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Old 08-07-2011, 02:35 PM   #1
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Is it possible to change Circuit breaker to Buss fuse socket type?


Greetings:

I live in a complex apartment. My electrical panel at the main counter in the basement used to be a Buss fuse 30A time delay type and there is also a Buss type panel of 20 and 15A in my apartment. I am running a plasma TV + Receiver, 2 AC (8000 & 6000 BTU), 3 Tower fan , Desktop PC, Light. The consumption is respectively 6.3A, 7A, 5,5A, .6A X3, 2A, .3A and measured by Kill a watt P4400 Model. I turn off the 6000 BTU when using the Microwave 12A. In the summer time, the fuse blows couple of time every now and then. So I was mentioned the situation to the super intendant. He called an electrician and change all the panels to circuit breaker type of 30A at the main panel, 20 and 15A at the secondary panel. Since then, I am unable to use all my equipment as before. The cutting point of the 30A circuit breaker seems to be around 20.6A or so. So I have to turn off the PC and one of the fan to avoid the circuit breaker trip. As soon as I turn on the 3rd fan, the circuit breaker trip. And to use the microwave I have to turn off both AC.
I've call the building manager many time to fix the problem to no avail. He said that I have too much electronic / electrical device in my home but can't explain why I can't use the same load as before.

Can someone please explain:

- With the same rating, how can a fuse type handle the load and not the circuit breaker?
- Why the circuit breaker trip well below the 30A rating?
- Is there other circuit breaker (brand & model) that can handle similar load as the Buss fuse?
- Since the manager play the deaf ear, can I replace the circuit breaker back to a Buss fuse socket type? If so, where can I find such socket?
- If I can't replace the circuit breaker, can I call either an electrician or the electricity company technician to do it?
- I saw other electrical panel adjacent to mine and they seems to have twice as thick circuit breaker. Will I solve my problem if I mount the same type?

Any advice to resolve my dilemma would be greatly appreciated.

Here is a picture of my current main electrical panel.

Last edited by njchen24; 08-07-2011 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:06 PM   #2
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Is it possible to change Circuit breaker to Buss fuse socket type?


Sorry about your situation. Sounds as if your electrical system is inadequate. You can NOT do anything to the system on your own. Perhaps there is a tenant advocacy group in your area to help you deal with the landlord.
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:13 PM   #3
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Is it possible to change Circuit breaker to Buss fuse socket type?


I'd strongly encourage you to work with the super, not try to go behind him. Ask him to have the breakers checked. They can be defective. For your questions, you won't like this:

Can someone please explain:

- With the same rating, how can a fuse type handle the load and not the circuit breaker? It shouldn't. Breakers can be defective however and there is some variation in both breakers and fuses.
- Why the circuit breaker trip well below the 30A rating? See above.
- Is there other circuit breaker (brand & model) that can handle similar load as the Buss fuse? It depends upon what breaker panel has been installed.
- Since the manager play the deaf ear, can I replace the circuit breaker back to a Buss fuse socket type? If so, where can I find such socket? Not likely. I doubt you'd get permission in the first place and it's highly unlikely you'd ever get this permitted.
- If I can't replace the circuit breaker, can I call either an electrician or the electricity company technician to do it? Talk to management, it is their building, not yours.

Hope it helps.
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:25 PM   #4
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Is it possible to change Circuit breaker to Buss fuse socket type?


Thank you all for your advice and help.

I will try to fax the management my load list and will request a breaker check.
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:29 PM   #5
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Is it possible to change Circuit breaker to Buss fuse socket type?


I think that's a great idea.

You may also ask them about increasing the service to your unit. 30 amp, even in the best of situations is marginal when you're running two air conditioners. You haven't even mentioned a refrigerator or any other appliance.

Good luck.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:21 PM   #6
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Is it possible to change Circuit breaker to Buss fuse socket type?


Does anyone know if there is a device that can measure the actual load at the main panel? I would like to know if the calculation is correct so I can send proof to the building management to back up my case.

Yes I forgot to mention that there is also a refrigerator.

Can someone please explain why the main panel circuit breaker always tripped and never the one in the apartment?
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:36 PM   #7
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Is it possible to change Circuit breaker to Buss fuse socket type?


Quote:
Originally Posted by njchen24 View Post
Does anyone know if there is a device that can measure the actual load at the main panel?
Yes, an inductive or "clamp-on" ammeter.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:32 PM   #8
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Is it possible to change Circuit breaker to Buss fuse socket type?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AandPDan View Post
You may also ask them about increasing the service to your unit. 30 amp, even in the best of situations is marginal when you're running two air conditioners.
If this circuit is for general receptacles then a 30A circuit is non-compliant and can be dangerous.





Who out in that 30A breaker in the first place???
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:27 PM   #9
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Is it possible to change Circuit breaker to Buss fuse socket type?


It sounds like he has a 30 amp feed breaker for a subpanel. The subpanel has a 15 and 20 amp breaker in.
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