Replacing Pushmatic Breaker

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  #1  
Old 01-09-05, 06:32 PM
hth
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Question Replacing Pushmatic Breaker

I have a house built in 1961 using Bulldog panel with puchmatic breakers. The breakers are old and sometimes take me 4, 5 pushes to reset. I asked an electrician to replace and he said the 120V costs around $30 each and the 220V costs around $50 each. He said the other option is to replace the whole panel with new beakers that not pushmatic. So he leaves me with 2 options: replace each single breaker with a new pushmatic one; no city permit required or replace whole box with new switch on-off breakers; city permit required. I asked 2 other electricians and they said they can replace the inside of the box with new switch on-off breakers. They said they'd buy a new box, use the inside parts of new box to replace inside part of old box then I have new switches! I asked the first electrician why he didn't do this way then he said it violates the code. The other 2 electricians said they have done same thing to many customers with old pushmatic breakers and they are happy because they can buy new switch on-off breakers at cheaper prices if needed! I just don't know who's right and who's wrong here. Please help me with this. And your opinions are appreciated. Thx. I live in Southern CA.
 
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Old 01-09-05, 07:02 PM
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I wouldn't mix and match panel box internals. Not only is it code violation...it could be dangerous.

Question is...how often do you have to reset a breaker? Is it the same breaker all the time the needs resetting? If it's just one breaker...buy it. If it keeps tripping...there is an overload issue.
 
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Old 01-09-05, 07:30 PM
hth
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The circuit in kitchen is tripped when I have microwave and portable oven on at same time so I understand it is overloaded. However it requires more than 1 push to reset, probably because it's old, so I just want to have a new one working properly. Another one is the range some times tripped when I have all 4 stoves on even it is on a 40 am circuit. Rarely someone needs 4 stoves on same time but it isn't working right so I want to replace it. And another breaker has the push button broken in half.
As long as I know it is violating the code, I will not taking the risk to mix the box. Thanks.
 
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Old 01-09-05, 08:00 PM
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OK...I'm not sure what the code was in 1961...but now the receptacles in the kitchen have to be split to prevent what is happening to you now. Meaning the top half and bottom half of the receptacle are supposed to be 2 separate circuit. That's alot of power going through one circuit...microwave and toaster oven.

I think stove breakers are now 50amp.
 
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Old 01-09-05, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by GTBaker
OK...I'm not sure what the code was in 1961...but now the receptacles in the kitchen have to be split to prevent what is happening to you now. Meaning the top half and bottom half of the receptacle are supposed to be 2 separate circuit.
Todd, be careful when giving advice such as this. This is a Canadian code and not the US NEC.
In any case this was 1961 and is not pertinant today, other than to suggest a new circuit be run to the kitchen counter. Unless the kitchen is being renovated.

I do agree that installing a new panel's guts in an old Pushmatic panel is crazy. The guys who suggested this are NOT conscientious electricians.
If the service is original circa 1961 I'd bet money the whole thing could stand to be replaced.
 
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Old 01-10-05, 12:23 AM
hth
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all receptacles over the couter are on same circuit. The refri is on another circuit by itself. I wonder if the circuit was added on later to feed the refri? Does the code require a separete circuit to feed the refri only?

when you said whole thing you mean the box only or the whole electrical system with wiring? It was 1961 so all are 2 wire cables with no grounding. I just spent big $$$ to repair the house, settled sown, so I am trying to do the must do upgrades only. But if I have no choice but to upgrade 5 yrs later then I better do it now.
 
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Old 01-10-05, 07:03 AM
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As far as I know, split-wired kitchen receptacles have never been required by the NEC, and I heard (without firm confirmation) that they are no longer required by the CEC either. The U.S. has always had stricter GFCI codes for the kitchen than the CEC. Since GFCI and split-wired receptacles make uneasy bedfellows, it seem natural to relax the split wiring requirements as you tighten the GFCI requirements.
 
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