How to identify load center make/model?

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  #1  
Old 02-08-14, 06:10 PM
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How to identify load center make/model?

The 100 amp load center in my 130 year old house no longer has its label and I have no way of knowing what brand/model it is (it's probably many decades old if that helps any). Can someone here tell from looking at a photo of it? It has several mismatched breakers which I am trying to rectify. Perhaps the one breaker style that is most represented in the panel is the type that would have been original to the panel? In that case those breakers says Crouse-Hinds.

ANY info will be very helpful as I try to determine the correct breaker for this unit.

Thanks!

Photos: (you can left-click on a photo and open in a new window or tab to see it full-size).

Load center:


Close-up of breakers:
 
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  #2  
Old 02-08-14, 06:19 PM
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no longer has its label and I have no way of knowing what brand/model it is
Did you remove the cover and look inside? It is usually in there. However the pros sleep and eat panels so they can probably tell you just by looking. A brand and model number on a breaker would be another way to tell. That could be referenced to what type of panel it fits.
 
  #3  
Old 02-08-14, 06:27 PM
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I did remove it and looked but did not find any label. You can see in my photo that there is residue from where the label had been affixed inside the door but either fell off or got removed.

The majority of the breakers look identical and say Crouse-Hinds. But there are a few not matching those. That's why I was asking.
 
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Old 02-08-14, 07:04 PM
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Perhaps a couple more pictures would help to identify that panel. Presently I am leaning toward it being an aluminum bus main lug only Crouse Hinds loadcenter, but I'd like to see a good clear picture with both the cover/door removed and one with the door closed. Sometimes the design and style of the door opening device will help in identification.
 
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Old 02-08-14, 07:08 PM
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Often times there is also a label on the inside side of the panel.

I will say that is not a Square D or Cutler-Hammer or Federal Pacific.
 
  #6  
Old 02-08-14, 07:21 PM
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I'll remove the cover tomorrow and take some more pics to post. Thanks so far!
 
  #7  
Old 02-08-14, 07:24 PM
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Many times your neighbors will have the same panel if built by the same builder.
 
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Old 02-08-14, 07:31 PM
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Many times your neighbors will have the same panel if built by the same builder.
Ha! My house is in a row of three that were built at the same time (around 1894), same blueprint, and probably the same builder. But this was way before load centers. All the old houses in this area have had random upgrades over the years and the only things they have in common now are the things that were never upgraded, like the floor joists.
 
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Old 02-08-14, 08:35 PM
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Looking at the branch circuit breakers I believe it is a Crouse-Hinds. If you look here: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...nd-150amp.html you will see the breakers are the same. I can also see there is a Bryant tandem (bottom left) and a Westinghouse (8th one on left). Crouse-Hinds was bought by Eaton/Cutler hammer. Cutler hammer's BR classified breakers are listed for use/replacement branch circuit breakers in Crouse-Hinds panels (and others).
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 02-08-14 at 08:53 PM.
  #10  
Old 02-08-14, 09:08 PM
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Looks like Crouse-Hinds LC024x main lug that had a main breaker kit added. If so correct breaker for replacement would be Murray. 6 tandem breakers in bottom spaces depending on version of panel.
 
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Old 02-09-14, 07:01 AM
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Crouse-Hinds was bought by Eaton/Cutler hammer. Cutler hammer's BR classified breakers are listed for use/replacement branch circuit breakers in Crouse-Hinds panels (and others).
I don't believe Crouse-Hinds was bought by Eaton/Cutler-Hammer, but by Cooper who later sold it to Siemens who renamed it to be the present version of Murray panels and breakers. I am still leaning toward this being a Crouse-Hinds panel because of all the Crouse-Hinds breakers in it and believe that Crouse-Hinds panels of that vintage allowed the use of Bryant BR breakers (which became Cutler-Hammer BR), GE Type THQL breakers and some Westinghouse breakers (which became Cutler-Hammer BR).
 
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Old 02-09-14, 07:17 AM
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Cutler-Hammer BR classified breakers have a wide range of panel brands that they are approved for. See chart: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...d99Xbghq0-uPDw (pdf download)
 
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Old 02-09-14, 07:27 AM
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Cutler-Hammer BR classified breakers have a wide range of panel brands that they are approved for. See chart: Redirect Notice (pdf download)
True, but I'd just use the Cutler-Hammer BR breaker such as a BR120, they are much easier to find and approved for this panel provided it is a Crouse-Hinds panel.
 
  #14  
Old 02-09-14, 07:57 AM
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The reason you want to know ? Just to replace the odd ball Circuit Breakers ?

I would bet it is either a C-H or Bryant . Not much practical difference .

I would look & see if any of the CB's or the buss show evidence of damage from over heating or arching . If not I would leave it be . With the possible exception of replacing the twin CB's .

If any damage , jerk the loadcenter out & replace it , they are not that $$$ . Replace any damaged CB's . Might consider a replacement loadcenter with copper bus .

Also , examine all the wires & tighten any / all screws . You do have the power turned off , don't you ?

God bless
Wyr
 
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Old 02-09-14, 09:54 AM
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The reason you want to know ? Just to replace the odd ball Circuit Breakers ?

I would bet it is either a C-H or Bryant . Not much practical difference .

I would look & see if any of the CB's or the buss show evidence of damage from over heating or arching . If not I would leave it be . With the possible exception of replacing the twin CB's .

If any damage , jerk the loadcenter out & replace it , they are not that $$$ . Replace any damaged CB's . Might consider a replacement loadcenter with copper bus .

Also , examine all the wires & tighten any / all screws . You do have the power turned off , don't you ?

God bless
Wyr
I want to know because my home inspector (who never removed the front panel to inspect inside) said the non-matched breakers should be replaced, and also I thought given the minimal expense, that all the breakers should be replaced. They have experienced a lot of moisture over the decades and I had heard of old/corroded breakers failing to trip properly.

I will open the panel today and take pics to post here for those more knowledgable than I to critique.

I would have no issue with replacing the whole load center but what do you do when you remove all the branch circuits and then realize some are too short to fit in the new panel? You're not supposed to wire nut extensions inside the panel, right? The branches all (mostly all) enter from the top, and the panel is already close to the top of the basement wall. Not much more room to move a new panel further up to make more available wire length available.
 
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Old 02-09-14, 10:05 AM
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Splices can be made in the panel unless there is a local change to the NEC.
 
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Old 02-09-14, 10:16 AM
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True, but I'd just use the Cutler-Hammer BR breaker such as a BR120, they are much easier to find and approved for this panel provided it is a Crouse-Hinds panel.
Standard Cutler-Hammer BR breakers are not listed for use in Crouse-Hinds panels. The BR Classified ones are.
 
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Old 02-09-14, 10:23 AM
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True, but I'd just use the Cutler-Hammer BR breaker such as a BR120, they are much easier to find and approved for this panel provided it is a Crouse-Hinds panel.
Standard Cutler-Hammer BR breakers are not listed for use in Crouse-Hinds panels. The BR Classified ones are.
True because Cutler-Hammer BR series is too new and wasn't listed on the panel labels when Crouse-Hinds was still here, but Bryant BR breakers are approved and listed on the panel labels. The Cutler-Hammer BR series breakers replaced the Bryant BR breakers. This is something I learned a few years back from an Eaton rep. But, I am not saying the C-H BR Classified breakers would not be acceptable.
 
  #19  
Old 02-09-14, 10:30 AM
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I would bet it is either a C-H or Bryant
I don't think so, why would someone install a panel full of Crouse-Hinds breakers in a Bryant panel. The Cutler-Hammer BR series panel wasn't around yet when Crouse-Hinds was still being manufactured. The only Cutler-Hammer loadcenters of this vintage were the CH series tan colored panels with tan colored handles on the breakers.

I am wanting to see the newer pictures when they become available.
 
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Old 02-09-14, 10:40 AM
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I want to know because my home inspector (who never removed the front panel to inspect inside) said the non-matched breakers should be replaced, and also I thought given the minimal expense, that all the breakers should be replaced. They have experienced a lot of moisture over the decades and I had heard of old/corroded breakers failing to trip properly.
It's easy for the home inspector who obviously doesn't know much about electrical panels to say he wants all the breakers matched, but it is normally not required as most manufacturers allow some other manufacturer's breakers in their panels. The green handled Bryant tandems are obviously a different brand, but Bryant breakers were approved for use in Crouse-Hinds panels as I recall. By the way, Crouse-Hinds never made a tandem breaker, they made slim breakers with a hook that attached to the bus stab. There were left and right hooks meaning that there were two different catalog numbers for two slim breakers that fit adjacent to and attached to the same stab. I'd need to do some research to look up those catalog numbers if you need them. Any Crouse-Hinds breakers you find today will be used.
 
  #21  
Old 02-09-14, 02:31 PM
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Okay everyone, here are more photos as promised:

Load center with panel removed (still no labels anywhere inside the box):


Bus and ground bars:


Space below the last breakers (can someone tell me what those black plastic brackets are below the bottom breakers?) Can I add more breakers or is this panel full?


Thanks
 
  #22  
Old 02-09-14, 05:18 PM
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The light isn't so good, but I believe the panel is full. Did you get a picture with the panel door closed, I wanted to see a picture of the door opening mechanism and design of the door.
 
  #23  
Old 02-09-14, 05:30 PM
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That is a subfeed kit at the bottom of the panel. You should be able to remove it and add 4 more breakers.
 
  #24  
Old 02-09-14, 08:21 PM
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Sorry, not Crouse-Hinds. Matches Bryant in this thread - http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...l-bonding.html
 
  #25  
Old 02-10-14, 03:31 AM
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Again , were me , I would remove the CB's , inspect for problems and if none , put them back in . Pay some attention to the difficulty pushing the CB back in . They rely on spring tension on the " clip " that makes contact with the bus " fingers " . Any that are a little too easy to push in may have lost some / much of that tension .

Visually inspect the bus and the bus " fingers " , also .

I can not remember , is this a surface mount loadcenter or a flush mount ? If surface mount , you may be able to mount the loadcenter a little higher , making the " top wires " a little longer ? Do not exceed 6'-6" height of the top CB .

If not , use wirenuts . You already have wirenuts in the loadcenter . Why worry .

Does the meter directly feed this loadcenter ? If so , and if there is no main between the two , then the loadcenter in the pics is your service panel .

If it is a sub-feed loadcenter , the white neutrals and green / bare earth grounds should be separated on separate insulated neutral and ground ( bonded to the meter enclosure of the loadcenter ) bars .

If you have had water in this loadcenter , replace what needs replacing & find and fix the source of the water .

God bless
Wyr

PS My personal preference is Sq D QO for loadcenters . The old Cuttler - Hammer with tan handle CB's were good . Federal Pacific was just about the worst . The rest are pretty much in the middle .

I have not had enough experience with Sq D Homeline to say if it is any better than current C-H or Bryant . But I have not had any trouble with them .

I have an outdoor Homeline 225 amp loadcenter ( and 200 amp meter base ) setting in the same room with me , awaiting me to get off my lazy bottom , to install them .

The original loadcenter in this house was a FPE ( Federal Pacific Electric ) , about 6 circuit . In its place sets a C-H with C-H CB's .

The " middle of the road " loadcenters & CB's work OK if installed correctly and not overloaded .
 
  #26  
Old 02-10-14, 08:50 AM
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Sorry, not Crouse-Hinds. Matches Bryant in this thread - Breaker panel 'bonding"?
Astute observation! I compared the photos and this does seem to be the case.

So then what would the appropriate breaker be for a Bryant box?

And if >10 of the existing breakers are Crouse-Hinds that match in terms of casting and stickers, does this mean the original installer used them, or is it more likely that some DIYer replaced them all later with the wrong brand. I guess one can never know the answer. I get very mixed responses regarding use of breakers that differ from the brand of the load center. Personally I just want to do what will help bring as much of my system into code compliance without spending a fortune.
 
  #27  
Old 02-10-14, 08:55 AM
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Here's a picture of the front cover for CasualJoe (the little round sticker is mine, it's my own fake brand-- I do a lot of 12VDC work).



I can not remember , is this a surface mount loadcenter or a flush mount ? If surface mount , you may be able to mount the loadcenter a little higher , making the " top wires " a little longer ? Do not exceed 6'-6" height of the top CB .
Surface mount. It's already about 6'-3ish" to the top.

Does the meter directly feed this loadcenter ? If so , and if there is no main between the two , then the loadcenter in the pics is your service panel .
Meter feeds directly with 100A service with 100A breaker in the top two slots, no main between meter and panel, so it's the service panel.

If it is a sub-feed loadcenter , the white neutrals and green / bare earth grounds should be separated on separate insulated neutral and ground ( bonded to the meter enclosure of the loadcenter ) bars .
The ground and neutral bars are bonded together.

If you have had water in this loadcenter , replace what needs replacing & find and fix the source of the water .
It got water once (as far as I know) during hurricane Irene two years ago with about a cup of water total coming in from the sleeve where the main comes into the house from the meter, and dripping out the bottom of the panel. There is a water stain and some minimal rust in the lower corner from this, away from any circuits, and there does not seem to be any visible rust on any of the terminals anywhere in the box. The outside sleeve was repaired but not replaced.
 

Last edited by southpawboston; 02-10-14 at 11:48 AM.
  #28  
Old 02-10-14, 06:59 PM
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Here's a picture of the front cover for CasualJoe
I was hoping the door hardware or design would be a clue, but I cannot definitively identify this panel. It definitely isn't a C-H BR or a Challenger (too old for these), but it MIGHT BE a Bryant, MIGHT BE a Westinghouse or MIGHT BE an early Arrow-Hart Murray. Regardless, the C-H BR or the C-H Classified breaker would be appropriate. I think I would just replace it with a new modern panel.
 
  #29  
Old 02-11-14, 07:26 AM
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If you had water come through the nipple between the meter & the loadcenter , I would use some caulk on the outside to seal the nipple and the hole in the wall the nipple passes through .

Careful when poking around in the meter base , the top side is usually hot . Unless you call the power company to temporarily kill it out .

Rain water is pretty pure and not highly conductive . Well water and lake / river water will probably be more conductive . Sea / ocean / salt water is pretty conductive .

God bless
Wyr
 
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Old 02-11-14, 07:50 AM
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If you had water come through the nipple between the meter & the loadcenter , I would use some caulk on the outside to seal the nipple and the hole in the wall the nipple passes through .
That's what I did, I used outdoor window caulking over and around the deteriorated foam bushing that had failed and was where the water breach occurred. Has been dry since.
 
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