Challenger Service Panel

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Old 01-12-11, 07:42 PM
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Challenger Service Panel

Does a Challenger Service Panel support tandem breakers? I found this number on the inside of the panel: CB203040. There are 15 slots on each side, or 30 total. It is a 200amp service. 2 pole, I believe? I realize that Challenger was bought out by Cutler-Hammer. I have one open slot in this panel.
 
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Old 01-12-11, 07:52 PM
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I think you'll find the bottom 5 slots on either side of the panel will take tandems or twin BR series Cutler Hammer breakers. Check the label on the panel cover for a diagram of the interior to be sure.
 
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Old 01-12-11, 09:41 PM
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Funny that the panel diagram on the inside door is a "general" diagram and doesn't even show all of the slots...

I think I'll try a tandem in one of the lower 5 slots... would an electrical supply store have a diagram, or info about this panel or its Cutler-Hammer replacement?
 
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Old 01-13-11, 07:39 AM
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You might get lucky and find a distributor with an old Challenger book, but a lot of that line was actually sold to T&B who promptly ran it into the ground. The Challenger name was combined into Westinghouse and they used Westinghouse breakers etc. for a time also (they sold the OLD Challenger breakers / dies / panels stuff to T&B) so it is very confusing as to whether you have a true Challenger panel or a Westinghouse panel labled as Challenger. We were a Challenger distributor for a SHORT time then we opted for GE and have been that for 20+ years. Sorry for the long story, but with either panel as long as you have the standard "plug in" breakers you should be able to use Cutler Hammer BD series mini breakers in any slot that has a "V" notch in the buss. Usually located near the bottom as previously mentioned. The BD series has a metal clip that won't let your mount this anywhere else so you can't overload the panel with more than 40 circuits. HOWEVER......you can get BR series mini breakers that will go ANYWHERE in that panel. They have no clip, are for "replacement only" wink wink, and will do the job however they cost more. If you use these no NOT push your panel past 40 circuits. Based on the panel number I am pretty positive you have the standard breakers, and Cutler Hammer series would be fine. There for a while Challenger actually used a long and narrow breaker made by ZINSCO.....be glad you don't have those.
 

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Old 01-13-11, 08:05 AM
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By chance I looked around here and found a 1998 Challenger book. Yours used the A series breakers which were replaced by the BD and BR series when Westinghouse bought them (and later by Cutler Hammer). The bottom ten slots can be used for space savers according to the wiring diagram in the book. ( lower last five on both sides) Can fax you copy or maybe post it here if I can figure out how.
 
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Old 01-13-11, 03:27 PM
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Wow! GREAT INFORMATION! CAN'T BEGIN TO THANK YOU ENOUGH!

Interestingly, the date on my panel is 1998...bought the home three years ago as a foreclosure...house was renovated and "flipped"...the panel now contains mostly T&B breakers w/Challenger and Cutler-Hammer (BR) as well...I appreciate your knowledge and help as I am renovating the basement and would prefer not to add a subpanel. If you have the time the fax no. is 610-478-3451.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 01-14-11, 10:04 AM
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You are welcome. the fax is on it's way, hope it comes in clear. Challenger made decent panels, sad to say the larger companies started either buying the smaller guys out or running them out of business. Any of those breakers you have are fine, just be sure to use Cutler Hammer in future new additions as any T&B, Westinghouse, or Challenger breakers would be old, even if not used.
 
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Old 01-14-11, 10:02 PM
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The fax came in perfectly clear...great info, very helpful...I will keep it near my panel for future reference...and I will be adding tandem breakers...now with the assurance that it's okay.

Thanks again for going the extra mile.
 
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Old 01-15-11, 07:39 AM
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Don't get too over confident about the integrity of the panel. You still have an older aluminum bus loadcenter.
 
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Old 01-15-11, 07:50 AM
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Oddly enough, I have not seen challenger in my county. I have mostly seen SqD and fpe with a few GE. One sylvania.
 
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Old 01-15-11, 11:26 AM
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I was thinking that Challenger came from the demise of Sylvania. It has been so darn long ago I am not sure, but it seemed that Sylvania sold their controls to Joslyn Clark and the panels became Challenger. Yes, they are an aluminum buss, same as the Bryant panels, but they were decently made. We never had any problems with them although I prefer copper too.
 
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Old 01-15-11, 12:02 PM
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I was thinking that Challenger came from the demise of Sylvania.
I remember it the same way. I believe it was some executives from the old Sylvania power distribution business who formed the Challenger company. I also remember they put out some FPE and Zinsco style gear under the Challenger name; still see some of it occaisionally.
 
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