Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker

 
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:48 PM   #1
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Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


I knew what the problem waas here before I left the shop.

Customer says:

1.Lots of flicker/diming issue lately.
2.Half the lights in the house were out.
3.Pool pump (240V) turned on and all the lights came on.
4.Main breaker is red...says 200 A on it.

I have done three of these in the past 6 weeks.

If you see this breaker, know that there will be problems. It is difficult to inspect because you obviously have to pull the meter, but you can't really tell till you do. As soon as I wiggled it I could hear the telltale crunching of a burned breaker/bus.

This one was from 1974

Bus wasn't burned too bad...a little pitting.

$302 invoice. Breaker cost $56 and I brought it with me.

I should go door to door in these neighborhoods and clean up $$

Home Depot stocks a Seimans replacement unit with side fed lugs.







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Old 03-24-2008, 05:52 PM   #2
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


It does seem to always be the one's with the offset lug design that fail like that, for some reason.

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Old 03-25-2008, 04:53 PM   #3
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


It is a good feeling to go on a call like this and when you wiggle that breaker and hear the crackle you know for sure you have the culprit.
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:47 PM   #4
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


NEVER wiggle them while they are energized BTW.


You might end up eating it.
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Old 03-26-2008, 04:07 PM   #5
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


NOTICE how murrays mains are bolton just in the last couple years .

They have had this problem with mains ever since I can remeber red and black ones , As far as that goes I have changed a lot of plug on breakers with inductive loads flourscent lites,hid lites & motors ite ,ge, and murray style but rarely ever Qo or ch plug on

If the bussbar is pitted tell the people they need an new panel no warranty on the repair you made

Plug on loadcenters should not be legal for commercial installations
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:36 AM   #6
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


I have never seen the red one, i have only done one black one several years ago and it had done a total melt down. It had actually caught fire between the time the owner called me and i got there. The panel was hotter than hell and the paint was burnt off the cover, i didnt dare get near it. I pulled the meter and had to replace the panel and service wire from the meter in to the panel. Some of the romex was charred so i cut them back, installed some juntion boxes and ran new wiring into the panel. It had to be just minutes away from catching the house on fire. I wish i had some pics. The owner said the lights had been flashing on and off for a week and that her electrician was on vacation so she was going to wait it out until he got back but called me when she started to smell something foul.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:47 PM   #7
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


I have a milbank meter with disconnect,are there any problems with those?
also has murray solved this issue
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Old 04-18-2008, 12:15 AM   #8
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


They solved it by not making them anymore

I did ANOTHER one last night. 7PM I get a call from a client. Sure enough it's a Murray main breaker from the 80's. This time it's black and a 150.

No problem, I am a pro at this and Home Depot actually stocks a Seimans that will replace it if the buss isn't burned. Pull it out and the bus is pristine but the breaker has a big burned out spot.

Home Depot is 5 miles away.....but none in stock. Another HD, another 5 miles. The guy says that they are changing their electrical stock and don't carry them anymore. The have a QO 400 amp though....wtf?

I get smart and start calling ither HD's and find an old guy who know what he's looking for. He says he sees one on the top shelf along with a bunch of crap they are sending away. I drive about 10 miles to this store and sure as schit, he has four of them @ $55. I took all of em.

A 1/2 hour repair turned into a 2 1/2 hour fiasco.

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Old 03-17-2009, 07:36 PM   #9
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


Could you give me the stk number homedepot uses for that replacement ,and is there modification to use it
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:08 AM   #10
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


Not to keep coming back to my experience as an industrial electrician, but I have seen many Bolt on breakers fail as well. Usually they fail internally like I stated in some other posts. I have seen very few actually fail at the buss where it burn or melted there.
These breakers are a mechanical switch which under normal conditions, sit there year in & out in the "on" position & when they are exceeded their ampacity for a specified time they are supposed to trip. Well sometimes after sitting there that long they are "mechanically stuck" & don't work, causing this burn out. Yes some brands may fail more often, but all of them can under certain situations like i described.
Usually they burn on one side, like shown. When they do this it is also a good idea to check for grounds & heavy loading on that Buss.

I got into the habit of closely listening for what I call 60 cycle hum, when I am working on any panel, & if I hear it , I trace it to the culprit & change that breaker out.
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:03 AM   #11
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


I don't have a Home Depot number. The last time I went there, I bout the last three they had and they were buried on a top shelf. Maybe that meant they were not going to carry them....I don't know.

The Seimans cat number is QN2200

They only modification is the way the wires run into the breaker. Old ones are fed from the top, new ones are fed from the side.

Some panels have plenty of extra wire, some I have had to replace/add a small piece of 2/0
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:03 PM   #12
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


its been my expirence that when a bus bar has even a little pitting or burn marks a new breaker will soon burn up also if installed on said busbar
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:05 PM   #13
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


hi,
i see you had the same problem that i'm having now, i see that you got a replacement breaker at home depot, i ck'd but with no luck. it would be great if you had any info , part number store where you got it, phone #'s anything, i'm desprate, no luck here trying to locate it.

thankyou,
Brett
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:28 PM   #14
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by bjreadinger View Post
hi,
i see you had the same problem that i'm having now, i see that you got a replacement breaker at home depot, i ck'd but with no luck. it would be great if you had any info , part number store where you got it, phone #'s anything, i'm desprate, no luck here trying to locate it.

thankyou,
Brett
QN2200 ??
http://cgi.ebay.com.my/ws/eBayISAPI....3342&indexURL=
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:12 AM   #15
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


I am with ampman on this. I will only replace a burned breaker for temporary or emergency power until I can replace the panel. It is not a matter of if but when the replaced breaker will burn up. They may not remember that you rushed out to get them back in service, but they will remember the electrician that charged them all that money and didn't fix the problem.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:04 PM   #16
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


Quote:
They may not remember that you rushed out to get them back in service, but they will remember the electrician that charged them all that money and didn't fix the problem.
That's why you clearly state that it's a TEMP repair on the invoice.
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:51 PM   #17
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


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That's why you clearly state that it's a TEMP repair on the invoice.
I'd lean toward replacing the panel on this type of job also. It's a call for the EC looking at the panel, I don't mean to 2nd guess your call.

I have a seriuos dislike for any temporary repair (they often end up permanent) but if I do one it usually goes on the invoice with a Hazard note.
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:02 AM   #18
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


never do a temp repair, if anything happen, you will be the first in the lookout list, so after you do the temp repair call your ins company and let then know about the next call from your helped customer
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:21 PM   #19
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


Too many people are afraid of their own shadows.

I am not one of them.

I have certainly gotten more cautious over the years but I still aint skeered.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:13 AM   #20
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Re: Another Burned Up 200 Amp Murray Breaker


I learn towards replacing the panel as well except in an a situation where changing the panel is just not a viable option. Its a much better value for the customer to get a whole new panel and all new branch circuit breakers.

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