Main Panel Issue

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  #1  
Old 03-12-13, 10:16 AM
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Main Panel Issue

I was having multiple circuit breakers go off the other day. I had an electrician out. He said his main concern was that one of the nuts on above the circuit breakers on the main panel was changing colors. This was on the "B" side where all of the breakers were going off. He said that there was a poor installation job and the panel would not last long. He recommended replacing the entire panel. Note that there were some other issues and the original installation was very sloppy in the way that the wires were laid in the panel and a couple of instances where the breakers were higher rated than the wire they were on. Has anyone heard of what he is telling my about the nut changing color or is he just feeding me a line of bull. The company I used is A+ BBB rated and also high on Angie's list, so I would tend to believe him unless someone tells me different.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-12-13, 10:41 AM
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Heat from a loose connection could cause the color of the metals to change.
 
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Old 03-12-13, 12:55 PM
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Did he fix the nut and figure out why it changed colors? If not run. Otherwise get a quote from him to "make it safe" and one quote from someone else. Shouldn't need a new panel unless there is damage (excessive heat, water) or is outdated/undersized.

One bad nut does not make them all bad but should be checked. Some CYA going on - Him replacing the panel forces him to check everything and take responsibility.
 
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Old 03-12-13, 05:28 PM
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He said his main concern was that one of the nuts on above the circuit breakers on the main panel was changing colors.
What exactly do you mean by "one of the nuts on above the circuit breakers" was changing colors? Do you mean the main lugs? A loose connection will certainly cause the main lugs to change colors as they repeatedly over heat. Within a few months, they'll not only change colors, but start emitting a burning odor and eventually start corroding, or rusting. If they have gotten this far, you'll have to replace the panel.
 
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Old 03-12-13, 07:20 PM
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I was thinking a retention nut on a bus or breaker connection.
 
  #6  
Old 03-13-13, 08:02 AM
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I can't upload pictures from the office, but I'll try to describe the nut location. There are 2 columns of breakers. Just above the breakers there are 2 nuts going through 2 vertical flat metal plates. The right hand of these 2 nuts is the one turning color. Based on the comments given there is clearly a loose connection. Given the other issues with the installation, I am going to go ahead and replace the panel. I know that it may be overkill, but as someone stated the new installer will now have responsibiltiy. I'd rather have that as the original installer for the builder has an "F" rating on BBB. Thanks for everyone's input.
 
  #7  
Old 03-13-13, 05:37 PM
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I'll try to describe the nut location. There are 2 columns of breakers. Just above the breakers there are 2 nuts going through 2 vertical flat metal plates. The right hand of these 2 nuts is the one turning color. Based on the comments given there is clearly a loose connection.
OK, that would be a bus connection that is loose; a factory defect. I have seen that problem before with GE loadcenters. Depending on the age of the panel, it might be a warranty issue your electrician could check out for you.
 
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