GTE Sylvania 20 Amp circuit breaker

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  #1  
Old 05-30-05, 05:37 PM
Joe Rental
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GTE Sylvania 20 Amp circuit breaker

Hello:
I have a bad GTE Sylvania 20 Amp circuit double pole breaker that was installed about 1979. I understand that this is an obsolete breaker. From what I can tell, Westinghouse bought the rights to GTE Sylvania breakers, then Cutler Hammer bought the rights and now perhaps Eaton. Does anybody know of a direct substitution from existing brands.

Also, most breakers that I have dealt with just pop in. There must be a screw somewhere that holds this GTE Sylvania breaker in the box, although I can't find it. I have broken off a part of the bad breaker tying to get it to pop out. I still can't get it to budge. Anybody work with these in the past?
Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 05-30-05, 07:56 PM
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I've never worked on a panel where anything other than the main breaker was secured to the panel with a screw.Is there a chance the breaker is corroded where it contacts the bus? Cutlerhammer make a push on ,its a BR series breaker
 
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Old 05-30-05, 10:25 PM
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Like this....http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW
If so then these were commonly installed in zinsco panels. There is a breaker retaining bar that must be moved aside then rotate the breaker by pulling on the end that was under the bar. This is not a double pole but slim 20 breaker, they are similar however.
 
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Old 06-08-05, 06:30 PM
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If it is a Zinsco panel I recommend upgrading.Zinscos have a rep like that of FPE.
 
  #5  
Old 06-09-05, 08:12 AM
Joe Rental
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GTE Sylvania Zinsco breaker

Thanks Ampz and Roger for your input.
Here's an update. Upon further review, I had a twin 20 amp breaker rather than a double pole breaker. I had to destroy the twin 20 amp breaker in the 1979 Zinsco breaker box to get it out by using a small hammer to gain leverage on one side of the breaker. In no way could I manually rotate the breaker out like you do normally. It turns out that the connection between the busbar closest to the center of the breaker was very tight and somewhat corroded with white substance. The busbar closest to the end of the breaker seemed clean. I sanded the busbar back to aluminum where the breaker had been. With some effort, for about two minutes, I was able to rock the next breaker along the busbar about 1 inch into the spot where the broken breaker was. I was not able to just manually rotate the breaker out of its spot into the old spot because the connection between the busbar closest to middle of the breaker was also very tight. After moving the breaker, there was the white corrosive area on the busbar under this breaker, too. The "moved" breaker in the "broken breaker" spot seemed to supply its electric circuit OK. So, now I know that the broken breaker with a spongy breaker handle was defective because of an internal problem. I put some minimal effort (without breaking the breakers) to see if I could rotate any of the other breakers off the busbars. No luck. Probably all of the these breakers will turn out to have corrosion on the busbar.

I am probably going to take your advice and change out this Zinsco breaker box and breakers. However, I may try overloading a circuit for a few minutes and see if these breakers will work with the corrosion present. Has anybody seen this type corrosion on Zinsco breakers. Has anyone seen the results of fires caused by these type breakers not working?
 
  #6  
Old 06-09-05, 10:37 AM
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I dont reccommend intentionally overloading a circuit this isnt really going to prove the proper operation of the breaker one way or the other. Since you have sanded on the bus bar and have had so much difficulty servicing and removing breakers from this zinsco panel I would just bite the bullet and change the thing out. Good luck
 
  #7  
Old 06-13-05, 06:58 PM
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I haven't worked or seen a Zinsco panel in several years. I'm sure there are still thousands of them still in S.New Jersey.The corrosion comes from poor contact between the breaker & the busbar & can happen on any panel.The "experiment" you speak of will not gain favor with your insurance co.
 
  #8  
Old 06-13-05, 07:17 PM
Joe Rental
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I have solved the problem temporarily by buying a used Zinsco 20 amp twin breaker. I'll probably change the whole panel out when I get some time. Thanks for all your help in identifying the brand of these obsolete breakers.
 
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