Help with hooking up?

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  #1  
Old 07-24-04, 07:34 PM
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Help with hooking up?

We have just purchased a 12 year old tub with 7 jets. I know everybody else has 60+ jets but anyway. I need a 40 amp GFI stab loc breaker and 85' of wire. I have been told $230 cdn for the breaker and $6.30 per meter for #8.3 wire. Anyway I notice most new tubs need 50 amp breakers. My question is should I just put in a 50 amp breaker for the future and or #8 in the basemant then #6 Outside. Confused on what to do? Any help would be appreciated. Thanx.
 
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Old 07-25-04, 06:31 PM
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I will let others answer the questions you ask, but I do want to comment that you mention that you need a "Stab-Loc" breaker. This indicates to me that you might have a Federal Pacific Electric panel. There were MANY lawsuits filed against Federal Pacific for fires resulting from breakers that do not trip when overloaded. If you do in fact have a FPE panel, you might want to do a google search on Federal Pacific, and see what you get.
Good Luck
 
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Old 07-25-04, 07:06 PM
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First off Andy is right you do have an FPE panel. You may be able to find a breaker in an electrcal supply house that sells used equipment.You need to run the same gauge in th entire circuit.If you plan to enlarge the size of the tub in the future, run the #6 & use a 40 amp breaker. I would plan to change the service in the very near future.
 
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Old 07-25-04, 07:09 PM
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Thank You Andrew

My breaker box is indeed a federal pacific. Its the first I've heard about the fire hazard. I live in Tumbler Ridge BC, the whole town of at one time 7000 people was built in 2 years around two coal mines. I beleive roughly half the town has federal pacific breaker boxes. I will check out more info, (many thanks).
 
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Old 07-25-04, 07:17 PM
CSelectric
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I'd skip the used equipment. Especially since we are talking a 2 pole FPE here. Studies commisioned by the consumer products safety commision found the failure rate of FPE two poles to be greater than 50%. A breaker with a 50% chance of not tripping in the event of a short or overload is a breaker I wouldn't buy.

On a plus note, there are exact fit replacement breakers on the market for FPE stab loc panels. They are brand new production, made to current code and safety standards and UL listed. Better still, you can buy them at Home Depot, Sears Hardware and countless other hardware retailers. (On a related note, if you don't wish to foot the bill for a full panel replacement, you might consider replacing all of the breakers with the new product. The FPE equipment suffered from problems within the breaker itself (predominantly a weak spring mechanism.) There was never any problem with the busses or lugs. Theoretically, replacing all of the breakers would greatly improve the safety of the installation.
 
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Old 07-25-04, 07:43 PM
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Sorry wrong ID

I physically checked my panel and it is federal pioneer stab loc breakers. Are these two names one and the same or what. I have'nt noticed any problem with triped breakers before, or am I just lucky? Confused on what to do seeing 1/2 this town has the same breakers.
 
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Old 07-26-04, 06:39 PM
CSelectric
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Federal Pioneer? I'm goinig to go out on a limb here and say that you are a Canadian?

Pioneers are the rebirth of the old Federal Pacific stab loc. They are still being manufactured to this day, and still commonly used in Canada (though not available or allowed in the US.) The story as I understand it is that the data and analysis that led to the demise of the stab lock breaker in the states was not viewed with nearly as harsh a scrutiny by Canadian officials. FPE died a painfull death stateside, but still thrives in Canada (currently a subsidiary of Group Schneider, the same company that owns Square D.) Now then, Schneider claims that the issues surrounding the stab lock have been resolved through reengineering of the internal components. However, it is worth noting that there have been product recalls on Federal Pioneer 2 pole breakers manufactured as recently as 1998. Being we don't use the Pioneer products here in the States, I can't speak to the quality of their new product beyond what a Yahoo search will tell me. However, if you live in an older house, dating back to the mid 70s or before, I would suspect that your breakers are of the old, decidedly dangerous variety.

Incidentally, you will never have a problem with a tripped FPE breaker. The problem was, they wouldn't trip. I've seen people take a wire that was protected by an old stab lock, strip the end back, and scribe there name into the pipe the wire was run in with it, without tripping the breaker. I've never tried it myself, but I've been told by reliable sources that you can run a jumper from the terminal on an FPE breaker to the fround bus in the panel and turn it on... and it won't trip. (DO NOT TRY THAT AT HOME!!! I can't think of a more dangerous activity, except perhaps playing paintball with a grey rhinocerous.) But, anecdotes aside, the FPE stab locks did have a very big problem with not tripping under fault, which means the fault doesn't clear until it burns the wires in half, at which point you can call the insurance company and hope you have 100% replacement value fire insurance. But, I stress that this data is all derived from the old Federal Pacific products sold in the US 25 years ago or better. I cannot speak difinatively for the current Canadian production marketed as Federal Pioneer, as I do not work in Canada.
 
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