Move Electrical Main shutoff inside?

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soparklion11

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My house was built in the 1940s and 'flipped' ~2000. Much of the electrical has been replaced. The main breaker is outside, but it does not stay 'OFF' and doesn't even intermittently stop the power supply when I hold it in the 'OFF' position. The main panel is inside. I have not identified any subpanels except for the service breaker for the AC unit.

The main breaker, that doesn't work, has a lifetime warranty. Unless it is installed outdoors.

Is it worthwhile to replace the main breaker indoors, or should it be replaced at its current location, outside? I'm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania so we do have considerable rain and moderate ice and snow. I'm hoping to get some opinions before I perhaps find an electrician to review and bid on my project.
 

afjes_2016

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There really is no downside of having your main disconnect outside as long as it is a properly rated disconnect NEMA 3R (weather resistant). Technically since you do have a main disconnect outside that is considered your first or main and then the panel in the house is actually now a sub panel.

Moving the main inside you can do if you want but it will have to be installed basically where the line comes into the house and then from there you can feed off a sub panel. You can't run from an outdoor meter connection into the house and then run it a great distance in the house before the first means of disconnect. So keep that in mind.

Since you are in the city of Pittsburgh I would highly suggest you check with the local electrical inspector and find out what would be required above and beyond the NEC.

Overall you may want to keep things as they are but just replace the main breaker disconnect outside. Unless there are other issues that would be resolved by moving the main indoors I don't really see any benefit - just my opinion.

Others will have their ideas also.
 

Eddie_T

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The house I rented when I first moved to NC had an exterior main panel provided by the electrical utility. It could contain up to 17 breakers IIRC. It contained all the 240V breakers. There was a subpanel in the utility room for lighting and outlets. The electrical utility stopped providing the panels and most new homes went to indoor panels.
 

afjes_2016

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Is it worthwhile to replace the main breaker indoors, or should it be replaced at its current location, outside?
Sorry!! My bad!!

Soparklion11: If you are speaking of specifically replacing on the main breakers then my reply is irrelevant. I misread your post. If you are asking if you should replace a faulty breaker then the answer is of course yes - whether it is in a panel indoors or outdoors.

There really is not way for us to determine if the issue is related to the breaker outdoors or indoors at this point. A bit of troubleshooting would be required. Have you consulted any licensed electricians and ask them?
 

bud16415

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I’m very confused by the first post and I don’t think we have enough information to determine anything. If the outside shut off does nothing when put in the “off” position we don’t even know if it is hooked up.



Because there was new work done with the flip in 2000 I don’t see why they would leave the old outside panel in the circuit and if the inside panel was from the 40s it would be fuses.

The OP needs to get someone more knowledgeable with home wiring to take a look inside both panels and see what is going on. I would suggest a pro.
 

afjes_2016

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I agree with you Bud the more I read this post. The OP is using "main breaker" interchangeably when referring to the main panel outside and the sub panel inside.

So parklion you need to be a bit more specific. If the outdoor disconnect is not shutting off your power to the sub panel in the house and the disconnect has worked in the past after the 2000 renov then that needs to be checked out by a licensed electrician. Not to alarm you but you may have more going on than just a bad breaker.
 
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