Main Disconnect Vs Service Disconnect

Main Disconnect vs Service Disconnect: What to Choose!


We know how important is disconnect for our home, office, or any place. And choosing the ideal one for our place is really necessary. Because we do not want any issues not selecting the right one and regret it later!

So, which one to choose between the main disconnect vs service disconnect?

The main disconnect is mainly used for the entire system whereas the service disconnect is specific. With the installation convenience, the main disconnect is better but the service disconnect is complex. The main disconnect can be very safe whereas the service disconnect is safe too. Lastly, the main is expensive but the service isn’t!

This is just a quick comparison for you here. Go on reading to get to the detailed comparison we got here.

Get started now!

Main Disconnect vs Service Disconnect: A Quick Comparison

A quick comparison is what you need to get started initially. So, here you go.

FeaturesMain DisconnectService Disconnect
Installation ConvenienceEasyModerate
Safety IssuesVery SafeSafe
PriceAround $1000Around $120

This gives you an ideal heads-up to the main part.

Main Disconnect vs Service Disconnect: A Detailed Comparison

Now, you can be moving on to the detailed comparison. Because you already have gone through the features and their quick comparison. So, take a look.

Purpose of The Disconnect

The first thing to look at is the purpose of the disconnect. Without knowing the purpose, you can not just install this randomly.

Main Disconnect

The main disconnect is just like the main power switch at your home. That means this main disconnect acts as a switch to cut off the power of the appliance.

You may also hear this one as the main switch at many places. So, whenever high power passes through an appliance, it helps to turn it off.

As a result, it helps to prevent the appliance from getting damaged. 

Service Disconnect

Just like the main disconnect, the service disconnect is also similar. Because this also cuts off the power when it is needed.

But it can not operate automatically just like the main disconnect. That means you need to turn it on or off for that. 

Like, if you are working with a particular appliance, you may use it for that. So, you have the convenience to work with a particular appliance when needed.

Say, your electrical meter flashes suddenly. As a result, you work on it taking the help of the service disconnect.

Winner: When you think of the purpose, the service disconnect may win. Because this is what gives an option to work individually with the appliances.

Installation Convenience

An important thing you may look at is the installation of these. Here you go.

Main Disconnect

Installing the main disconnect is basically simple. To get it installed, you just turn off the power first as you do for any electrical installation.

Remember that the installation of the main disconnect does not require any additional supplies. Because when you buy this, you would get the complementaries along with it.

To install this main disconnect, you need to prepare a place. It is better if it is outdoor. And as a result of it, this feels safer. 

Because electrical components actually feel safer when it is not near or around you. At least you can move all around even when you are wet.

So, you just need to prepare the place outdoor. And then you can install it very simply. You would not need any professional or an expert for this installation.

Service Disconnect

On the other hand, installing a service disconnect may not be as easy as that. No, it is not that hard or complex either. But you need to maintain a few things for that.

Like, first of all, you may need to install the service disconnect indoors. It would be better if you can just install it around the equipment. You keep it close like a light switch to the trim.

Or else, it may have disruptions operating. As a result of the place, you may need to use a casing for it. 

Because you would want to ensure the safety in case you install it indoors. Thus, that would just require an additional supply for it.

In addition, you may need an expert while the installation is going on. Because you are most likely installing it indoors. 

So, they can ensure its safety during the installation. But there would be no other significant differences other than these. 

Winner: In terms of the installation convenience, the main disconnect wins. This is because it is easier to install and you can do it on your own.

Safety Issues

You can not overlook the fact of safety issues of these. Because electrical hazards and safety are crucial. So, here you go.

Main Disconnect

You know that you are installing these main disconnects outdoors. As a result, it would be safer to keep it. 

Because you are keeping the main disconnect at an open place. And we generally feel safer keeping the electrical stuff outdoors. 

In fact, the main disconnects are very less prone to any electrical hazards. Thus, you are safe installing these.

Service Disconnect

On the other hand, you generally install the service disconnects indoors. Thus, you may be just kind of worried about the consequences.

Like, it is obvious to be a bit cautious when there is an electrical component indoors. Because the consequences of any hazard can be really deadly.

Thus, people are more concerned when installing these indoors.

Winner: In terms of safety issues, the main disconnect is better. Because these are installed outdoors. Thus, these are safer to keep.


The final factor that comes is the price of these. So, take a look.

Main Disconnect

You know the main disconnect basically works for the entire unit of the place. As a result, the price of these disconnects is generally higher.

To be precise, these main disconnects can cost around $1000 to buy. So, you actually need a good budget to get one of these. 

And if you want to hire an expert for the installation of this, you can do it. In that case, the cost would increase even more. 

For an approximation, the total cost, in that case, would be around $1200. But it may be less or more depending on the related factors.

Service Disconnect

On the other hand, the service disconnects cost way lesser than that. You can have a very low budget to get one of these.

Because this would cost approximately around $120 for one. But you need to keep in mind one thing about it. That is, these may be needed individually for each item.

For this reason, these are cheap individually. But even if you add a few of them together, the budget would be way too lower.

And for the installation cost of an expert, that would be reasonable too. Because the installation of this would cost around $50 at max. 

Thus, you do not have to be worried about the installation cost either.

Winner: When you think of the price, the service disconnect wins. Because these are just way cheaper than the main disconnects.

Which One to Choose Now?

Do not worry if you still have not moved to the final decision. Here you go with the final evaluation to make the decision.

If you are looking for the purpose, service disconnect may come first. In addition, these are way cheaper than the main disconnects.

On the other hand, the main disconnects are easier to install. And coming to the safety issues, the main disconnects are better. 

Because you can keep these away from the space that you are mostly in. Thus, the chances of accidents are very less.

Finally, if you are planning to get these, here you go.

Product 1
Product 2

Hope this helps!


Is it necessary to install the main disconnect to my building?

Yes, it is necessary to install the main disconnect to your building. Because it ensures the safety of the power and the current running at the place. This helps power to separate or shut off at the electrical panel. And this can also help to turn off the electricity altogether when needed.

Where do I install the main or the service disconnect?

You can install the main or service disconnect outside the building or the structure. Or, if you want, you may install it inside the building too. But you just need to make sure one thing. This has to be near the service conductor’s entrance. Remember that it is important to place it properly.

How far can I keep the service disconnected from the equipment?

You can not keep the service disconnected very far from the equipment. To be precise, it is better not to exceed 13 meters from the equipment. But 15 meters would be the threshold of it that you must not be exceeding. In case you exceed this range, there would be disruptions.

The Final Words

Now you know which one is better in between the main disconnect vs service disconnect! You must not have any more confusion choosing one now.

Remember one thing about home stuff. That is, if you are installing something for the long term, consider going for a comparison. Choose the best one so that you do not regret it later.

All the best!

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