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Old 06-30-2008, 12:17 PM   #1
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inserting a new breaker while the panel is hot


is it safe to insert a breaker in a slot while not switching the panel off but the breaker itself is off ?

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Old 06-30-2008, 12:44 PM   #2
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inserting a new breaker while the panel is hot


That is how I do it all the time.

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Old 06-30-2008, 01:01 PM   #3
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inserting a new breaker while the panel is hot


thank you sir.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:08 PM   #4
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inserting a new breaker while the panel is hot


Not necessarily safe, but it is common practice. If done correctly there is basically no hazard. It is just safer for people that don't work as electricians every day to work in a panel with the main shut off. Just be careful not to touch the bus bar and be sure that the breaker is off when you roll it in.

Last edited by Termite; 06-30-2008 at 09:20 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:01 PM   #5
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inserting a new breaker while the panel is hot


Depends on who is asking the question.

A DIY with little knowledge of electricity i would say turn the breaker off and play it safe. One slip of your hand and you will be touching the bus bar.

A seasoned professional electrician, absoulety it is safe. Just like my fellow canadian i do it all the time as well.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:50 PM   #6
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inserting a new breaker while the panel is hot


yeah, the canadians are so superb ! south of the border, we need to pay closer attention.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:56 PM   #7
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inserting a new breaker while the panel is hot


Quote:
Originally Posted by amakarevic View Post
yeah, the canadians are so superb ! south of the border, we need to pay closer attention.
About time one of you admit it, now just to get the other 300 million on board
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:11 PM   #8
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inserting a new breaker while the panel is hot


yeah man, as soon as i start getting older and sicker, i'll be making my way up north.
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:59 AM   #9
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inserting a new breaker while the panel is hot


I think it should be noted that there really is no reason to work in a panel that does'nt have the main deenergized. That said it is a common practice for 'roll in' type breakers to be installed with the main energized, however not all house panels have 'roll in' type breakers. Case in point... pushmatics of older vintage are bolt in...not one you would want to install with the panel energized.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:44 PM   #10
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inserting a new breaker while the panel is hot


or in some zinsco panels you need to pull the meter since there is no main, and you can't get some of them out hot

but if we are talking a new cutler hammer of a seimens. don't worry about it, just be aware of what your doing
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:21 AM   #11
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inserting a new breaker while the panel is hot


For a modern panel, I don't think it's installing the breaker itself that is the issue. The real problem is bringing in the new cable, with it's exposed ground conductor. If that ground gets across the hot bus, and also touching the ground bus, you will have a very spectacular display of arc welding. The copper will melt, and fly all over the place.
If you are going to work live, I highly recommend wearing face (at least eye) protection.

I have done it both ways, and have gone back to working with the mains shut off.

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Old 07-03-2008, 11:09 AM   #12
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inserting a new breaker while the panel is hot


I also don't think thats a big deal. Just don't strip your romex until after its in the panel and just be aware of what your doing.

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