakers and then turn on the main. Now reset each breaker one at a time until all breakers are back one. Turning the main back on under load is never a good idea. Any questions or concerns, PM me and I'll walk you through. If you have a good amp meter, there's even more you can check beyond that.

    DO NOT PULL THE METER! Many local codes prohibit this by anyone other than a licensed electrician and doing so could open up a whole can of worms you might not want.
  19. Dizzee

    Dizzee ɹǝqɯǝɯ ɹoıuǝs

    When I first bought my home, I took advantage of a local grant program and had the whole house rewired from utility pole to outlets. One of the electricians would test live wires by touching them with the thumb and index finger of one hand. He said the secret was to only use one hand, because the circuit was completed between the thumb and finger. With both hands the electricity would travel across your chest resulting in a bad day at work. :smart:
  20. packageguy

    packageguy Well-Known Member

    Make the phone call, we all like your posts, hate to lose one.