Asked on Jan 09, 2016

Breaker box does not have a main power shut off

Raychel Rose
by Raychel Rose
We need to replace a breaker in a Murray box but there doesn't seem to be a main power shut off. Does anyone see something that I don't? The condo was built in 1978.
  8 answers
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jan 10, 2016
    This is one of those times when you need to call in a professional! There is probably a main switch for the entire building that they have to access and you may have to have permission to get this done since it may involve shutting down the entire building! I am not an electrician so I am very leery of strange things like this! My first impulse is to call for professional help if it involves much more than changing a light bulb!
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Jan 10, 2016
    Likely it is a building switch (which I would make the condo board address and change). Or each unit has a separate one at the meter boxes. (I assume you are on separate electric meters?) If it 'turned' condo, that should have been addressed. If it were 'built' condo, you would have a separate cut off switch somewhere. I would insist they make the switch (lol) and install separate main switch in your unit. Who knows who might be feeding off your electric bill?
  • Donna Donna on Jan 10, 2016
    I agree. This is a job for an electrician.
  • Dick Dick on Jan 10, 2016
    The main breaker is probably outside at the electric meter. A handyman can change the breaker for you. You just shut off the problem breaker remove it from the panel, unscrew the wire from it, put the wire on the new breaker. Make sure the breaker is turned off and install it back into the panel. I live in Florida or I would come over any change the breaker out for you. PS: One question, Why do you think the breaker is bad? There may be a problem with the circuit it protects. Best bet is to get someone familiar with electric to check it out. Good Luck.
    • Raychel Rose Raychel Rose on Jan 10, 2016
      The breaker makes a humming sound so we wanted to replace it to see if that fixes it. I was thinking about shutting that breaker off and just replacing it without turning the main power off but nervous about it. If I touched the wire on acccident, how bad would it shock me?
  • Alton Alton on Jan 10, 2016
    I have a double pole breaker that hums when our heat or AC comes on and has hummed for years , but you can pop the breaker out and connect the wires to a new breaker and then put it back in , just be careful .
  • Dick Dick on Jan 10, 2016
    You can remove the breaker from the panel . Turn the old breaker off. After it's out of the panel it is not hot. Next remove the black wire from the old breaker after it's out of the panel. Install the black wire that you removed from the old breaker and put in the new breaker and tighten the screw. Next with the new breaker in the off mode install it back into the panel. Flip the switch to on and your good to go. The reason the old breaker was probably making noise is the contacts were burnt. In other words the contacts in the breaker were not making a good contact. Be careful You can get a shock if you touch either one of those big black wires were they are connected to the main bus bars at the top of the panel. Each one is 110 volts. That is a 220 volt panel.....
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 16, 2024

    Call in an electrician - Watch and Learn! It will be worth it in the end.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jan 16, 2024

    Since you are unsure, call in a professional. Let them show you how it is done.