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Old 03-06-2011, 01:30 PM   #1
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Main Breaker Melting


Just thought I would share something interesting that happened yesterday.

We have been having some light flickering issues lately and then yesterday all the lights browned out really badly and didn't go back up.

I went to look at the breaker panel and I could hear something hissing/crackling inside. I assumed a wire had come loose and was arcing or something... regardless of what it was, I knew it was bad.

I flipped the main and called an electrician who came and replaced the panel due to the fact that the main breaker was totally melted and one of the main hot wires coming in was all burnt up.

It was obvious that we were seconds away from having an electrical fire on our hands, so I'm really glad we were home when it happened.

He figures it was a faulty breaker, but we aren't totally sure.


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Old 03-06-2011, 01:34 PM   #2
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Glad to hear you caught it in time.

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Old 03-06-2011, 01:40 PM   #3
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Glad you and yours were safe.

Did you save the remnants? I want to see a pic.
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:48 PM   #4
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Glad you and yours were safe.

Did you save the remnants? I want to see a pic.

Didn't even think about taking a picture until you mentioned it and now I really wish I had. The electrician took it away with him.
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Old 03-06-2011, 05:06 PM   #5
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Main Breaker Melting


I've seen a lot of strange things---but that's a new one!
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Old 03-06-2011, 05:33 PM   #6
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Didn't even think about taking a picture until you mentioned it and now I really wish I had. The electrician took it away with him.
I try to take pics or keepsakes of those big dollar catastrophes.

For example: I'll ask the shop that's going to replace my car's engine next week to save me a piston.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:45 AM   #7
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Main Breaker Melting


I have see few main breaker fail like that from time to time it don't matter which side of pond I have see it and some are not really pretty sight to see at all.

I just have one replaced yesterday due the 415 volts 360 amp breaker actaually exploded due someone drop a screwdriver across the bussbar that whole panel have to be replaced sum of 3200 Euros.

For the North Americiané side typically I have see it on Zinsco more often than other brands but it will affect other brands as well.

Most common cuprit is improper toqureing on the main lugs { this part will have to be done by electrician for safety reason }

Merci.
Marc
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:50 AM   #8
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About 20 years ago, I was at a customer's facility, for initial startup of a new piece of equipment that we had sold and installed. The electricians had been and gone, so we were set to go. But when the owner of the facility we were working in went to switch on a 460 volt three phase fused disconnect at the power distribution panel, it sounded like a 12 gauge shotgun going off inside the building. When I looked, the owner was running backwards from the panel, surrounded by sparks flying in every direction. Fortunately, nobody was injured, but the lever and rod that actually made the switch had broken loose from the box, and had, of couse, made a dead short.
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:50 PM   #9
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Main Breaker Melting


Wow scary! This is what I hate about working full time, 80% of time is spent not at home or sleeping (equivalent to not being there, really). If something like this is going to happen chances are I wont be able to stop it.

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