Can't seem to get the right breaker...PICS!


Old 01-30-12, 09:51 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
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Can't seem to get the right breaker...PICS!

I have a Challenger panel that was installed in 1986. I want to replace a 20 amp double pole(non-tandem, 2 skinny breakers together). I tried finding universal breakers but had no luck. So I ordered one from an electric supply website. When I got them, everything looked great. However, when I went to install it, I noticed the "contact" part (forgive my terminology) on the back of the breaker was different, and therefore it will not seat properly in the slot. What do I need to do when I order again to ensure I get the proper breaker? As per my research, I thought that all of the letter codes, serial numbers, sizes, etc were a positive match, but obviously I overlooked something. Thanks.

Original on left, new on right

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Old 01-30-12, 06:13 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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Location: Twin Cities, MN
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My thinking by looking at the pictures is you need to move the breaker up or down one 1/2 slot. A double pole breaker (non tandem) breaker must land on two buss bars in order to give you the 240 volts you need. I believe that is why there is the two tabs on the outside of the breaker, one for each buss bar.

Just asking to make sure: Your new breaker is a two pole correct? It has a handle tie between the poles? It might be hands to talk a pict of the handle side of the breakers and a picture of your panels buss bars.
Old 01-30-12, 08:32 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
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I tried finding universal breakers but had no luck. So I ordered one from an electric supply website.
You have a Challenger panel so you must use breakers specifically approved for the panel, not just a universal fit breaker from just any manufacturer. Challenger is gone, but Cutler-Hammer makes breakers that are approved. I believe if you look at the Cutler-Hammer BR series tandem breakers you'll find what you need IF your panel is approved to use tandem breakers. Challenger was bought by Westinghouse and Westinghouse was bought by Eaton which rolled the old Challenger family into the Eaton Cutler-Hammer BR family. The tandem on the right in the picture appears to be an old Crouse-Hinds breaker which was never acceptable to be used in a Challenger panel as far as I know. There should be a label on the panel cover inside door that will list approved breakers for the panel.

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