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Old 07-27-2009, 08:29 PM   #1
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reusing breakers


When I replace my old Murray panel, I planned to put the old breakers in the new panel provided they fit. There are only a few different brand panels I would be looking at: Siemens, Murray, Cutler-Hammer, maybe SquareD. What kind of compatibility is there between different brand breakers?

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Old 07-28-2009, 06:49 AM   #2
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reusing breakers


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When I replace my old Murray panel, I planned to put the old breakers in the new panel provided they fit. There are only a few different brand panels I would be looking at: Siemens, Murray, Cutler-Hammer, maybe SquareD. What kind of compatibility is there between different brand breakers?
Why reuse breakers, the cost of new breakers is minimal. (single pole $5, double pole $10) (Admittedly AFCI and GFCI breakers are more but seldom found in old panel) I would want the protection that a new breaker offers instead of trusting a breaker that has been in use for who knows how long.

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Old 07-28-2009, 06:57 AM   #3
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reusing breakers


Assuming you are not required to upgrade your breakers to AFCIs, I would say that you might as well use new standard breakers. For one, as has already been pointed out, they don't cost that much, and there is no compatibility between brands. They may fit, but they aren't listed for such use. The Murray and the Siemens are the exception. They are identical in every respect except the name. I'm pretty sure they are made on the same assembly line.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:56 AM   #4
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reusing breakers


The panel & breakers I am replacing is only a few years old.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:59 AM   #5
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The panel & breakers I am replacing is only a few years old.
Then why are you replacing it?
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:37 AM   #6
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reusing breakers


Are you upgrading from like 100a to 200a?
I stick with the same Mfg for an upgrade so I can re-use breakers (if newer)

If the reason for the panel replacement is water intrusion verify the breakers have not been damaged
One panel I saw some breakers were rusted so bad they would not trip
So better to trash them if any doubt
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:06 AM   #7
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reusing breakers


I always reuse breakers. Unless I have to buy new ones. And only if the new panel and the old panel use the exact same breakers. Exact.
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:57 PM   #8
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reusing breakers


Use'em! You should find one brand that will work, only one will remember! Don't mind the electricians telling ya to waste your money on "NEW" breakers! Heck they sure as heck don't test and reset the breakers in their own homes on a monthly basis and I'm positive they don't run to the store buying new breakers every time they're wiring their own house! Sorry "Sparkles"!!! The man just asked a simple electrical question ......
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:45 PM   #9
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Use'em! You should find one brand that will work, only one will remember! Don't mind the electricians telling ya to waste your money on "NEW" breakers! Heck they sure as heck don't test and reset the breakers in their own homes on a monthly basis and I'm positive they don't run to the store buying new breakers every time they're wiring their own house! Sorry "Sparkles"!!! The man just asked a simple electrical question ......
While some of that is true, when I give advice I give the best I can that covers my butt. Will an old breaker work? Probably. But if it doesn't, and it fails in a way that causes someone to lose their home or their life, I don't want that on my head.

In my opinion, if you are already spending the money on a new service and load center, what's $80-$100 more for a little peace of mind?
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:52 PM   #10
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Sorry "Sparkles"!!! ......
I just want to know who this "Sparkles" is
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:09 PM   #11
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reusing breakers


Breakers are under 4 bucks a pole.

Seems like cheap insurance to me.




Murray/Siemans are the same thing but a hard nosed inspector may have a different opinion.
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:15 AM   #12
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reusing breakers


Change them! And also reterminate the wire by cutting them back an inch.
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:04 PM   #13
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reusing breakers


How much would you pay to avoid going to court as a defendant and having to justify reusing breakers which conditions are indeterminate and that caused the loss of property or life?

I'd pay $100, or $1000, and maybe even $10k. There are lawyers who live just to crucify people like you.

Even if you somehow tested the breakers, I wouldn't reuse them unless it is only your own life and your own property at risk, and you can't really know this in advance.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-29-2009 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:03 PM   #14
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reusing breakers


I wouldnt reuse them unless I knew they were only a few years old and were not damaged by water or extreme heat. If I was to re-use them, I would use the same manufacture for the new panel.

If I had no idea how old they were or if they were older than five years, I personally would drop kick them and buy new.

Like was said before, I'd rather spend $100 or even $500 to insure I had gone the extra mile for the safety of my house.

For example, it was not required of me to put AFCI breakers in when I did my service upgrade, but I went ahead and did it anyways as I felt it was cheap insurance.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:47 PM   #15
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reusing breakers


The new breaker is a known quantity. A used breaker, particularly if it has either tripped often nin the past year or is loaded past 80% of rated amperage, simply isn't. If reliability is of any concern whatsoever to you, use new breakers.

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