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Spraiski 11-26-2006 11:41 PM

Replacement of breaker
I have a breaker that has gone bad and needs to be replaced. It is a Cutler Hammer DNPL151515, and I believe it is a snap in type breaker.

I live in an apartment style condo, and I have a seperate breaker panel within my apartment, but there isn't a main shutoff breaker on my panel (there is one elsewhere in the building, but I do not have access to it).

Can I just turn off all of the breakers on my panel and swap out the defective breaker?


mdshunk 11-27-2006 06:02 AM

What causes you to think that this breaker has gone bad? I have never, ever, run across a quad breaker that has failed. Not to say that yours has not, but it would be extremely rare.

Mike Swearingen 11-27-2006 06:03 AM

STOP! You'll electrocutre yourself. I'm not a pro electrician, but NO! The panel will still be HOT. Turning off individual circuit breakers will only turn off those circuits from the panel out, not any HOT wiring within the panel.
Even when you can turn off a Main Breaker in a panel, the legs coming from the meter above the Main Breaker are still HOT.
You must turn that bad breaker OFF to exchange the hot wire from the old breaker to switch it to the new one.
Are you sure that it's that circuit breaker that's faulty?
Are you sure that there is no disconnect main breaker in it that turns off that panel?
Maybe one of the pros can help you with that particular type of panel.
Good Luck!

Spraiski 11-27-2006 01:13 PM

I believe that the breaker is bad because it will not go to the on position. It does not 'click' into the on position like the other breakers.

If I plug a simple lamp or fan into the outlets and flip the breaker to the on side, they do not turn on.

Only 1 of the four switches on the quad breaker does this - the centre two that are tied together and the outer one on the far side all appear to be working normally. I was under the impression that to fix that single breaker I had to replace the quad unit due to the centre two that are tied together.

There are two outlets on this circuit, and nothing else. With the breaker off, I have checked for continuity between the hot (the smaller one) and neutral (the larger one) prongs of one of the outlets, and there is none. I have also checked for continuity between the hot and ground prongs, and there is none.

There is continuity between the neutral prong and the ground, which I also understand to be correct.

Does this seem to be a professional only problem?


jbfan 11-27-2006 02:24 PM

Are you sure you are turning the breaker completely off before trying to turn it on?
Do you rent this place or do you own it. It renting, most places will not let you do your own work.

eric s 11-27-2006 07:33 PM

There usually is a master switch which will shut off the entire panel if yours does not have one then you will have to find the switch that does and switch it to off. Lock it off or tag it to make sure no one switches it on while you work.

Test the breaker in question to verify that it's off and snapping the new one in will be easy.

Sometimes the breaker tripping is a sign that something is wrong with the circuit so don't be too fast to assume that breaker is dead. You stated that there is no continuity when breaker is off...there should not be any it's off. If it's switched to on and you get no continuity then it's defective.

Are you finding that when you try to turn it back on that it temporarily is on but quickly goes back off? This would indicate problem with circuit.

Have you tried taking all of the loads out of the recepticals and then turning the breaker back on?

Has there been a recent addition to the circuit in question as in are you plugging something new into it?

If you are renting please do have the owner hire an Electrician to do the work...In that case it is completely their responsibility.

Hope this helps. Good Luck.

joed 11-27-2006 08:45 PM


Originally Posted by jbfan (Post 24966)
Are you sure you are turning the breaker completely off before trying to turn it on?
Do you rent this place or do you own it. It renting, most places will not let you do your own work.

Yes be sure you switch it to OFF before trying to turn it on. Switching to OFF resets it.
It could also be that there is a fault on the line that is causing the breaker to trip. Uplug everything from the dead circuit.

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