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theracoat 07-19-2012 12:45 PM

Will a circuit breaker always cut off if there is overcurrent to it
I recently got a bunch of high amp circuit breakers from someone and am planning on selling them, but I am a little worried about the liability. If a circuit breaker works in the sense that it can draw power, is it safe to assume that it would shut off if there is overcurrent to it?

k_buz 07-19-2012 12:58 PM


mpoulton 07-19-2012 01:10 PM

A quick web search on Federal Pacific (FPE) panels will show the potential problem. Here's a video of another old brand of breaker not functioning:

rjniles 07-19-2012 02:07 PM

If they are new I woild sell "as is". If used I would not.

jbfan 07-19-2012 02:36 PM

The theroy says it should, but the reality is, used breakers should be dumped unelss you have the equipment to test and certify them.

Yoyizit 07-19-2012 03:03 PM

[A sample of] new breakers are tested at the factory for 10,000 tries.
You could test your breakers 100 times and still not be sure they will work on the 101st try.

BTW, consecutive successes with no failure is "right censored data", so to do the reliability calcs I guess they assume it would have failed on the 10,000 plus 1 try.

But, how often will a house breaker be called upon to trip?
This is the "mission length"; how reliable is a breaker that fails in less than 10,000 attempts when it only needs to work on 1 or 10 or 30 overloads?

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