Westinghouse Main Breaker Issues (1993)

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Old 04-23-17, 08:08 AM
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Westinghouse Main Breaker Issues (1993)

Hi,
I am so glad to have found this site. I really need some help.

Rundown of what happened:
Lights flickered in one section of home only
Could tell there was connection issue because when opening the inside panel box, the lights would come on full power again, then out, then bright, then low, then nothing.
After messing, detected that when messing with a certain breaker, the same would happen.
After messing, detected that when pushing in on the main breaker, the same would happen as well.
Shut off main outside.
Shut off main inside.
Seen damage at main.
Tried to take the main out, loosened the bolts at the bottom, still couldn't remove the wide breaker.
Called Electrician. Sent pics, said he would have to hunt the part and maybe be able to find it and have it ordered. Will be from 100 to 200 for the part.
This happened on a Friday, so here we are stuck on a weekend.
Food thawing, getting dark.
Tightened bolts, put panel cover back on.
Turned on power.
We have shut off ALL the breakers not needed.
We have shut off the breaker that runs the part where the lights were dimming, etc.
We have shut off ALL 220 breakers.

I have read that those bolts are actually to set torque by. Is this correct? and if so, how do I set them correctly? Mine is supposed to be 45 lb in lug torque (whatever that means)
I am confused as to what TYPE of breaker this is.
Looks like 4 small breakers or 2 - 2 pole breakers. However, it seems they're all connected by a long SINGLE off/on switch.
I am unemployed and do not have any extra money.
I can change regular breakers, but never messed with anything like this.
Why wouldn't the breaker come out? Is it bolted and I have to take screws TOTALLY out?
How do I check the Bus? What if I take the breaker out and the bus is damaged or the main breaks apart in my hands or something. I would be without total power.
What should I do?

I have attached images.
Showing damage
showing door panel
Circle indicates the breaker that was trigger happy (not the main)
Main
Bottom of Main

What's weird to me...The breaker that is iffy has my hot water heater, furnace and LOADS of outlets and lights on that ONE breaker. At least that's what turns off when we turn that breaker off.
From what I have researched...I think I have a bad leg on my main breaker.
The power is on as we speak and it scares me.
We check the box often for heat and its remained cool.
My lights that I do have on dim when I run a toaster or coffee maker or something.

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much,
Angel
P.S I think it MAY be TYPE CQ which is 2- 2 pole with 4 lug I think?Name:  breaker bottom small.jpg
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Old 04-23-17, 09:15 AM
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It sounds like one of the legs is loose, either right there behind the meter or at the pole. It may not be a bad breaker. I would have the power company check first.
 
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Old 04-23-17, 11:03 AM
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Cut your losses. Get a new panel installed. I can see the breaker is toast.... and I have a feeling the buss bars are too. Given the shape of the panel.... just not worth replacing the main breaker.

That is an awfully small 200A panel. 12 [email protected]

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The red arrows are completely burned. The orange arrows aren't far behind.
 
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Old 04-23-17, 11:30 AM
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New Panel

Thanks for responding.

Yes...is it 12 circuits? I know we can't run anything! Seems the 1 breaker holds hot water heater, furnace and half the house! Our 220 ac luckily is installed on an outside separate 220 box.

When you say panel...do you mean the WHOLE box, breakers, wires?

Can I do it myself? Can I purchase the parts myself and then pay someone to do it?

Thanks!
Angel
 
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Old 04-23-17, 11:40 AM
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Yes... the whole box.... breakers and all.

It's just beyond most DIY'ers comfort zone.

Most electricians will only install what they provide as they are also responsible for the warranty on it.
 
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Old 04-23-17, 11:41 AM
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When you say panel...do you mean the WHOLE box, breakers, wires?
Yes, and the service entrance wires from the meter to the power company connection if an overhead drop.
Can I do it myself?
With enough electrical experience , maybe. (In my area only a master electrician can pull the permit. No home owner permit allowed.)
Can I purchase the parts myself and then pay someone to do it?
A real pro will want to provide his own parts so he knows they are correct. (Personal experience before I stopped letting customers provide the parts were some parts were always wrong and going to get correct parts just made the job longer.) You also probably won't save much.
 
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Old 04-23-17, 11:44 AM
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OK, thank you so much. I have an electrician coming in the AM.

Angel He said if the one leg is bad that he could by pass it possibly and get rid of the piggyback breaker that holds all that stuff on it and move on down the other side if there's room in the box and add more breakers.

What you think?
 
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Old 04-23-17, 11:48 AM
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When you say panel...do you mean the WHOLE box, breakers, wires?
The whole panel and breakers. Westinghouse is not making panels anymore. Wires are likely fine.

Can I do it myself?
You could, but it depends how long you want to be without power. You would need to get the power company to shut down the power, get that panel inspected when you finish, and then have the power company turn it back on. Depending on your location, a contractor could likely do all of that.

Can I purchase the parts myself and then pay someone to do it?
Maybe, but you are not going to save anything. Most of the cost will be labor.

He said if the one leg is bad that he could by pass it possibly
Not at 200 amps. HE could temp it at 100 or 125 amps, the largest plug in breaker available.
 
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Old 04-25-17, 01:14 PM
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Update:

Hi,
Just wanted to give ya'll and update and thank ya'll for the input.

Electrician came, checked bar and it was fine. So we searched and searched and found an old mobile home that had the breaker we needed, which was the main (CQ type).

We put it in ourselves and electrician came and approved before we turned the main outside back on.

We now have ALL power back working.

When he got here originally he said we only had 120 coming and no 240 which is why my stove wouldn't heat up.

All is well!

Thank you so much!
Angel
 
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Old 04-25-17, 03:17 PM
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Thanks for letting us know it all worked out.
 
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