replacing breaker in panel box

Old 03-04-03, 08:55 AM
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replacing breaker in panel box

I have a 15 amp breaker that's located in my service panel. My main is a 60 amp double pole breaker, the main is located on the right side of my panel box ,not the top. I would like to change the 15 amp breaker myself,however I feel a little uncomfortable, you see I have never done this before. When I turn my 60 amp main off, power is shut down on individual circuits, however power remains at the terminals located on the 60 amp breaker, the 15 amp breaker is located on the opposite side of the panel box from the 60 amp main. When I switch the main breaker in the off position, I have no power from the 15 amp breaker to ground nor neutral bars. The side load main does read power from one terminal to ground and neutral even when the switch is in the off position.
Old 03-04-03, 09:17 AM
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It is true of most panels that turning off the main does not make them completely safe. Changing breakers almost always requires much care to avoid touching the wrong thing. But if you're very careful, you should be able to do it safely. If you remain uncomfortable, call a pro.
Old 03-04-03, 12:57 PM
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I'll assume that your 60A main is fed directly from your meter and there is not a breaker at the service entrance that will deenergize your 60A main. The feeders entering and terminating at your 60A breaker will be live. The rest of your panel interior will be dead. Remove the panel screws keeping enough pressure on the panel cover to keep it from moving. When all the screws have been removed, pull the cover straight away from the panel. Take a flat head screwdriver and using the tip (only) pry the 15A breaker up using the breaker directly across for leverage. Once the breaker pops off the bus bar, it will easily disengage from the rail beneath the wire termination screw. Holding the breaker in your hand, remove the wire by unscrewing the terminal screw. Replace the wire on the new breaker (which I'm assuming is the same brand, amperage, and style), secure it to the rail and then snap it back on the bus bar. Replace the cover. As long as you stay away from the two terminal screws on the 60A main you won't have a problem.

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