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Changing a Circuit Breaker.....How?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Paul455, Jun 28, 2019.

  1. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    If you have to ask this you probably should have someone else do it... [laugh]
     
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  2. yanici

    yanici NES Member

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    The arc-flash at the panel caused by an accident can have deadly consequences. It can be more powerful than what your main breaker is rated at
     
  3. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    Let you? lol. If you're doing a whole service usually that usually goes from the weatherhead down.... frankly not something an amateur should ever do. Running a line or a breaker is one thing, the service is the most important part of the whole thing.
     
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  4. crazymjb

    crazymjb

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    Hey man, I've got youtube. And besides it's only 3 wires[rofl]
     
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  5. Spanz

    Spanz NES Member

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    does the inside of the breaker box look like this:

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. xjma99

    xjma99 NES Member

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    Lemme guess, Murray 200 amp main?
     
  7. qqac

    qqac

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    I suppose you could live in irrational fear of working in an electrical panel, but to me it kind of sounds like "don't touch a gun--it's too dangerous--leave that to the professionals."

    Yes, the cables going into the main breaker stay hot and will probably kill you if you make a mistake, but with the right info, you can do it and do it safely, just like you can handle a gun.

    Get the same "type" of breaker as the bad one you are replacing. This refers not just to the amps or GFI vs AFCI, but to the breaker configuration, dimensions, performance specs, etc. Type "QP" or "BR" for example. It is marked right on each breaker. Open the panel cover and take a pic of the bad breaker so you can match it up at the store. After you have the new breaker . . .

    Flip off the main breaker and don't touch the main cables or their lugs with anything, ever (unless you have an outside disconnect like someone else mentioned).

    Unscrew and take off the panel cover. Some covers have hooks that keep them in place even though the screws are removed. Others, the cover will come off once the screws are removed. Be advised the cover weighs a few pounds, so don't let it drop on your foot.

    Put a voltmeter on the busses to confirm the main breaker did its job disconnecting the power to the rest of the panel.

    The circuit breaker hooks and pivots on one end, and just snaps in and out on the other end.

    Take a pic of the wiring configuration and duplicate when you replace. The wires insert and are held down by screws. The screws use square drive, philips, or slotted.

    Only turn the main back on after you have done and checked everything, and have put the cover back on.
     
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  8. Paul455

    Paul455 NES Member

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    Best advice yet!

    That is why I come here - friends and family support!
     
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  9. Paul455

    Paul455 NES Member

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    I know, I know....you wankers think I am a pussy for asking the question.

    Maybe.

    However, I did not live this long by taking non prudent risks.

    Listened carefully to all the advice here (thanks) and decided to have a pro do it (a buddy of mine).

    BTW - I have had a carry permit since 1972, so handling guns is not an issue for me......:p
     
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  10. ISOTOX

    ISOTOX NES Member

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    th0XZC27KO.jpg
     
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  11. greencobra

    greencobra NES Member

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    if i were doing it, it would have been done 2 hrs ago.
     
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  12. rcoolbaugh

    rcoolbaugh

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    You gonna have these guys do it?

    upload_2019-6-28_13-36-26.png
     
  13. PaulR

    PaulR NES Member

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    Getting on to be a 50 year old building here, with a sheit-ton of sub-panels, guess I should start to take a look at this.
     
  14. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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    If you are having a GFCI issue, you want an electrician.

    My own panel had a water leak that was causing a problem.

    My dad was a Master Electrician, Teacher at a Vo-Tech for 25 years, Code instructor at 2 other Vo-Techs night schools for years and years, etc etc etc.
    He taught me everything I know.... ( and I did 4 years of Electronics at a Vo-Tech) and I avoid opening up panels like I avoid the clap.

    Electricity is not a hobby, and replacing a GFCI breaker is not the project to learn on !!!!

    As for putting one hand behind your back, sure I've done it, we have all done it, but all that is doing is preventing electricity from crossing your chest and stopping your heart... remember .017 amps across the heart is enough to fry you. Just because you have eliminated that path does not mean it is not going to find another way to ground.

    Spend the cash, get a pro
     
  15. Palladin

    Palladin NES Member

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  16. Spanz

    Spanz NES Member

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    just study up on "barehanding"

     
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  17. Paul455

    Paul455 NES Member

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    Love you guys...never a dull moment.
     
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  18. SgtHal75

    SgtHal75 NES Member

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    Do u do your own medical procedures too????
     
  19. xtry51

    xtry51

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    Sometimes. Everyone should know how to suture.
     
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  20. PaulR

    PaulR NES Member

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    Told ya. [banana]
     
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  21. GM-GUY

    GM-GUY NES Member

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    Paul455 - where are you at, it’s not hard to do - but it would be best if someone would show you how first. If you are near me, I could show you.

    Not a licensed electrician - but I have completely rewired including entrance, meter box and main panel on two houses and countless other projects.
     
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  22. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

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    I put in a couple circuits and breakers myself. Read a book before doing it (in the days before YouTube). Our house has a big switch between the breaker box and the service, so I opened that before working inside the breaker box.

    Maybe I’m just lucky and foolish but it didn’t seem as hard as people here are suggesting.
     
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  23. Asaltweapon

    Asaltweapon NES Member

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    My dad has a lot of tools lol.

    Arc flash is very real and will mess you up if you do something wrong. There are non fused lugs in there. Molten metal flying at you ain’t pretty.

    It’s not hard but if you’ve never done it get some help.
     
  24. Mr.E

    Mr.E

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    It's not as long as you have a basic sense of how electricity works. If you don't go in there and start haphazardly pushing wires around with a screwdriver or touch the bus bar when the breaker is removed you'll likely be fine.
    I could also see trouble if you had a mickey mouse electrician that left your panel looking like a birds nest...
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
  25. PatMcD

    PatMcD NES Member

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    This. It's a learned skill, not some ancient wisdom only passed down through a super-secret guild.
    I'm not a professional logger, but I learned how to operate a chainsaw safely.
    I'm not a Indy 500 driver, but I manage to get myself down the road safely.
    I'm not a professional roofer, but I can get up and down a ladder safely.
    I'm not a heavy equipment operator, but I haven't rolled my tractor on top of myself yet.

    All these things are commonly learned by non-pros. It's not rocket surgery; it's electricity. If an electrician can learn it, so can anybody. You don't need to know everything they do, just the required information to safely do the task you need.

    I'm not a licensed electrician, but I can change a breaker without lighting myself up.
     
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  26. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

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    Once I opened up the panel, it was basically an instruction book. Just copy what the electrician did. Then again, we had our service upgraded before I did this and the work inside the panel was all very neat.

    I certainly read up and then paid careful attention when working inside the box.
     
  27. Mr.E

    Mr.E

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    Que junior high sex joke[laugh]
     
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  28. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

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    [rofl]Yeah, that also commands my full attention.
     
  29. widnerkj

    widnerkj

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    Those Milwaukee drivers are pretty good. However nearly every electrician will almost exclusively have Klein tools.
    I however, have my preference for my electrical tools. And that’s Wiha. I simply like them more, and the idiots I work with don’t buy German tools, so it’s obvious when I see them in another’s tool bag.

    Wiha 32092 Slotted And Phillips Insulated Screwdriver Set, 1000 Volt, 6 Piece https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001U3FOIY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_yvNfDbXJ6EXZG

    Now that I’ve poked my IBEW brothers and had a little fun. Arc flash is no joke. During an arc fault event, copper expands 60,000 times its original volume. More energy than dynamite. Not only is the air burning, it’s also now conducive. Those of us in electrical trades aren’t trying to simply protect our jobs, mistakes electrically are no joke. Like kill you and burn down your house no joke.
     
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  30. Spanz

    Spanz NES Member

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    yeah i use those wihas too. get them at you-do-it electronics
     

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