Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-24-2009, 01:07 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 13
Rewards Points: 0
Share |
Default

Replacing a circuit breaker


Hey,

Is it safe to replace a circuit breaker (inside a circuit box inside our condo) if I follow the following steps.

1. Turn off all of the circuit breakers.
2. Turn off the main circuit breaker (inside).
3. Turn off the main breaker (outside box).
4. Test the wires going into the circuit breaker I want to remove for current.
5. Wear protective eye wear and gloves.
6. Remove the circuit breaker in question avoiding touching any electrical connection points or wires.
7. Replace new circuit breaker and reconnect wires.
8. Test.

The ones that I want to replace I have been told (by an inspector) that they can cause a fire (they are labeled red).

I have done my fair share of electrical work, but not replacing a circuit breaker except for seeing it done.

* I'm not an electrician.

T

tertius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2009, 01:14 PM   #2
Electrical Contractor
 
jbfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Newnan GA
Posts: 5,789
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Replacing a circuit breaker


So you have an FPE breaker panel.
Are you having trouble, or just afraid of what the inspector said?

__________________
Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years too late. "Jimmy Buffett"
jbfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2009, 01:43 PM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 13
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Replacing a circuit breaker


Yes FPE.

Nope, we haven't moved in yet. I'm not scared, just making 100% sure that it's safe and I'm not jumping into something dangerous and missing something.
tertius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2009, 03:11 PM   #4
Electrical Contractor
 
jbfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Newnan GA
Posts: 5,789
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Replacing a circuit breaker


Unless you are in Canada, just replacing one or two breakers is not worth it.
You need to consider having the entire panel replaced.
The whole panel and all the breakers are a problem, not just the red handle ones.
__________________
Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years too late. "Jimmy Buffett"
jbfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2009, 03:21 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 13
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Replacing a circuit breaker


I'm willing to go that far.

Can you explain why?

Thanks for the response so far
tertius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2009, 03:27 PM   #6
Electrical Contractor
 
jbfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Newnan GA
Posts: 5,789
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Replacing a circuit breaker


Here is a link that explains it better than I can.

http://www.inspect-ny.com/fpe/fpepanel.htm
__________________
Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years too late. "Jimmy Buffett"
jbfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2009, 03:43 PM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 13
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Replacing a circuit breaker


Thanks for the link, good to have more info on the specific hardware that I'll be buying as part of the condo.

You said that it's not worth replacing the red ones. Is it just too risky? Are the parts hard to get a hold of?

Also, if you'd be so kind, explain to me what the risk is with the red ones. (The inspector did only briefly).
tertius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2009, 03:59 PM   #8
Electrical Contractor
 
jbfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Newnan GA
Posts: 5,789
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Replacing a circuit breaker


I don't know any specific reason the red handles are more or less dangerous than other color handles.
What did the inspector say?
I have not dealt with too many FPE breakers.

Maybe this can be a bargaining tool for the purchase.
__________________
Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years too late. "Jimmy Buffett"
jbfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2009, 04:11 PM   #9
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 13
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Replacing a circuit breaker


He said there was a fire danger with overvoltage. I'm not sure the term he used was overvoltage.

The red ones don't have protection for it but the others do.

They are fine, not needing replacement. But essentially just a precaution.
tertius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2009, 08:17 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Snohomish, WA
Posts: 125
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Replacing a circuit breaker


The danger is due to these breakers not tripping when they should. In the event of a circuit failure such as a short, the can continue to feed power to a faulty circuit and you end up with a fire. They can also simply overheat and set themselves on fire.

I have first hand experience with an FPE breaker failure, and honestly came very close to loosing a house because of it. Had I not arrived on the scene and killed power to the box, there would have been a fire.

They are unsafe, and the entire panel should be replaced, especially in any kind of multi-family structure. I wouldn't ever even consider moving in to a condo if any of the units were using an FPE panel.

KAdams4458 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Heat pump circuit breaker pbms pinkertonpv HVAC 11 02-18-2009 09:47 AM
Wiring a single pole switch into a 220v circuit rlmorgan Electrical 38 10-15-2008 07:59 PM
circuit breaker problems nascarstewartfan2007 Electrical 4 09-09-2008 07:46 PM
Circuit breaker panel - Advice needed justtired Electrical 15 12-13-2007 05:55 AM
Replacing 15 amp breaker with 20? kcrossley2 Electrical 13 07-22-2007 04:29 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.