Corrosion on circuit breaker contacts possible cause.


Old 01-21-13, 11:40 AM
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Corrosion on circuit breaker contacts possible cause.

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I have the same problem in my 200 amp panel. My 15 amp circuit would flicker and go out but not trip breaker. It is a right side clip breaker. I replaced it but it happened with a new one. I then removed the breakers above and below the 15A breaker. The breaker below is a 30A 240V for the stove top. The busbar tab that is common with the 15A shows black carbon corrosion, I suppose it is burnt metal from arcing.

My son in law thinks that the 30A 240 breaker may run hot and if there ever was grease on the contacts that it may have evaporated. He thought if I replaced it I should go to a 40A that it might run cooler. I do not know if I should also replace the 15A with a 20A also.

Anyway the plan is to TURN OFF MAIN BREAKER then check every breaker for arcing corrosion, if there is signs of corrosion burnish the busbar tabs with steel wool wearing rubber gloves being careful not to come in contact with incoming leads from meter, then put a thin coating of dielectric grease on the tab and breaker clips, not sure what to apply it with yet. Replace the breaker and hopfully avoid replacing panel.
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Old 01-21-13, 11:51 AM
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I should go to a 40A that it might run cooler.
Not unless the wire is #8 (copper). What is the full load rating of the cooktop.

What brand of panel? Are the breakers correct for your make and model panel? Acceptable breakers should be on a sticker in the panel.
Old 01-21-13, 05:49 PM
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It is a right side clip breaker
Would that be a thin Crouse-Hinds single pole breaker? OR.....thin old style Murray single pole breaker?

If you have corrosion on the bus stabs, it isn't a normal condition. By all means, clean the stabs, but be safe about it. What is the age of the panel and is this aluminum or copper bus we are talking about? Is the bus tin plated? Who is the manufacturer, did I guess correctly?
Old 01-21-13, 10:02 PM
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One thing I've seen before and just ran into it again of meter pan leaks where service cable enters. Water follows service cable thru the meter and into panel. The water follows the back of the circuit breakers and down the breaker stabs.

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