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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I occasionally do a bit of basic electrical work in some rentals I have and have been told by the local supply house I've been using that no one makes replacement push matic breakers anymore. I don't go in there enough to know whether I can trust that the guy behind the counter knows what he is talking about.
Anyone have a source for some replacements so I can have a few on hand?
There's nothing wrong with the installations on the panels I have with the pushmatics in them, I just don't want to replace a panel someday for lack of having a simple replacement part should one go bad.
Thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone. I know my local tru value doesnt carry them. It's why I went to the electrical supply house and was surprised they told me they can't get them. I'll check those other sources
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think I'll order a handful of those new 3rd party mfg that mdshunk linked to.
There are a good number of those pushmatics here too, but for some reason the true value doesn't carry any of them anymore (its the only hdwe store in the small town I live in). It looks like replacements are not that hard to find. I was kind of suspicious when the guy told me they can't help me at the supply house. Maybe time to look for a new supply house.
Thanks again everyone
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've seen a few pushmatics that have become too "sensitive" over time and would trip while under a load that shouldn't have tripped them. Is there a realistic way one of those would somehow malfunction so that it doesn't "trip" thereby allowing too much current to flow through a wire, overheating it and causing other problems like fire etc?

If the only real worry is that I get an old breaker and it starts tripping too often because of age etc, I don't find that such a big deal when I'm just doing some repair to a rental? I'm not out installing new services for people.

I'm playing a bit of a devil's advocate here, in theory you don't know where used equipment came from or what its been subjected to, so you couldnt warranty it and youd be liable if you put something in that was defective and that caused some other damage etc....

But on the other hand, the panel is full of 40 year old (or however old they are) breakers that seem to be working just fine and if old breakers are that dangerous, why should I trust the (used) ones I already have?

Just curious. My real question is of course, are pushmatics prone to failure such that they would fail to trip when subjected to a heavy load? Like I said, I do have several rentals with a number of those type panels in them.
 

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DGR,IABD
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The PushMatics were of famously high-quality, and were probably discontinued because it was hard for old people to push them in completely to click them over from 'on' to 'off' and vice-versa. It takes a firm press. There aren't really any reported problems with the actual trip mechanism failing over the years. The PushMatic breakers are my all-time favorite residential breaker, and I wish they still made them. They had to be the most bullet-proof residential breaker design ever made. Sadly, many of them are simply at the end of their lives now. They were installed up until the late 70's and very early 80's. Most of what you'll run across is from the 60's.
 

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Ive installed and serviced lots of pushmatic
,In my experience there were a couple of traditonal problems with them them ,any good load range dryer and water heaters etc the breakers had a 10 to 20 year life span
Guys had a tendancy to install them incorrectly,they would cross thread the screw and not tighten them all the way ,or forget to tighten them at all.Thats why plugons became so popular.I still find this on service calls.
The whole trick to a pushmatic is to to use a fat bladed screwdriver and turn the screw counterclockwise first till it squares up, then turn it clockwise.
 

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I agree with the comments about quality and reliability of the Pushmatic breakers. I have seldom seen a problem with the breakers themselves. My problem with used breakers is not knowing where they came from or under what conditions they were used.

I've seen many panels installed in barns and milk houses where they were subjected to moisture and other adverse conditions. I've seen panels rusted out so bad they were ready to fall off the wall. But the breakers inside look very good. And they all seem to work fine. Someday I should crack open one of those breakers and look at the guts for corrosion and pitting.
 

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I just had a new service panel put in about 6 months ago, - - my old one had pushmatic breakers.

Anyway, - - right up until I upgraded, - - whenever I was adding a new circuit (over the course of the last several years) I was purchasing pushmatic breakers right at my local home depot.

I would guess they still carry them, - - they were kept a little 'separate' (because of their expense) from other breakers, - - in a locked window-case at the end of the aisle.

If you happen to get jammed up finding them, trptman - - let me know, - - I saved all them all and most only average about 2 years old (I had even replaced all of the older ones). I've got mostly 15's and 20's in singles and twins, and probably one 30 and one 50.
 

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I typically change out the push-a-matics to new panels. I just priced three breakers and the total from the supply house was over 300 dollars. Before you ask, one was a tandem 20. a tandem 2 pole 30 amp and another tandem. I just dont see charging a customer 500 dollars for 3 breakers, when I can put in a new panel for 750
 

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I typically change out the push-a-matics to new panels. I just priced three breakers and the total from the supply house was over 300 dollars. Before you ask, one was a tandem 20. a tandem 2 pole 30 amp and another tandem. I just dont see charging a customer 500 dollars for 3 breakers, when I can put in a new panel for 750
I agree with you there sparky. I see a lot of Wadsworth panels also. The last 2 pole 60A Wadsworth after-market cost me $98. But then I beat that with a 2 pole 30A SQ D QO GFCI at $116. my cost. I'm glad they weren't going in my basement. :whistling
 
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