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rdmd5634 11-30-2007 06:12 PM

on a 200 amp main supply breaker, can i just clean the corrosion or do i have to install a new breaker? (after i have the elec co cut power of course ) thanks

goose134 11-30-2007 06:20 PM

Pictures would help. If the breaker is corroded, it is probably better to replace it. If, however, it is surface gunk, you may be able to clean it. Better to err on the side of caution, though. Also, you may want to address why it corroded in the first place.

rdmd5634 11-30-2007 06:24 PM

ok, thanks goose i`ll leave it to a professional do you know a ballpark figure for having an electrician install a new one?

Andy in ATL 11-30-2007 09:08 PM

Ball park figures are tough. Not knowing the type of breaker or my cost on it...If I was coming to install a breaker you provided I would charge $225 for the labor if you were within twenty minutes from me And there were no delays having the POCO pull the meter. POCO delays are the bain of my existence.


goose134 11-30-2007 10:39 PM

I think Andy is right. Too many x-factors to give an accurate estimate. But I'm sure you can find someone to do this right. Are you twenty minutes from Andy?:whistling2:

frenchelectrican 12-01-2007 12:48 AM

it can be possible to clean it but there is too much factors to see because we dont know what brand breaker you have and if you have water leak and get inside the breaker mechaisem it can gunk up and cause the breaker to fail to open when something is shorted out or overloaded.

I allready see few of that so far i know at 2 main breaker did not even open at all found some pretty serious corrosion in there.

if you have rather pretty common breaker box like SqD , C-H , G.E. those three most common one i know you can find find the main breaker but cost wise i just cant say because there are few diffrent style etc.

But if you have Zinsco or FPE there just stop and just get the electrician on the horn and they will take care of it in proper way.

Merci, Marc

elkangorito 12-02-2007 03:58 AM

Another question, which could be asked, is why is the device experiencing corrosion?

With circuit breakers, "tropic proofing" is available to inhibit the affect of humidity.

J. V. 12-02-2007 11:09 AM

Does the breaker lug (connection) look burned? Like it got hot? Is the service entrance cable aluminum? Do you feel comfortable working on a possible fix? If so follow these instructions.

1) Remove power. If you have a disconnect you do not have to pull the meter. Turn off the disconnect (lock it out if possible)and make certain the power is completley off. If you have no disconnect you need the power company to pull the meter?
This is where you could be without power for some time, as I doubt they are going to wait until you are done.
Now, I am not telling you to do this, but this is what I would do.
Turn off the main breaker at the main service panel. Kill the whole house! Then cut off the tag on the meter and pull it out. Now, you can be certain the power is off.

2) Losen the wires with a screw driver or allen head. Pull them out off the breaker.

3) Remove the screws holding the breaker in place and remove the breaker. They are recessed, you may not be able to see them. Look in the hole with a flashlight and see if they are phillips head or flat head screws.

4) Test that all the lug bolts (where the wire goes in) and make sure they will losen and tighen easily. If they are stuck you can use some lubricant to free them up. Just a drop or two. Do not get any lube inside the breaker. If the lugs are stripped or look burned, get the specs from the side of the breaker and locate the breaker on internet or electric supply (Home Depot)? A new one. Take breaker with you.

5) Clean wires with sand paper, blow off residue (sand particles). If there is enough wire cut off the bad section, just enough to get some clean wire. Strip the end and replace in the breaker. If it is aluminum wire, you should get an aluminum protect paste (NOLOX) or similar. Rub this into the wire real good and put some in the breaker lug before you put the wires back. You can use some of the aluminum protectant on the threads of the lugs.

6) Tighten lug bolts very securely.

7) If lug will not tighten and is stripped the breaker cannot be saved. You must get a new one.

8) With main breaker still off replace meter and cover.

9) Turn main breaker back on.

Call power company and tell them you had to pull the meter as you were concerned for fire. That they are welcome to come inside and see your work.

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