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Discussion Starter #1
The house is about 38yrs old, copper wiring and original panel, we've not not done anything construction or electricial wise in several years but earlier this week the main tripped and none of the others did, I reset it but it was really hot and smelled.
I've got an electrician coming monday and wanted to get a little info from the community before I meet with him.
If the main breaker needs to be replaced doed the elec company have to pull my meter and are permits needed?
And ideas on what the issue could be?

Thanks
 

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Your electrician will tell you whether or not he is willing to replace the breaker hot or not or if he will pull the meter himself. You can also work out with him whether or not he pulls a permit.

What were you doing when the main tripped? Anything more than usual?

Has it been hot since then?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Doing nothing, and yes its still hot and smells. We have nothing that would require a large amp draw thats whats so strange.
 

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So you just need a new main breaker. Hopefully a new main breaker is available for your panel.

Right now is when you can do the due diligence required to make sure that your electrician isn't needlessly up-selling you.
 

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Do you have electric heat? What breakers can you turn off to cool down that main breaker? If it has internal damage it may not cool down and you have a potentially dangerous situation. Will the POCO check it out now if you call the emergency number? This shouldn't be taken lightly!!
 

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Still hot/smells? I had a breaker go out at my last house, breaker was hot, strong electric/ozone smell, checked it out....connection to bus bar was loose apparently, and it was arcing and melted off around 1/4 of the breaker. Make sure it's not that
 

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So you just need a new main breaker. Hopefully a new main breaker is available for your panel.

Right now is when you can do the due diligence required to make sure that your electrician isn't needlessly up-selling you.
Don't count on just needing a new main breaker. It is almost certainly tripping due to high temperature, not an actual overload. The high temperature is caused by a loose connection, either inside the breaker or between the breaker and the bus or service conductors. If the service conductors don't show obvious signs of overheating, then the problem is probably either internal (bad contacts in the breaker - replace breaker) or between the breaker and busses. If it's a bus connection problem, the bus may be shot. They get oxidized and the threaded bolt holes get trashed, and they're never the same. If that's the case then you're looking at a panel change.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update: Electrician came out today and found the problem was a bad main breaker, It was over 200 degrees when he checked it.
Anyway, he ended up cutting the security tag Edision had installed on the meter so he could pull it, and apparently one tang on the panel where the breaker attaches was slightly damaged, it was filed flat and a new breaker installed.
No more smell and its no longer hot.....But, will anything happen since he cut the security tag?
 

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Update: Electrician came out today and found the problem was a bad main breaker, It was over 200 degrees when he checked it.
Anyway, he ended up cutting the security tag Edision had installed on the meter so he could pull it, and apparently one tang on the panel where the breaker attaches was slightly damaged, it was filed flat and a new breaker installed.
No more smell and its no longer hot.....But, will anything happen since he cut the security tag?
All POCOs are different.

Around here, if the meter reader notices a seal is missing, and there's no one around to explain it, a meter truck will show up, they'll remove the meter, test it and if it's ok, simply put another seal on it.

If we call the POCO, they'll want our name and company, and why we need to cut the seal, then they'll give the ok to cut the seal or send a troubleman out if one is in the area.

Replacing a main breaker doesn't require a permit around here.

Rob
 

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Glad you got it fixed. :thumbsup: If the POCO gives you any grief just tell them it was an emergency and show them your bill.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
He also replaced 2 other breakers that were on either side of the main due to signs of heat damage, final tally $650! fair deal or?
 

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Seems high. What type of panel is it?

Did he mention that you should really think about changing the panel? Filing the buss should really only be done as a temporary fix. Filing away the material may make the connection looser than it was.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No idea on the panel brand, but he used a Murray breaker. the filing was super minor so hope things will be good for awhile.
 

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He also replaced 2 other breakers that were on either side of the main due to signs of heat damage, final tally $650! fair deal or?
It's hard to put a price on emergency service and peace of mind....it's fixed. You really didn't have the luxury of shopping around....plus it's Sunday. No deals to be had on the weekend.:laughing:
 

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Update: Electrician came out today and found the problem was a bad main breaker, It was over 200 degrees when he checked it.
Anyway, he ended up cutting the security tag Edision had installed on the meter so he could pull it, and apparently one tang on the panel where the breaker attaches was slightly damaged, it was filed flat and a new breaker installed.
No more smell and its no longer hot.....But, will anything happen since he cut the security tag?
The tang which we call them bussbar tabs if the electrician did filed flat and new breaker installed which I know it can happend again in matter of time. How long ? that part I do not know only time will tell.

Normally I just replace the panel if the bussbar is comerisesd ( damaged ) by heat I have see some more serve damage from heat on bussbar.

For the POCO there are differnt regulations reguarding of meter seal and if the POCO catch ya break the seal they will have a fit with it.

So if the electrician did that so that person will have to deal with them plus some case the Homeowner is on the hook as well depending on the situation what the POCO do with it.

For the price you posted that part I can not really comment too much due there is pretty wide margin on price on that. ( I did double check that the electrician came out on sunday so therefore I know the overtime rate do allready kick in on that so it maybe about right but not confirmed on that part )

Merci,
Marc
 

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...the main for that spec is about $135+tax....plus the other breakers...some guys charge for killing power....(pulling meter)...this is dangerous as you can guess...lets hope it last....:thumbup:
 

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Around in my area we cut tags all the time and nobody bothers us but it really depends on the poco
 
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