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I have a house with an outbuilding that has its own apartment and shop in it. Right now all electricity flows through the meter on the main house. There is also a meter for the outbuilding that I want to re-activate so that I can rent the apartment and the tenant can pay their own utilities.

On the panel in the outbuilding, the master switch for the panel currently doesn't turn off the juice to it, but the breakers within that box control the various parts of the outbuilding. Is it plausible that the master switch will work once the meter is reactivated, but the electricity currently fed from the main house is coming through a breaker in the box? I need to be sure to shut off the power from the house to the outbuilding before reactivating the outbuilding meter to make sure there are not two power sources. I would give more details, but at this point I am some distance away from the house and have just been mulling over what might be going on. Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

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  • Who's your electric utility? Also, is there a breaker in the main house's panel that shuts off all power to the outbuilding? – ThreePhaseEel Mar 9 at 23:46
  • Thanks for responding. The electrical utility is: Jefferson PUD in Washington. I have to get back over there to see if there is a breaker in the main house that shuts off all power to the outbuilding. I will check for that this weekend when I am over there. I am guessing if there is a breaker in the main house for the outbuilding that maybe the power runs from that breaker in the main house and through a breaker in the outbuilding to power the panel for the outbuilding? – Paul Mar 10 at 1:20
  • Yeah, that's what I'm thinking, that the outbuilding panel is being powered from a feeder extending off the house via a backfed main in said outbuilding main. While you're out at the place, can you get us photos of the hardware involved, including any labeling on the inside doors of the panels? – ThreePhaseEel Mar 10 at 1:29
  • Will get any photos I can. Unfortunately, the panel in the outbuilding is in a very constricted place, but I will see what my phone can get photo-wise from such a close angle. I'll also run some tests by flipping some breakers to see if I can find one that shuts off the outbuilding. There are actually three panels in total since the place started as a trailer and was continually added on to. – Paul Mar 10 at 2:25
  • Were you able to get any photos over the weekend? – ThreePhaseEel Mar 17 at 1:56

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