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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a pushmatic main box in my house, and I have never worked with one before. The past ownwer just left the wires straight and screwed them down. I assume I should loop the wires over the screws to make it more secure. I would appreciate any tips regarding this style of circuit panel. Thank you in advance to all who help.
 

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Got a picture?
I've never seen a circut breaker where a wire was wrapped around a screw.
An outlet or switch yes, breaker no.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is hard to see, but those wires are just pinched behind the screws. I am thinking I should loop them around there. Yes I know the whites are going to the power and the balck is going to the ground. I have already gone over that in another thread. I will be spending a day sorting that out. I just want advice on proper attachment to the screws in the main panel.
 

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If you had to ask the question, you shouldn't be in the box. Particularly a pushmatic box.

You also have much bigger wiring problems to resolve. Somebody hacked the electrical to "fix" the power on white problem. You don't know what he did. Just swapping colors is a dangerous way to proceed.

Hire a pro before you burn the place down or hurt yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
An electrician will not do anything different from what I will do. I intend to go room by room and trace the wires from fixture to switch and each outlet. It is a bit of work, but I do not see that it is terribly complicated. Once the outlets and lights are wired correctly I will make sure the wires in the box have black going to power and white to neutral.
I am the one looking at this in the house. The wiring is not “hacked,” “messed up,” “rigged” or any other euphemism for a terrible condition. The wiring in this house works and it has for some time. Some of the outlets show reverse polarity because the person who wired some of the things probably assumed the box was wired right. I AM doing this the right way on MY OWN. This is a DIY forum right?

However, I have never worked with a Pushmatic box. I am simply wondering how the wires are usually attached. If no one wants to answer my question I am sure I will figure it out on my own. Thank you to anyone willing to help.
 

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If you had to ask the question, you shouldn't be in the box. Particularly a pushmatic box.

You also have much bigger wiring problems to resolve. Somebody hacked the electrical to "fix" the power on white problem. You don't know what he did. Just swapping colors is a dangerous way to proceed.

Hire a pro before you burn the place down or hurt yourself.
"If you had to ask the question, you shouldn't be in the box. Particularly a pushmatic box."

Why do you say "Particularly a pushmatic box."?
 

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The wires should be at the top of the screw not the bottom on the left side as they appear in the picture and the opposite way on the right side. If they are not there is a tendency to push the wire out when the screw turns clock ways No need to curl it around. I had a house with pushmatic breakers and they are different in the 220 are across instead of the next one up or down. Pushmatic was pretty prevalent in Chicago.
 

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Why do you say "Particularly a pushmatic box."?
Many of the pushmatic panels are a split bus design. They often do not have a single disconnect or breaker that kills the entire bus. So, you can have a lot more exposure to things that are still energized in the panel.

For someone that thinks all panels are the same or has limited electrical knowledge, it can lead to accidents. With electricity, trial and error is not a good way to learn.
 

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Many of the pushmatic panels are a split bus design. They often do not have a single disconnect or breaker that kills the entire bus. So, you can have a lot more exposure to things that are still energized in the panel.

For someone that thinks all panels are the same or has limited electrical knowledge, it can lead to accidents. With electricity, trial and error is not a good way to learn.

Ok got ya!:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have done two rooms and it is going quite well. First I find where the hot (white wire) is coming in and when I disconnect that I see what else has no power. The layout is pretty basic in that each circuit governs just one room. I then wire the outlets and the light switch correctly so that the black wire will be hot. I went into the attic and there are no junction boxes up there. Next I go to the panel and switch it from the opposite of the picture.

I have been hooking the wires around the screw since it does not appear they fit behind the screws as they do with usual circuit breaker switches that I am used to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I finished this and everything works fine. I t was time consuming because I had to unscrew every outlet and switch, but I do not understand why so many thought this was a job for a pro. Actually most of the switches already had the black wire attached and when I switched the wires at the box this made them “right.” Most of the outlets had the polarity reversed except the GFCI. The only thing I nearly missed is to re wire the kitchen hood fan and light, but I caught that in time.
 

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I had pushmatic boxes in a building once, my electrician told me that they should be replaced at the earliest possible time. Something about the breakers have a tendency not to trip when they should. He came close to saying that they were very dangerous. That was an opinion of his though and I'm just repreating what he said.
 

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My father also has a pushmatic 200 amp serive I told him he must replace because I too heard alot of bad things about them, not to mention hes got that box maxed out by far. He went and bought a Siemens panel. His panel (like mine was) did not have much written on the door as to what each circuit runs so I told him to do the breaker game as to flip off all breakers and one by one turn each on and write down what each one powers exactly. The problem with his box though is that its not really long (i think 7" shorter than the Siemens so he will need wire nut mostly all the circuits in the new panel to make them longer. When I had my neighbor electrician pull out my Bryant and install a genetator ready Reliance panel it took him alittle over 5 hours and I payed him $150. He said he would do my fathers panel as well but thats alittle more in depth.
 

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I haven't heard anything bad about Pushmatic panels, and have never suggested to a customer to replace one based solely on the name.
 

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I finished this and everything works fine. I t was time consuming because I had to unscrew every outlet and switch, but I do not understand why so many thought this was a job for a pro. Actually most of the switches already had the black wire attached and when I switched the wires at the box this made them “right.” Most of the outlets had the polarity reversed except the GFCI. The only thing I nearly missed is to re wire the kitchen hood fan and light, but I caught that in time.
Glad everything went well. When just seeing a picture an older panel with some obvious wiring problems, and not knowing the electrical layout and other issues that may be present in the house, it can turn into a real mess. That is why so many were recommending an electrician to come in. Glad everything worked out though :yes:
 
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