Breaker problem

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-30-10, 11:08 AM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Arrow Breaker problem

A 100A cutler hammer breaker burned out. The model number is a CH2100 breaker. However, when I went to purchase a CH2100 breaker, the breaker was only half the size of the one I was replacing. The guy at the electrical store said he had never seen a breaker this size. I don't think it is a main breaker because it doesn't look like the pics I found on the internet.

So my question is, can I use the normal sized CH2100 breaker in my panel? Or does anyone know what kind of breaker this is and where I can purchase a like for like replacement? I've included pictures of the breaker and my panel:

Yfrog Album
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-30-10, 12:23 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,130
Received 78 Votes on 66 Posts
The breaker you bought is a standard 2 pole 100 amp breaker. These would typically be used to fed another panel downstream from the service panel.

You need the 100 amp main breaker that is a different configuration as you found out. It looks like you need a CSR2100N breaker, but I would confirm this with a CH dealer. There may have been different configurations of the breaker over time. You may be able to find a part number on the main breaker itself.
 
  #3  
Old 01-30-10, 12:41 PM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I think my question is missing some info. I have 200A service to the main panel. The main breaker is not the issue. The breaker that burned out is a 100A breaker that feeds the heat pump, which is essentially a sub panel. The part number on the burned out breaker is CH2100, which is weird because the CH2100 at the store is half the size of the burned out breaker.

I think I only need a standard 2 pole 100A breaker. And it looks like it may fit. But I'd like confirmation because I'm not sure why the burned out breaker is so big.

PS: It also looks like the bus bars in my panel are off center. Is this normal?
 
  #4  
Old 01-30-10, 01:26 PM
M
Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: so cal
Posts: 283
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
old CH 2100 Main

you got this breaker CH 2100 Main

CUTLER - HAMMER CH 2100 CH 2 POLE 100 AMP MAIN BREAKER - eBay (item 120445356354 end time Feb-02-10 06:40:41 PST)

and

Cutler-Hammer CH2100 100 Amp 2Pole Main Circuit Breaker - eBay (item 370310272025 end time Feb-20-10 09:08:40 PST)



I am not sure your panel allows for 100 amp below the main upper bus bars, like current CH panels do

A to Z breakers ( in Anaheim , CA ) would have one reconditioned ( not used ), as i get my old breakers from them. email them the photo and the can get one for you.

A to Z Circuit Breakers Inc. - New, Reconditioned, Obsolete, Hardware Kits.

good luck
 
  #5  
Old 01-30-10, 02:09 PM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thank Mikerios. I can't believe you found it!

But what do you mean that you aren't sure my panel will allow for a 100A breaker below the main like the current CH panels? You mean a normal sized 100A breaker?

I think I will replace it, but I do wonder if the only reason that old breaker is in there is because someone was trying to use up their old parts. This is the house I intend to be in for the next 30-50 years so I suppose at some point I should get an electrician out here to redo the entire panel properly with new equipment.
 
  #6  
Old 01-30-10, 02:54 PM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
And another thought. It looks like one of the stabs from the bus bar is a little black. Should I clean the stabs before installing the new breaker? If so, what do I clean it with.

Thanks for the assistance.
 
  #7  
Old 01-30-10, 06:02 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,130
Received 78 Votes on 66 Posts
If the buss stab is black it is probably from continued arcing. This may have affected its ability to make a good contact with the breaker. Poor connections will cause heat buildup. I would advise getting an electrician to look at this and evaluate it.
 
  #8  
Old 01-30-10, 08:35 PM
M
Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: so cal
Posts: 283
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
interesting breaker

current CH panels allow for 100 amp 2 pole breakers where the "normal" breakers would be, not the main breaker like you have, but have never seen a breaker like the one you have in that old of a CH panel. I have an old CH panel with tan breakers and a notch in the breaker on the top, on the panel there is a small bar with hold the breaker in place ( in addition to the springs at the base of the breaker which grip the bus bar tabs ). A to Z was the only place where I could find them ( and they are somewhat local to me ). Eventually I plan to change out the 100 amp panel for a 200 amp CH panel since this panel does not allow for ARC Fault breakers.

as for the bus tabs, yes, definitely clean them ,kill the power of course before you do so. a green scotch brite pads works well and should remove the carbon build up.

hopefully you do not have pitting on the tabs. but how much load is your heatpump drawing?
 
  #9  
Old 01-31-10, 05:04 AM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The 100A bkr feeds my heat pump, which is essentially a sub panel consisting of 2 60A bkrs and one 30A bkr. That adds up to 150A. So the 100A bkr would routinely trip. I measured 105A coming from the heat pump. Once I figured out what was going on, I started to leave the 30A bkr tripped and didn't have a problem until recently. It did get very cold, although I didn't measure, I think it's possible that more than 100A was going through the bkr. Pcboss mentioned that the black on the stab could be from arcin, which makes since because that's where the bkr is burnt out. Maybe the bkr wasn't seated properly. My current plan is to buy a replacement bkr, clean the stab, and run the heat pump from here on out with one of the 60A bkrs tripped.

You mentioned that you've never seen a bkr like that in a panel that old. Do you think a normal 100A 2 pole CH bkr would fit? It kind of looks like it would line up.
 
  #10  
Old 01-31-10, 11:53 AM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,605
Received 74 Votes on 65 Posts
Originally Posted by donniedarko View Post
A 100A cutler hammer breaker burned out. The model number is a CH2100 breaker. However, when I went to purchase a CH2100 breaker, the breaker was only half the size of the one I was replacing. The guy at the electrical store said he had never seen a breaker this size. I don't think it is a main breaker because it doesn't look like the pics I found on the internet.

So my question is, can I use the normal sized CH2100 breaker in my panel? Or does anyone know what kind of breaker this is and where I can purchase a like for like replacement? I've included pictures of the breaker and my panel:

Yfrog Album
The heat pump you are referring to sounds more like a 20 KW electric furnace. Could it be that the two 60 amp breakers are for a 2-circuit electric furnace that comes on when the heat pump drops out after it loses efficiency when the temperatures drop? I would assume this is the case and that the 30 amp breaker is for the outdoor heat pump. Now, the CH2100 breaker. Apparently your service panel is fairly old and was installed possibly as early as the mid '70s. Cutler Hammer has made the tan handled CH series loadcenters and breakers for a long time and they have always been a very good choice. It is interesting to note that they are available even today with standard copper bus like yours. Through the mid '70s or early '80s, the CH2100 breaker took 4 pole spaces (that is the one you have). Engineering and design improvements took place and the newer model CH2100 breaker was developed that only took 2 pole spaces. The smaller 2 pole space CH 2100 is the correct replacement for the older breaker you have, but you'll have to blank off the two unused spaces. Yes, it will fit. If you have problems with the bus attachment that aren't totally clear from your picture, you may other issues. The whole thing with the bigger breaker versus the newer smaller breaker is similar to Square D when they did the same thing with their QO series breakers, they changed their 4 pole space 100 amp 2 pole breaker to only use 2 pole spaces about the same time. The same holds true of the 125 amp 2 pole breakers by both Cutler Hammer and Square D. By the way, the CH series breakers carry a lifetime guarantee. Any Cutler Hammer distributor should hand you a free replacement.
 
  #11  
Old 01-31-10, 12:21 PM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the info. About the heat pump, the 2 60A and 1 30A breakers are for the heat package, which comes on in stages when it's too cold for the heat pump. There is a separate 50A double pole breaker for the outside part. Oddly enough, that breaker is a normal sized double pole breaker. The house was built in 1979, so perhaps that large 100A breaker was a slightly older left over breaker they decided to use. Thanks for the explanation about the change in size of the CH 2100 breakers.
 
  #12  
Old 01-31-10, 12:43 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,605
Received 74 Votes on 65 Posts
Originally Posted by donniedarko View Post
Thanks for the info. About the heat pump, the 2 60A and 1 30A breakers are for the heat package, which comes on in stages when it's too cold for the heat pump. There is a separate 50A double pole breaker for the outside part. Oddly enough, that breaker is a normal sized double pole breaker. The house was built in 1979, so perhaps that large 100A breaker was a slightly older left over breaker they decided to use. Thanks for the explanation about the change in size of the CH 2100 breakers.
Your more detailed explanation of the heat package makes sense to me. You have 25 KW electric heat that backs up the 50 amp heat pump (30 amps per each 5 KW). Actually, a 50 amp circuit for the heat pump makes more sense than a 30 amp circuit. Frankly though, I think you need to check exactly what the heat capacity is. If you do in fact have a 25 KW back-up heat package, the 100 amp breaker is overloaded. 25 KW translates to 104 amps plus the blower motor current. You probably should have a 125 amp breaker, but I don't know what size wire was used for the circuit. If the circuit is copper, #2 would be correct for a 125 amp breaker.
 
  #13  
Old 01-31-10, 01:18 PM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yeah, you are correct, the 100A bkr is overloaded. The wire won't support anything larger. That's why I had been running the heat pump with the 30A bkr tripped off. But then the 100A bkr burned up on me the other day so once I get it fixed I'm going to leave the 60A bkr off. I was going to rewire the 150A ckt but the ac guy said my heat pump was putting out plenty of heat without it and that it would save money with one of the breakers tripped. But I was thinking it may just end up running longer and negate any savings.
 
  #14  
Old 01-31-10, 02:59 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,605
Received 74 Votes on 65 Posts
Originally Posted by donniedarko View Post
Yeah, you are correct, the 100A bkr is overloaded. The wire won't support anything larger. That's why I had been running the heat pump with the 30A bkr tripped off. But then the 100A bkr burned up on me the other day so once I get it fixed I'm going to leave the 60A bkr off. I was going to rewire the 150A ckt but the ac guy said my heat pump was putting out plenty of heat without it and that it would save money with one of the breakers tripped. But I was thinking it may just end up running longer and negate any savings.
The heat pump may be putting out plenty of heat today, but what happens when the temperature drops into the teens or single digits or even below zero, you still need back-up heat. Just how much back-up heat you need is something I can't answer, but someone evidently sized the 25 KW unit you have now. You may be able to turn off a 60 amp breaker (10 KW), but that's turning off 40% of the back-up. I would think when it gets very cold you might be better turning off the 30 amp breaker and leaving both 60 amp breakers on. That leaves you heating on 20 KW. You may be able to limp by in the coldest weather with 20 KW which should draw about 83 amps plus a few amps for the blower. Regardless, considering the age of the service, you should have all connections checked and tightened, including in the meter socket. May have to bring in a professional for this.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: