How to replace the main panel breaker

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  #1  
Old 04-12-05, 11:32 AM
delliott
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How to replace the main panel breaker

I have a 30+ year old panel and breakers. When the clother dryer runs for an extended time, the main panel disconnect breaker (2 pole 100 amp) gets hot and eventually trips. I have replaced branch circuit breakers before. Is there anything special procedure for replacing the main?
 
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  #2  
Old 04-12-05, 01:39 PM
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You need to contact the POCO and have them disconnect your service while you do this.
 
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Old 04-12-05, 05:25 PM
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When I did this same procedure I called the utility co. and they came the next day. I had the breaker in hand, gave the guy a cold pepsi, and he pulled the meter for a few minutes. I popped in the new main breaker, he came and looked at it and said "Have a nice day". I said THANK YOU.
-Bob
 
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Old 04-12-05, 06:43 PM
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You really should find out why the main is tripping. Has anyone tested to see how many amps are flowing when it trips? If your main is tripping due to overload replacing the main will do no good.

The main is doing its job to protect the wires and preventing a possible fire.
 
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Old 04-14-05, 08:06 AM
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De,

If you know someone that has a AmpMeter have them throw that on the main lines and start the dryer........would be interesting to see what the reading is on that Main.

Facts are like anything.....breakers do wear out and I guess even mains do as well.....I did a service call the other day and was working in the utility room when I heard a buzzing sound....as an electrician I knew the sound as arcing in the panel.....

Pulled that sucker open...nothing looked wrong but I could see the arcing at the panel buss......I scratched my head and looked again.......and narrowed it down to the exact 2-pole 30A breaker......

Pulled it out.....One whole side had melted....I was not at the job to fix that but at this point...became my duty to do so.....

I called in the owner and said...did you smell that and have you heard that before...he said...oh yes all the time for the past 4-6 weeks.....I grinned and said...well I might have just saved your life...I was joking ofcourse....

However.....3 days later.....flowers arrived at our office with a thank you note to it...signed...the johnsons....Neat feeling.....

Anyway......over time breakers do break down and need replacing.
 
  #6  
Old 04-14-05, 09:26 AM
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I was told it's a good idea to occasionally, say every year, turn the breakers off and on a few times in a row. Problem with that is. Who can remember when the last time was they cycled the breakers.
 
  #7  
Old 04-14-05, 01:21 PM
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Does the breaker feel warm/hot to the touch after tripping? Very poss, especially with aluminum wiring, the incoming lugs are loose. If this is the case (with the power disconnected) pull the wire, check it and the lug for corrosion, clean it up and use an electrical non-corrosive compound, such as no-lox, on the wire.
 
  #8  
Old 04-18-05, 06:09 PM
delliott
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Thanks for all the help. I'll put an ammeter on it. The main breaker gets hot, but the dryer breaker does not.
 
  #9  
Old 04-19-05, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by delliott
The main breaker gets hot, but the dryer breaker does not.
This sounds like a loose connection. You'll still need to have the POCO cut your power, but you may be able to save the cost of a breaker by following Jedi9's advice above. But this could depend on how much the POCO might charge to cut the power twice in case it doesn't solve the problem.
 
  #10  
Old 04-19-05, 05:10 AM
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I recently attended a scrimage softball game with my youngest, her first year. Halfway through the first inning the lights go out. After 10 min or so, I stroll over to the service, the main blew, coach was trying to reset it. 200A service, single phase, 30a dp breakers feeding the lights, when we got em all on the total load was 50A, balanced. 10 min later the main blew again. It was hot to the touch. The service was new. Game over, I told the coach to tell the school what I thought was the problem. Don't know if they ever got it fixed.
 
  #11  
Old 04-19-05, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Jedi9
I recently attended a scrimage softball game with my youngest, her first year. Halfway through the first inning the lights go out. After 10 min or so, I stroll over to the service, the main blew, coach was trying to reset it. 200A service, single phase, 30a dp breakers feeding the lights, when we got em all on the total load was 50A, balanced. 10 min later the main blew again. It was hot to the touch. The service was new. Game over, I told the coach to tell the school what I thought was the problem. Don't know if they ever got it fixed.
I bet it's the input lugs and AL wire, too.

Also, I would be sure not to be standing in front of some unknown breaker, nor looking at it, which switching it back on.
 
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