Breaker connection burned away

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Old 12-28-08, 09:03 PM
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Breaker connection burned away

My friend has a Murray electrical box with a combination of Murray and Siemans breakers.Recently he had a circuit stop working.When you turned the breaker off and back on again the circuit would come on for a second and then back off but not tripping the breaker.After looking further we noticed that when we turned the breaker on it would arc where the breaker connected to the bus bar.Checking the connection on the breaker we saw that it was pretty much gone.I looked through previous posts and saw comments about not making good contact with the bus bar.How does the breaker lose contact with
the bus bar? There was really nothing left of the connection on that breaker.
 
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Old 12-29-08, 06:26 AM
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Breaker

Breaker must make a tight connection with buss bar. Breaker you have may be wrong type for your panel or it may have not been fully seated when it was installed.
 
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Old 12-29-08, 06:46 AM
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The breaker was a Siemens.The Panel is a Murray.When my friend got the breaker they said the Siemens would work.
 
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Old 12-29-08, 07:00 AM
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Breaker

You need to do further research to verify which breakers are compatible with your panel. Use the make and model number of the panel.
 
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Old 12-29-08, 07:03 AM
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It really depending on the model number on the breaker box some will fit and some will not due the Murrpy company did have few diffrent verison over the time so the breaker box size and model is most important part that will tell us what the correct breaker it can fit in properly.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 12-29-08, 08:00 AM
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Are you saying that even though it fits physically it really might not be a true fit?
 
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Old 12-29-08, 05:38 PM
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Yes, and it is a code violation to use a breaker in a panel that is not approved by the manufacture or a listing agency such as UL.
 
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Old 12-30-08, 09:59 AM
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This can also happen in a corrosive environment like if you have high humidity, water leaking into the panel, condensation in the panel, salty air, chlorine, etc. near the panel. Sometimes it can just be from bad luck such as a breaker with loose contacts or a bus bar on the thin side of manufacturing tolerance.

It only takes a small gap between the bus bar and the breaker to start; with an aluminum bus it only takes a thin layer of oxidization on the terminals. Tiny arcs slowly oxidize the metal away until the gap gets bigger leading to more powerful arcs until the whole thing eventually burns or melts away.

In any case, if the bus bar is damaged too bad its a pretty reason for the entire panel to be replaced. Could you post a link to a photo so that we might get a better idea of the damage?
 
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Old 12-30-08, 10:47 AM
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It is my friends panel.I never thought to take a picture of it.Before we replaced the breaker we did turn the main breaker off and filed the arcing off the connection on the bus bar as much as we could.Will that not be a good fix?
 
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Old 12-30-08, 12:35 PM
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No, that won't be a good fix. The problem is that once the arcing has pitted and burned the metal away the new breaker won't fit tightly and will arc again. The only fixes are to replace the entire panel; or to not use that slot again if it was only that fin on the bus bar was damaged.
 
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Old 12-30-08, 04:17 PM
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Okay.Thanks for all the info.
 
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