Ite Pushmatic Arc Fault Breakers

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Old 03-16-09, 11:12 AM
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Ite Pushmatic Arc Fault Breakers

I have an ITE/Pushmatic service panel. I will be doing a major remodel of my kitchen and I'm being told I will lose my grandfather status for the entire house. If that is true, I may be required to upgrade to arc fault breakers for bedrooms, etc. I know that Siemens no longer makes pushmatic breaker. I have located replacement breakers on the internet but does anyone know if anyone makes a Pushmatice style arc fault breaker? If not I may have to replace the entire service panel which, because of its location will be a difficult and expensive proposition.
 
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Old 03-16-09, 11:30 AM
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First you should clarify about what upgrades will be needed with your building officials. In my experience unless you are remodeling more than 50% of the house it does not need to be upgraded. Smoke detectors are one exception. If a building permit is pulled the smoke alarms must be upgraded to todays standard.

If you have multiwire branch circuits you will not be able to AFCI protect that circuit without a 2 pole AFCI breaker.

If you find out that you need arc faults only for the new circuits you could install a new subpanel to feed those circuits. You would just need to get a double pole breaker in your main panel to feed it.
 
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Old 03-16-09, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by li57zzycc View Post
I have an ITE/Pushmatic service panel. I will be doing a major remodel of my kitchen and I'm being told I will lose my grandfather status for the entire house.
That is unusual unless you're doing extensive modification to the structure of the house. How involved is the remodel? Will you be changing rooflines or load bearing elements? If not, I would get clarification, in writing, from the building department as to what is grandfathered and what isn't. A complete upgrade of the electrical system is a multi-thousand dollar job so it would even be worth an appeal to the state inspection board if the local officials are being stubborn.

does anyone know if anyone makes a Pushmatice style arc fault breaker?
Not to my knowledge. Even if someone made an AFCI breaker previously, I doubt they have a new one to meet the new combination AFCI breaker standard that went in to effect last year.

If not I may have to replace the entire service panel which, because of its location will be a difficult and expensive proposition.
Usually when an old panel is involved and AFCI breakers are required, the best option is to install a new subpanel adjacent to the main and put the arc faults in the new panel. If you plan ahead for it, your subpanel could eventually be converted to a main if you ever upgrade or replace the service.
 
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