Breaker box issues - finding brand

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Old 03-15-13, 05:37 AM
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Breaker box issues - finding brand

Hi guys I own a 4 family house and my third floor has a bad main breaker. Low voltage off one side coming out after the main.
There is no way to turn off the power outside aside pulling the meter so I removed a branching breaker instead of the main to match up the shape since the box had no real marking on it except a larger "G" with a lighting bolt and the word "general" under it.
Bringing it to HD and Looes gave me no luck as I thought it might mean general electric but they did not seem to match up that well.

The breaker I pulled out had "LTE" written on the side but the guys at the 2 stores didnt have anything with that brand nor really know the name.
I do know the main is 60amp.

Does anyone have any idea what this could all mean?
thanks

Ive done tons of breakers and even a main in one of the other apartments (but we were able to pull the meter before they put cylinder locks on them) so its no issue to do one, Ive even done them live but REALLY dont want to have to try the main live.
 
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Old 03-15-13, 05:54 AM
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Are you sure it was LTE and not ITE? If it is ITE, you probably won't find what you need with the ITE name. Siemens is a retrofit for them, and you should have been able to find one at the box store, not positive. How sure are you it is the breaker and not the supply to the breaker that has low voltage? It may be a POCO issue from the meter or transformer.
 
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Old 03-15-13, 06:10 AM
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ITE... sorry. thanks

I have full power on each side coming in (tested with my meter) and then right after I lose alot on one side. Plus its one line coming into the house and all the other boxes are fine and I tested my 1rst floor and I have the full 120 in and out on each side.


Ill have to look for the seimens. Im calling supply houses now so you answered just in time.
 
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Old 03-15-13, 06:23 AM
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The label in the panel should list the models of breakers that can be used. Your panel may need to be replaced if the breaker is not available any longer.

You might need to try an obsolete breaker dealer.
 
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Old 03-15-13, 06:40 AM
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the label is pretty faded out and has no info. I brought the front panel with me to the stores.

I found an ITE dealer here in CT but they need the breaker to match it up right and I need the meter pulled to get it out. Its a pretty vicious cycle.
 
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Old 03-15-13, 10:05 AM
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There is no way to turn off the power outside aside pulling the meter

Are you sure there is no main breaker ? Your in CT. Code requires a disconnect means AT the meter if there is a meter for this apartment.

If only one meter on the premises then that panel is fed from another one.

Now that I look at it.....in the pic below.....it would appear that the red outlined breaker is your main.

Also ... whatever is connected to the lugs is protected by that red outlined breaker.
 
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Old 03-15-13, 10:11 AM
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Im positive there is no outside breaker. this is an OLD house and is prob grandfathered in to everything.
I know that one is the main I just dont know the brand. Im going to try to remove the brnach breakers on the side of it and see if I can find any model or anything on it then bring it to the supply house.
Im like 75% positive I swapped one of my other floors live so Im teetering on just doing it with my rubber glovies and some uber taped up needle nose.

Mod Note: The above is blue is not a safe procedure and should not be attempted even if trained and equipped. OSHA has strict rules above live work.

This could have resulted in death.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 03-15-13 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 03-15-13, 12:45 PM
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ended up just taking the old one out and getting frustrated and had a spare GE the same size lying around (that I previously replaced), popped it in and it fit better than the damn ITE that was in there. Bought a new 60 GE and will be putting it in this evening.
 
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Old 03-15-13, 01:45 PM
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Not good to use a breaker not rated for your panel if for no other reason then it would give the insurance company a reason to deny a claim even if the breaker is not directly responsible.

Is there a hold down for the breaker? I don't see one. A backfed breaker used as a main by code must have a hold down.
 
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Old 03-15-13, 02:41 PM
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"General Switch Company"....long ago out of business. Sometimes GE works in them other times Cutler hammer works well....You have a mish mask of breakers already there as I see General and Cutler hammer (old Bryant) breakers there. Not sure your ITE will fit well....Just my opinion. But if it is only 60 amps get a Cutler hammer and give it a try if the ITE does not. You already have one there (green one)
it is possible that this panel was made prior to having the main "hold down" feature now required by code.....I know it is a hassle but a nice new panel might be your best bet. They weren't bad panels and some had solid copper bussing in them. But....like I said, long gone.
 
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Old 03-15-13, 07:46 PM
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"General Switch Company"....long ago out of business
I'll second that Jim! It's a General Switch panel. I also saw the Bryant breaker across from the main. I'd use a Cutler-Hammer BR series breaker. A Siemens type QP or a GE type THQL might work, but if the Bryant works (we can see one has been there a while), I'd use the BR from Cutler-Hammer. Back in those days there were no hold-down kits to backfeed a breaker as a main.
 
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Old 03-19-13, 07:40 AM
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ended up using a GE and it fit great. Better than the original which was a tad lose. I think there is another bad breaker about to go as well. The next day I could hear some crackling in the panel but before I could start switching them off and on to find them it just stopped and hasnt come back.

IM FAIRLY positive its the one just left of the main tho since it was a bit loose in there and doesnt seat quite right.

Good to know the GE's fit as I trust the brand and use them in the other panels already.
Had to do it live since the power company would not come out to pop the meter for me. Stood on a bucket, wore my heavy rubbers (magnum), and taped the hell out of my tools and was done in about 5 minutes.
 
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