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neo95hl 03-30-2011 02:27 PM

Need help identifying breaker switch type
Hey guys, my mother has an old house built in 1946. There is a breaker in the sub panel that trips anytime you plug in an appliance such as a refrigerator or microwave. If you use an outlet on another breaker they dont trip. I assume the breaker is bad and needs to be replaced. The problem is that when I remove the cover plate, the breakers appear to be paired together with 2 breakers on one module. I wanted to see if anyone knows what Im looking at here. Does the whole panel need to be upgraded or can we swap out one breaker? And if we can, is it going to be hard to find such old parts? Thanks alot!

Heres a couple pics I found online along with a brief post from someone else with a very similar setup:


This is a sub panel in my mom's house. It is not the infamous stab lock type. It dates back to the early '50's when the house was built and inspected (note the bonding screw even though it's a subpanel) The main cable is an old style BX without a ground wire, so its resistance back to the service equipment may be too high to take a fault current at 50 amps. Thus I hesitate to remove that screw.

Never saw anywhere else 3 breakers as a single unit not intended for 3 phase service. They work well, once I was using an electric lawn mower outside, and my mom decided to have toast, both on the same 15 amp circuit. The breaker kicked out after a half minute, as I understand it, as designed.

Is it still code to connect a pair of main cables (one of which feeds another subpanel) like this? The inspector okayed it back in the '50's. I'm not inclined to mess with anything in this panel. I suppose it is grandfathered.

- wa2ise

gregzoll 03-30-2011 05:19 PM

It trips, because the circuit has too much load on it. As for your question, what does the faceplate on the panel state in the first picture you posted? If she can afford to switch it out to a newer panel, along with meter base outside, and upgrade the wiring, it really depends on how deep her pocketbook is.

frenchelectrican 03-30-2011 07:58 PM

I think I have see that before however I don't think they make that verison of breaker due there were few manufacters did share the same design in that era but it look like XO series but not sure.

I will suggest that you may want start thinking to get a new load centré anytime soon.

Ya got your money worth on the old load centré.


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