Mixed brands in breaker box

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  #1  
Old 11-11-13, 09:52 AM
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Mixed brands in breaker box

Theres a few breakers in my GE electric panel that are of different brands. My panel says to only use GE brand and I read elsewhere that this is dangerous.

Is changing these something I need an electrician for or can I turn the power off of those breakers and do it safely (and easily)? I know I can get the right ones at the hardware store.
 
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Old 11-11-13, 10:04 AM
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This is a fairly easy DIY task. Turn the breaker off and pull towards the outside of the panel. The breaker will rotate on its mounting foot. To install you reverse the process.
 
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Old 11-11-13, 10:24 AM
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If your breaker panel has a main breaker I would suggest turning off the main breaker. Remember there will still be power around the main breaker so be careful in there. If possible work with one hand in your pocket.
 
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Old 11-11-13, 09:13 PM
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If your breaker panel has a main breaker I would suggest turning off the main breaker.
I don't remember ever doing that to replace a branch circuit breaker. You can if you want to, but you may have to have a battery-powered source of light to work under if you do.

I just do it the way pcboss suggested:
Originally Posted by pcboss
Turn the breaker off[. Loosen the terminal screw, pull the conductor out and bend it out towards you. Pull the breaker] towards the outside of the panel. The breaker will rotate on its mounting foot. To install you reverse the process
.
 
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Old 11-11-13, 09:34 PM
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Most boxes I have worked in didn't have a main breaker so by default I am use to doing it "hot" but when I first joined the forum I was firmly reprimanded when I suggested you could do it without turning off the main breaker.
 
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Old 11-11-13, 09:50 PM
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I hear you. That's always the safest procedure. I was just saying that I don't remember having ever done that. I understand how that could sound like "Here's the way to do it" though.

brsstc, do it the way you're most comfortable with, please.
 
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Old 11-12-13, 05:17 AM
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brsstc, do it the way you're most comfortable with, please.
Im not sure how that is, thats why I am asking.

One thing I did notice (I bought the replacements last night) was that the screw is a little unique on a GE breaker. It looks like a standard driver would work (definetly not phillips) but no matter what size that fits its (that I own), there is still a little bit of play (its doesnt firmly hold the tip).

Is this a unique screw on GE breakers? What size/type is the best driver to use?


First time I might turn it all off. If I just turn the braker I am replacing off, I assume that means the metal bar it clips into is still live. How come that doesnt spark when you press the new clips onto it?
 
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Old 11-12-13, 06:35 AM
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when I first joined the forum I was firmly reprimanded when I suggested you could do it without turning off the main breaker.
Ray, I think that was probably because most DIYers are not experienced in changing breakers. I am like you, I'd do it hot as well and not think anything of it, but I wouldnt advocate someone with no experience to do it that way.

Is this a unique screw on GE breakers? What size/type is the best driver to use?


First time I might turn it all off. If I just turn the braker I am replacing off, I assume that means the metal bar it clips into is still live. How come that doesnt spark when you press the new clips onto it?
It takes a standard flat blade screwdriver, maybe yours are worn, a Klein screwdriver works great. You obviously are not experienced at this, I'd suggest you turn off your main breaker and work from a battery powered light. Yes, the bus bar is still hot as long as the main isn't turned off. It doesn't arc as you install a new breaker or remove the old one as there is no load on it.
 
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Old 11-12-13, 10:50 AM
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If I just turn the beaker I am replacing off, I assume that means the metal bar it clips into is still live. How come that doesn't spark when you press the new clips onto it?
Because the breaker is switched off and the conductor isn't yet connected to it. No load = no arc.
 
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Old 11-12-13, 04:00 PM
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It is likely a combo screw on the breaker. I find that a #2 square drive screwdriver works the best.

In a house, it is not a really big deal to shut off the main and work on the panel De-energized. The same is not true in a commercial building where you will shut off the entire floors power. That doesn't make many people happy.
 
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Old 11-12-13, 05:26 PM
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With the main off is the safest way.
 
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