I have a severely scary Stab-Lok panel that has no main breaker. The breakers spark and fall out when the panel is slightly wiggled. It's tiny and there's hardly any room to work, so I'm not about to screw around inside there while the mains are live. So, I need to have the electric company come out and pull the meter.
I figure while the meter is off, why not just replace the panel? So I bought a 200A load center with main breaker installed. My service is currently only 100A, but we plan on upgrading some time in the future (not sure how long it'll be). The main concern right now is to get the damned Stab-Lok panel out of here.
So, the question I have is, which is the best temporary route to take?
Just connect the lines to the installed 200A main breaker.
Remove the breaker and convert panel to main lug and connect directly (as the old one is now).
Remove the installed breaker. And backfeed the panel through 100A breaker as specified in the wiring diagram. (But lose 4 spaces.)
Honestly, I'm strongly leaning towards #1. At least the panel will be protected and I'll be able to use the main breaker as a disconnect.
BTW, the panel I bought was a Siemens P3040B1200CU and they don't make a 100A main breaker for it.