replacing load center opinon

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Old 01-20-15, 10:56 AM
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replacing load center opinion

Hello,

I had an issue recently where the air handler began tripping a breaker in a rental property. The HVAC company said the A/C checks out fine but the breaker may be beginning to fail (a load or physically tapping on it causes it to trip) and recommended having an electrician inspect. The electrician said the breaker itself looks fine, but noticed wear on the main lugs of the panel (possibility due to aluminum feed wires and lugs that were not tight enough). He is trying to find replacement parts for the load center but is saying it's difficult since the panel is old (installed in '98) and according to him Siemens parts can be difficult to find (although I see several Siemens products online from the big box stores). If he can't find the parts, I'm told we'll be forced to replace the load center and breakers. I've attached a few pictures to reference.

My questions are:
* Are the worn parts in the photo typically replaceable?
* If I need a new load center, do all of the breakers need to be replaced as well?

Thanks for the input.
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Last edited by jfarron; 01-20-15 at 11:13 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-20-15, 12:39 PM
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Based on the burning around the lugs it looks probable that the load center would need to be replaced. An in person inspection would really tell the tale.

Siemens gear hasn't changed much since the late 90s. I would be surprised if you couldn't just buy a new panel and swap out the guts and cover of the old panel with the new one, leaving the box and wires in place. The breakers would need to be looked at up close to see if the damage extends to those too. You might need to replace some of them around the bad lug if there was significant overheating.
 
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Old 01-20-15, 12:42 PM
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The breakers should be fine, what is the model # on that panel? It's hard o tell from the pic's,also where is the main breaker for that panel?
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Old 01-20-15, 02:04 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately I don't know the model of the panel and these are the only pictures I have (I'm out of state). My electrician is attempting to find a suitable box to switch the innards with but said Siemens is hard to find and he may need to replace everything with a different brand which will be labor intensive (that is the part that sounds slightly suspicious to me). So I just wanted to educate myself a bit further. Regarding the main breaker - this box is in an apartment unit so my understanding is the main breakers are outside the building.
 
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Old 01-20-15, 03:02 PM
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Siemens is carried by national retailers, brick & mortar and Internet. Lowe's being a big box option, Amazon being an online option. I'd be really surprised if there wasn't a local dealer whereever you are.

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Old 01-21-15, 08:18 AM
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Unfortunately I don't know the model of the panel and these are the only pictures I have (I'm out of state).
It was a bad installation or you wouldn't have this problem now. It was also a bad move to cover the panel's vital information with the panel schedule. You have a 6-12 MLO panel. If your electrician is limiting his search to the box stores he may not find what you need. He needs to be checking a Siemens catalog and then seeking that panel from a Siemens distributor, not a retailer.
 
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