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I'm sure you have already looked for labels on the panel, which probably don't exist.
There are a couple of other clues you may be able to use to identify the amperage rating of the panel.
You may be able to find an amperage rating on the outdoor meter base. It's possible this could require opening the cover, if you are comfortable doing so. Keep in mind some Utility providers don't really like that, as it involves cutting their seal. Honestly, I don't usually take that into consideration if I have a good reason to open the meter base.
Perhaps a better clue is the size and type of wire running between the meter and the main panel. Have you looked for any markings on those main wires?
How many circuits or spaces does the panel have, capacity wise? In other words, how many total breaker spaces are available to you in the main panel?
I agree with you... I believe they were bought out some time ago.
OK, so this is outdoors, adjacent to the meter?
It sounds like it is being used as a main disconnect, which would make sense. I thought it was odd that your main panel didn't have a main overcurrent protective device.
Are you able to remove the cover from the box next to the meter, and post a photo of the interior?
Also, it's sometimes pretty easy to identify the amperage rating of a meter base just by looking at it from the outside. If you can post a photo of the meter base as well, that may help.
I'm a little surprised they are being that difficult about it. If the lugs are large enough to accept wire that is rated for 200 amps, that's pretty much a dead giveaway that the box is rated for 200 amps or more.
Thank you for posting the photos. I'll look them over now.
If you don't mind doing so, that would be good. It may be a long shot, but I'm wondering about the possibility of a label inside, that may have a number that turns up on an Internet search. Or, have you already tried that?
At first glance, the box around the meter itself doesn't look like it would be rated for 200 amps.
In photo number 1167, the wire appears to be 4/0 aluminum, which WOULD be rated for 200 amps.
The next shot, from closer, looks even better.
It looks like the seal on the meter is already missing. Have you pulled the meter out of the socket at all?
It's possible you could find a label in the meter socket. But based on what you've told me about the local inspector, he may not accept that when determining a rating for the main disconnect next to it. I'm looking up the OD of 4/0 aluminum wire now.
Not surprisingly, I'm finding many various sizes for the OD of aluminum wire sized at 4/0. Unfortunately, at this point, it doesn't seem that I've helped you very much.
I would have expected the local building department to know the size of the service to the property (in amperage rating), unless someone upgraded it without a permit.
And you have a blessed Christmas Season as well. Sorry we weren't able to nail it down.