Main Breaker DOA ?

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Old 12-02-07, 08:01 PM
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Main Breaker DOA ?

building a cottage. Last week they "energized" my new meter pedestal and 200 service panel. I did the wiring. When I got up there this weekend, I was excited to see the meter in, and I went to the service panel to turn on the main breaker....and it won't stay on! I switch it all the way to off....the try to keep it on "on", but it won't stay.

Short??? I pulled all of the breakers out....still won't stay "on". I checked the two hot wires going in the middle, and each had power. I didn't have meter/tester with me. I simply ran a wire from each of the plugs to a simple light. When I put on wire on the one of the hot's going in and the other on the ground, the light lit. Same when I did it to the other power line coming in.
I wonder if a main breaker can be DOA (dead on arrival). Everything seems ok.... ground and nutreal on same post...and neither = hot. Only the two wires that should be hot are.
 
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Old 12-02-07, 08:13 PM
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Sounds like you have a short. Maybe the panel is damaged. All that happens when you turn on the main breaker (with all the other breakers removed) is that the bus bars get energized. If there is no connection between the two bus bars, and there shouldn't be, then no current will flow.

I suppose it is possible that your main breaker is mechanically broken.
 
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Old 12-02-07, 08:17 PM
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Make sure that you are returning the breaker to a fully off position.
Sometimes they can fool you.
Sticking a wire on to an unprotected wire or lug can lead to disasterous results.
Next time, get your meter.
Saving a few minutes versus endangering your person is not worth it.
 
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Old 12-02-07, 11:32 PM
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Just an idea. If you put an induction type amp meter on your incoming lines (L1 and L2), and turn the breaker on, if you have a short you should see a brief amp spike. This would also help localize what line is shorting. However, you'd better be careful.

I recently purchased one of these meters from a home improvement store for $50, and don't know how I ever lived without it.
 
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Old 12-03-07, 03:15 AM
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it possiblty that either main breaker is damaged [ rare but it do happend ] or a short circuited or something that got in between the bussbar and panel itself and short it out.

if shorted out you will heard and feel a " bang "

there is one trick i always do all the time before i actally get the meter installed [ power up ] is make sure the main breaker is off and i ohm it to make sure it is no short on the conductors between the meter and main breaker then check the breaker bussbar to make sure nothing will cause the damage along the way.

can you tell what brand name breaker box you have maybe some of us will tell you but pretty much the same way turn the handle to off postion and you will have to " push " the handle behond normal off postion it will click on that and push the handle back on [ some breaker we get they will be in tripped mode from factory ] so try that if fail you will have to either get ahold of electrician or poco to remove your meter and replace that main breaker but it will not be easy depending on what size breaker it self the reason why i say that.

some breaker do have specal tie down clip and some have specal way to lock it down.

Merci, Marc
 
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Old 12-03-07, 10:40 AM
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Cutler Hammer BWH25K

Cutler Hammer panel and main breaker.

BWH25K 200 AMP 120/240

BWH 2200
 
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Old 12-04-07, 10:09 AM
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Called Electric Co. field Engineer

I called the electric company engineer and he agreed with the thinking that it sounded like a defective main breaker or panel. They’ll double check their wiring, then pull the meter till I call back for a re-energize.

I’ll buy and install a new panel and main this weekend ("Square D" this time!). I don't want to screw with it for less than $200. I will take panel back to the store and try to get my $$ back too!

Got two service drops and meters.
I had electric on my lot at another location before installing the new base / panel and having the power brought in underground from another pole. Luckily they did not pull the other meter yet, so I get one bill....with charges for two meters. It's a small charge and I am glad for the spare electric now! Don't like running those LONG extension cords...but that's temporary.
 
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Old 12-04-07, 02:35 PM
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Why replace the whole service?
You should be able to just replace the breaker.
CH is an excellent product that will function just as well as Square D.
 
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Old 12-17-07, 11:33 AM
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yep, it was DOA!

YES THE SERVICE PANEL / MAIN BREAKER WERE DEFECTIVE I had them pull out the meter the week after instal, pulled the service panel and replaced it with the Square D replacement. It works great, no problem. The main breaker never would stay on the CH. I did like the CH design and I know all manufactures create DOA pieces, but wish it wasn't me!
 
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Old 12-17-07, 01:43 PM
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Such a silly idea changing the whole panel, you can purchase replacement mains you know ...


[removed unrelated question/comment]
 

Last edited by racraft; 12-18-07 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 12-18-07, 08:34 AM
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burkej62, I took the whole panel back to the store and got a new one. They did not stock the main breaker, and why would I want to mess with that anyway. The panel wasn't wired except for the mains.
 

Last edited by racraft; 12-18-07 at 09:04 AM. Reason: removed inappropriate language and personal attack
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Old 12-18-07, 11:07 AM
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happens more then you'd think.

liked said, you usually wire the panel then swap out the breaker. The guys at the supply house will just rip open another panel, if they don't have just the breaker in stock. then they swap out the good for the bad.

Time is money and you can have the whole panel wired by the time the breaker gets back to you if you send someone.
 
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Old 12-18-07, 11:21 AM
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The guys at the supply house will just rip open another panel, if they don't have just the breaker in stock. then they swap out the good for the bad.
But if he got it at a big box not a supply house maybe his was simpler route.
 
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Old 12-18-07, 12:49 PM
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aahhhh, I see the logic better now. Sorry if I was rude / crabby-defensive. I can see where a pro would do what ever he has to in order to keep moving forward. And I do believe the store would have taken out of another panel in stock if it was explained to them correctly, even the big box store.
Thanks all!
talking about pros.... I did have a pro on hand Saturday and we wired the whole two story garage / loft on Saturday. He cost me $280, a great value. It's fantastic to see how efficient and hard a good pro works.
 
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