Main Breaker - Miswired or Cross Connection Question - Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum
Go Back   Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum > Electrical Forum > General Electrical Discussion

Like Tree3Likes
  • 1 Post By MechanicalDVR
  • 1 Post By SummitElectric1
  • 1 Post By HackWork
Closed Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-18-2019, 04:06 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 2
Default Main Breaker - Miswired or Cross Connection Question

Hello all,

I am little confused and will be hiring a licensed electrical person to look at it, but wanted to get an idea of what maybe going on or if anyone has any experience seeing this type of issue.

In 2006 the building was converted from a 2 family to a 3 family by a licensed electrician with permits.. The building has 4 Main breakers connected to each electric meter. 1 common main breaker which control all the common lights in the lobby and hallways in the multifamily and seperate main breakers for Apt 1, Apt 2, Apt 3. Each main breaker is connected to a main electric meter. Total 4 electric meters.

Recently I discovered when I wanted to close the main breaker for Apt 2 the lights remained on, only 1 bedroom light went off.

- When I closed the (Common lights) breaker the 2nd apt light went off along with all the lobby lights. While the common lights main breaker was off.

- I turned the 2nd apt main breaker on and all the common lights and 2nd apt lights went on.

- When I leave the lights on in the 2nd apartment and lobby lights and when I close the (Common Lights) main Breaker the electric register on the 2nd apartment electric meter.

- When I close the 2nd apartment main breaker and keep the (Common Lights) main breaker on, the electric register on the 3rd apartment electric meter.

- The 1st apt and 3rd apt main breaker have no issues they turn off their apartment lights when I shut then off independently.

- Each apartment has a sub panel except the common lights which just has main breaker.

- the 2nd apt sub panel shuts off the lights.

- However to close the 2nd apt from the main. I have to close the common and 2nd apt main breaker to close the power for 2nd apt.

Thank you again for your help.
priya1 is offline  
Join Contractor Talk

Join the #1 Electrician Forum Today - It's Totally Free! - Are you a Professional Electrical Contractor? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's the leading place for electricians to meet online. No homeowners asking DIY questions. Just fellow tradesmen who enjoy talking about their business, their trade, and anything else that comes up. No matter what your specialty is you'll find that is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally free!

Join - Click Here JOIN FOR FREE

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

Sponsored Links
Old 01-18-2019, 04:26 AM   #2
Old Grumpy Bastard
MechanicalDVR's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Old Dominion"
Posts: 58,916
Rewards Points: 236

This forum is for professionals only.

You have two choices:

1. Try asking at

2. Wait for your electrician to show up.
MikeFL likes this.
I'm as Christian as possible in the times we live in.

Always just a stallion in a china shop
MechanicalDVR is offline  
Old 01-18-2019, 08:01 AM   #3
Senior Member
SummitElectric1's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 110
Rewards Points: 96

The issues that you are describing are not uncommon in buildings where renovations have been done to add additional rental units.

If the electrical work during the renovation was in fact done by a licensed electrical contractor that pulled permits and passed all inspections it is likely that the original contractor did the best work that they could within the budget they were given.

Why not call the original contractor to help you understand the situation?

The new electrical contractor that you hire will need to do a bit more than "look at it" to understand how the building is wired and to provide you with code-compliant solutions to remedy any issues with circuit breakers from one unit affecting power in another unit or the common area lighting. A licensed electrical contractor will charge a fee for this service.
HackWork likes this.
SummitElectric1 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to SummitElectric1 For This Useful Post:
HackWork (01-18-2019)
Sponsored Links
Old 01-18-2019, 08:08 AM   #4
Senior Member
HackWork's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: -
Posts: 32,623
Rewards Points: 389

I often get calls from people who have a 2/3/4 family house and want the power split between the units. OR, they already have the power split, but they noticed a circuit or two is wrong, kinda like what the OP describes.

The first thing I do before wasting any time on it is ask them how many thousands they are willing to spend to fix it.

They think it's going to be moving a couple wires at the panels, but in reality it ends up being rewiring.
SummitElectric1 likes this.
HackWork is online now  
Old 01-18-2019, 08:17 AM   #5
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NY State
Posts: 11,390
Rewards Points: 510

Thanks for posting on However, working with electricity and electrical systems can be unsafe if not done by a professional licensed electrician. The moderators of this site would like to advise you to contact a professional electrician in your area.

If you are permitted by law in your area to do your own electrical work, please sign up at our sister site, where many of our professionals are also members and are looking forward to assist you with your needs.

Please take a moment to post your question at If you're not already a member of you can sign up for a free account by going to

We apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused. This thread has been closed.
“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Speedy Petey is offline  
Closed Thread

circuit breakers, electrical, main panel, sub panel

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Load Center (breaker panel) question parallon Residential Electrical Forum 1 04-30-2018 09:50 AM
125 amp breaker feeding and sub panel with a 200 amp main dham206 General Electrical Discussion 6 01-12-2018 12:02 AM
Question about residential main breakers carryyourbooks General Electrical Discussion 21 10-13-2017 09:11 AM
Condo panel breaker replacement question Rush2112 Residential Electrical Forum 23 02-20-2017 08:34 PM
Troubleshooting a tripped breaker? JasonCo General Electrical Discussion 16 04-24-2016 04:31 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Our Pro Sites Network | | | | |