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'recycled' Circuit Breakers??

Posted by Danvirsse (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 19, 12 at 18:27

We are preparing for a complete re-wiring of our home and will be using a Square D QO panel. Has anyone had experience with the "recycled/refurbished" cicuit breakers available? My gut instinct is that they are a bad idea, but I do try to recycle/reuse when it is viable. What do you all think?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: 'recycled' Circuit Breakers??

Recycled is a used product - which in many instances is a great thing to do.

Refurbished is a returned or used product that has been repaired, has had any expendable components replaced, and has been thoroughly tested to meet or exceed the original manufacturer's specifications.

It can't be both.

Sounds like somebody is selling used product and using the term "refurbished" in a way which is simply misleading and actually illegal in most states - at least I know for sure in California.

If I was adding a circuit in my own home, and had a used breaker sitting around, that's one thing. Installing a new service panel - I would not even consider it.

RE: 'recycled' Circuit Breakers??

How does the modest amount you will save balance against the personal or financial risk of having a used breaker of unknown condition fail on you?

RE: 'recycled' Circuit Breakers??

After day 1, every home in the country has "used" breakers. It really isn't a concern.

Of course, if you are doing an total rewire anyway, you should replace everything. Stuff wears out. Also, if the home is old enough to require a complete rewire, the old breakers probably aren't AFCI and won't be approved for most rooms anyway.

RE: 'recycled' Circuit Breakers??

Thanks yosemitebill and kudzu9. You've both confirmed my gut feeling. It was not the dollars, but rather the "greenness" that appealed to me. Still, I'm not risking the safety of our home and occupants to be green.

RE: 'recycled' Circuit Breakers??

"After day 1, every home in the country has "used" breakers. It really isn't a concern. "

At least with new breakers you know they started out operating correctly.

Unless you want to run all the test the breaker manufacturer is supposed to run, there is no way to actually tell the condition of a used breaker.

How many times has it been tripped?
Did someone use it as an on/off switch?
Was it submerged in water?
Any internal corrosion?

RE: 'recycled' Circuit Breakers??

in my opinion,
brickeyee's last 2 are important questions.

check the manuf. on the trip cycle count and the on/off switch count..i'm not an expert but I would hazard to guess you won't live long enough to wear out a breaker using it as a switch. forget about trip counts..if either of these number per the manf. are in to 100K range..

stop and think about that..
1 per second..VERY FAST!!!this wouldn't be good
1 per hour..4166.66 hours..a reasonable length of time
1 per day..4166 days..or 11,4 yrs..

and that is if the switch cycle is 100k times. my bet would be a million plus..

the last 2 items from brickeyee..far more critical and harder to tell by looking..

if you're looking at reusing breaker from a panel in your house in the new panel for your house..use them! why not!
I would and wouldn't think twice..


RE: 'recycled' Circuit Breakers??

"won't live long enough to wear out a breaker using it as a switch. "

Actually, that is why many breakers are NOT listed to be used as switches.

Some are, but not all.

Every time a switch opens or closes an arc occurs between the contacts.

This gradually damages the contacts.

Breakers that are rated as switches have harder contacts that are more resistant to pitting.

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