Just bought a condo and one of the breakers in it has this metal thingy on it. What is it? What is it for? enter image description here enter image description here

1 Answer 1


It is a lock out device. It is to be able to turn the breaker off and lock it, so that an electrician can work on the circuit without worrying about it being turned on. Code requires this if a local disconnect is not available for some circuits.

  • How does it work? It's not clear from the image that it has moving parts...
    – AnoE
    Oct 6, 2018 at 18:50
  • 4
    @AnoE If I understand correctly, it doesn't do anything itself. It merely provides a hole to lock a padlock through, and the padlock obstructs the breaker from being closed. Oct 6, 2018 at 18:53
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    @jeffery bosboom you are correct it is only there to provide a code required lock out device when a local disconnect /lockout is not installed. +
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 6, 2018 at 21:03

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