What are the metal parts which are placed against circuit breaker switches used for? These look like hooks and the flat part are placed against the switch as if to block it from being flipped. In the photo these are used in the second and third rows of switches. According to the diagram (not shown), the switches are connected to high power appliances like the heater, dryer and stove.

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  • what happens if you try and trip them manually, it looks like they would lift up and then capture the toggle so resetting them requires first lifting it up again and then pushing the toggle to the ON position. – ratchet freak Dec 11 '14 at 9:23

Those are breaker locks. You can hold the breaker in the on position or raise the bar and shut it off holding them in the off position. I can't tell if they are lockable to qualify as a legal lockout device for "maintenance disconnect" purposes.

YES, the breaker WILL still trip even with the lock in place. Trip mechanisms are internal and will work without the handle moving. As soon as the lock is moved the handle would pop into the middle position.

These are used for circuits that people should not be messing with, like alarms, smoke detectors, furnaces, emergency lighting, computers, etc.

  • So that means that in his other question one of those may be the one tripped – ratchet freak Dec 11 '14 at 15:17
  • @ratchet Those switches are marked for certain devices (stove, heater..). I can't see how they would affect an outlet – Tony_Henrich Dec 11 '14 at 16:53
  • 1
    @Tony_Henrich never underestimate the stupidity of a uneducated DIYer – ratchet freak Dec 11 '14 at 16:54

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