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Old 04-10-2008, 11:26 PM   #1
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Help: Breaker won't fully seat


I'm installing a bunch of new circuits as part of finishing my basement and one breaker won't fully seat. I have a Siemens 200A panel. It appears that there is some sort of plastic pin that is holding the bus in place that is interfering with the breaker being fully inserted. Any advice? I've considered trying to clip it off or melting it to make room, but it may be there for a reason . I could move a bunch of breakers around to use another free slot but that will be alot of work that I hope I can avoid.

Also, I've already cut to fit and installed the ground and neutral wires. Any risk in leaving those attached while the hot is not attached to anything (capped). The other end of the NM is fully capped (normally I wouldn't worry but haven't done much panel work and the rules may be different inside the box).

David

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Old 04-11-2008, 06:36 AM   #2
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Help: Breaker won't fully seat


The proper breaker will fit right in the box no problem. Is this a Siemens breaker?

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Old 04-11-2008, 07:52 AM   #3
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Help: Breaker won't fully seat


Are you trying to install a tandem breaker? There are only certain spots where these will fit in a panel.
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:01 AM   #4
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Help: Breaker won't fully seat


Speedy Petey - Thanks for responding. Yes, it is a Siemens breaker.

Maybe a picture will help:


The left bus has three holes in it, but the top hole has the black pin I am having trouble with.

When I get home tonight I will swap the breaker that won't fit with one that I already installed to confirm that the breakers are OK. I guess I should also look under the 40A breaker on the right to see if there is a pin there too.

On a related note, how are the buses usually attached to the panel? I imagine breaking the black pin off and can almost hear the clang of the bus hitting the concrete floor .

David
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:03 AM   #5
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Help: Breaker won't fully seat


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Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
Are you trying to install a tandem breaker? There are only certain spots where these will fit in a panel.
Nope, just a plain old 20A.
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:26 PM   #6
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Help: Breaker won't fully seat


If I remember correctly, there are certain panels that wont accept a breaker in the #1 spot. Not sure why. Check the instructions.
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:57 PM   #7
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Help: Breaker won't fully seat


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gencon View Post
If I remember correctly, there are certain panels that wont accept a breaker in the #1 spot. Not sure why.
I've never heard that.

That breaker should fit fine. Are you pushing in firmly on it?
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:51 PM   #8
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Help: Breaker won't fully seat


I agree with Petey, the breaker should fit just fine in that space. Do pull the 40 amp across from this space and take a look. Maybe the mounting stud is not positioned correctly or was not set correctly. Let us know what you find.
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Old 04-11-2008, 03:29 PM   #9
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Help: Breaker won't fully seat


The hole looks blocked. Could a damaged breaker have left a piece of itself behind in the hole?

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Old 04-11-2008, 08:29 PM   #10
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Help: Breaker won't fully seat


I think it is the plastic insulated peive behind the bus. It gas little nipples on it that the bus clips into to hold it in place.

I'm thinking there is a little too much plastic sticking out.

Pull the other breakers and see how the other holes/pins look. Probably just have to trim it down a bit.

Make sure it's off
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:33 PM   #11
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Help: Breaker won't fully seat


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
Are you pushing in firmly on it?
Yes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrclen
Do pull the 40 amp across from this space and take a look. Maybe the mounting stud is not positioned correctly or was not set correctly. Let us know what you find.
Will do. What is the mounting stud and how should it look? I'll take another pic when I have it out.

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Originally Posted by joed View Post
The hole looks blocked. Could a damaged breaker have left a piece of itself behind in the hole?
That blockage is the plastic pin I was describing. It looks like it is supporting the bus in the panel. An original blank was always covering it so I doubt anything was in that spot.

I'll report back with more info and pics later.

-David
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:37 PM   #12
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Help: Breaker won't fully seat


Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
I think it is the plastic insulated peive behind the bus. It gas little nipples on it that the bus clips into to hold it in place.

I'm thinking there is a little too much plastic sticking out.

Pull the other breakers and see how the other holes/pins look. Probably just have to trim it down a bit.

Make sure it's off
That is what I was thinking but I wasn't going to do anything without checking with you guys . I'm not in a hurry (drywall going up tomorrow) so I'll see what I can see before doing anything.
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:41 PM   #13
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Help: Breaker won't fully seat


The piece didn't come out of the injection mold cleanly. It will be obvious when you remove the breakers and see how the bus is clipped on to the plastic back piece.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:39 PM   #14
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Help: Breaker won't fully seat


I was finally able to work on this last night and the problem is solved.

I purchased extra breakers over the weekend "just in case". When I took a closer look at the black pin it didn't look abnormal, and it looked as though there was clearance to allow a breaker to properly seat. I thought I would try the new breaker and it went straight in - like a hot knife through butter - so I guess it was the first breaker. I thought about continuing to trouble shoot by moving breakers around but I don't want to touch it now that it is seated. I did examine both breakers closely and couldn't notice any differences between the two besides a slight (very slight) alignment of the metal where the breaker grips the bus.

Thanks everyone who offered their thoughts. It was great having all of your help with this.

David
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:10 AM   #15
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Help: Breaker won't fully seat


I'm glad it all worked out for you. Thanks for letting us know what the problem was.

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