The simple answer to this question is, “No—Probably not.” Because most electrical service panels are NOT installed by homeowners or “Uncle Harry,” it is actually pretty rare to find a main panel without a main disconnect.There are a couple of ways where it might “appear” to be missing—but is in fact there after all.Note that the top six double pole breaker spaces are outlined with blue dotted lines and are numbered 1 through 6.
Here is another panel with only three double pole breakers in the top six spaces but one of them has blue wires that run to the bus bars for the lower circuits.
In this case it only takes three throws to shut off all the power in the panel—still well under the 6 throw rule.
The next picture is of a split bus panel with the cover off—notice how much it looks like the sub-panel picture above (well except for neatness)?
The blue dotted lines are where the power coming into the panel attach to the bus bars.
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector I often get requests for information and help with specific reader questions.