breaker spark?


Old 04-28-07, 06:09 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New York
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breaker spark?

While I was doing work for about an hour with the breaker off I went and turned it back on and noticed through the crack on the panel by the breaker a small spark. The lights were off so I don't know that I would have seen that if the lights were on but it was quick and small. I am wondering is this something that is normal? I tried to do it again but it would not do it. All my outlets, lights and other stuff are normal...
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Old 04-28-07, 06:24 PM
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was the spark from inside the breaker or did it seem to come from where the breaker attaches to the buss bar behind the breaker?

what brand panel do you have?

anytime an electrical system is opened under load, there is the possibility of an arc. If it is normal or not is where it is and how large it is. You should not generally be able to see an arc from opening a circuit via the breaker since they are normally pretty well sealed. If you saw the arc from the breaker, I would replace it to avoid any problems that may be in the works. If it was from behind the breaker, it may be a problem with the breaker connecting to the buss which is typical in some panels that.

Some panels are just not good design and need to be replaced asap. They have been, well let;s say "problematic"
Old 04-28-07, 06:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 1,338
If the breaker was under load at the time the handle was pulled, it is more likely to spark. What are the loads that the breaker is supplying?

If the breaker is not marked "SWD" somewhere it should only be switched when all loads have been disconnected.
Old 04-28-07, 06:39 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New York
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It is a Gould ITE Pushmatic. I saw the spark from the left crack which would be where the wire connects to the breaker. I dont have much of a load other than lights and a computer. A few lights were on when I powered it up.
Old 04-29-07, 06:37 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New Bern, NC
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I would not loose any sleep. This sounds normal.

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