Proper Breaker Changing

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Old 12-19-10, 06:43 AM
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Proper Breaker Changing

Hey all, I do HVAC work and that has me change breakers now and then. What is the propper, easiest and safest way to do it? Do you put the wires in first or do you snap it the panel first?
 
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Old 12-19-10, 07:09 AM
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I put the wires In, first.
 
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Old 12-19-10, 09:47 AM
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First off I would like to point out that most locations will only allow you to do electrical work with an electrical license or while working under somebody who has an electrical license.

Installing a breaker it is advised to shut down the panel first. I always install the breaker first, then attach the wires. It is easier to route the wires to the attached breaker and easier to tighten the screws to the wires with the breaker mounted.
 
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Old 12-19-10, 10:02 AM
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TI I wouldn't necessarily say "most"...but "many"..that's for sure, esp in larger cities.....or MA...lol.

"Many" areas allow simple repairs of existing electrical by non-licensed people (switches, outlets, fixtures, etc), though I'm not sure about main panel stuff.

I know you are aware of this...just throwing it out for the readers...
 
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Old 12-19-10, 12:35 PM
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Yes, your correct. I was thinking more about adding a circuit since the OP is an HVAC guy. Good point though!
 
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Old 12-19-10, 12:48 PM
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I use to work for a mobile home service company. We operated in multiple jurisdictions. Within municipalities we would run conduit and conductors to the the breaker box on the pole leaving the wires inside the breaker box but unconected. We would then tell the customer they needed to call an electrician to make the hook up. In the county we would just put in a breaker and hook it up.
 
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Old 12-19-10, 10:08 PM
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The best way to do it is to turn off each of the branch breakers, then throw the main off. Install the new breaker, attach the wires. Turn the main back on, switch the branch circuit breakers on one at a time.
 
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Old 12-19-10, 11:44 PM
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Most case turn off the main breaker useally do the trick unless you snag one of the split buss panels that will get tricky to deal and I will not get into too many details on split buss but basically turn off all the breakers beside the split buss verison the upper half will stay hot all the time.

But with centren type of breakers you may have issue to turn it back on I know Pushmatic main breakers may not alway set in so you may have to do it couple time to get it engerized properly.

And get a voltmeter to verify that you have full proper voltage at the bussbars.

Merci .
Marc
 
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Old 12-20-10, 02:52 PM
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When i was 12, I watched an electrician pop the breaker in, and then put the wires in. I tried it, and then tried putting the wire on, and then putting the breaker on the bus. I liked that better, and have been doing it ever since.
 
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Old 12-20-10, 08:52 PM
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As you can see Apprentice, each has their own way that works for them. No matter what you do, do it safe!
 
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Old 12-20-10, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
I use to work for a mobile home service company. We operated in multiple jurisdictions. Within municipalities we would run conduit and conductors to the the breaker box on the pole leaving the wires inside the breaker box but unconected. We would then tell the customer they needed to call an electrician to make the hook up. In the county we would just put in a breaker and hook it up.
Ray,

I would imagine that many ECs would refuse this type of work (just hooking it up) due to insurance liability issues. Your case aside, I could imagine many handymen running cable and, in the process, nicking it in places, or driving a nail through it (by hanging drywall), and there's the EC with a possible bad job.

Just a thought; whaddayathink?
 
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Old 12-21-10, 11:38 AM
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I would imagine that many ECs would refuse this type of work (just hooking it up) due to insurance liability issues.
You have a valid point. As I said though it was mobile homes ran through conduit to the power pole next to the MH. The EC could have easily pulled new wires. What surprised me was the lack of violent reaction from Yankees wilting in the Texas summer heat being told they wouldn't get AC immediately. I suspect more than a few just hooked up the wires to the breaker after we left.
 
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