circuit breaker questions


OK... went shopping today for new circuit breakers. I'm now more confused than ever. I'm attempting to add some additional branch circuits to my house (see previous thread "house wired without separate ground - problem?" here:
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.home.repair/browse_frm/thread/e1a87f0d22eacae7/f2381f66331684da?lnk=gst&q=ground&rnum=1#f2381f66331684da
if you're just joining the saga) anyway, I am learning how little I know about electrical stuff despite feeling fairly familiar with the basics. I have an ITE/Siemens load center with ITE type QP (I think?) breakers in it. They appear to be standard breakers; looking at the assortment of breakers available at Home Despot it appears that GE, Square-D Homeline, and Cutler-Hammer breakers are all pretty much the same. However, none of them specifically said that they were *LISTED* for use in a Siemens panel. So what do I do? Also, what do HACR and CTL mean? I'm not entirely sure I understand, even after a cursory Google search. In an ideal world, I'd like to use a couple "tandem" 15A and 20A breakers if I could, to leave a double height slot free in case I wanted to add a 240V appliance in the future.
Also, I was unable to find any of the "Madison straps" referenced in the previous thread; does anyone know where I could order them online? Sadly, Home Despot seems to be my only choice, I hit two independent hardware store and there selection of electrical stuff was even more limited.
thanks,
nate
--
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nate Nagel wrote:

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.home.repair/browse_frm/thread/e1a87f0d22eacae7/f2381f66331684da?lnk=gst&q=ground&rnum=1#f2381f66331684da

Secondary question: Are the new AFCI's really worth it? and does anyone make an AFCI breaker for my load center? Is it possible to use a GFCI outlet on an AFCI-protected circuit? One of the circuits that is still ungrounded in this house serves all the bedrooms, is why I'm asking.
thanks,
nate
--
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nate Nagel wrote:

Hi, If you're not in real hurry, first take a look at one of the breaker in the panel, note the model no. type, etc. And go to a on-lin breaker supllier, order exactly what you need. You can get exact sme kind or equivalent substitute.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tony Hwang wrote:

That's the thing, I AM in a hurry, because I'd like to finish up the electrical work so I can start unpacking/decorating. I also have looked for and can't find the breakers in the panel. Also am not having much luck finding out what would be an "equivalent substitute" hence my post. The odd thing is the panel looks near new so what gives?
nate
--
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nate Nagel wrote:

Just to clarify, I'm back home without buying anything. The sticker on the panel specifies the use of "I-T-E type QP, QT, QPF, QPH, QPHF, or HQP breakers" none of which appear to be currently available, and info. on the web seems to be near nonexistent. Short of taking a breaker out and carrying it to the store with me to assure that a new one would match perfectly, any ideas? The other thing I'm concerned about is if an inspector saw, say, a GE breaker which appears like it would fit but may or may not be listed for the panel. I can't seem to find any useful info. on any manufacturer's web site as to whose panels their breakers are listed for, or any info. on the Siemens web site as to whether there's a currently available replacement for the type "QP" breakers that I currently have.
nate
--
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 28 Oct 2006 18:39:07 -0400, Nate Nagel wrote:

I'm 99.9% sure that Cutler Hammer "BR" can be used in place of Siemens type "QP". This particular style of breaker is sometimes called "interchangeable" and it by far the most common type used in residences.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nate Nagel wrote:

CTL is circuit limited. A panel has a maximum number of poles it is tested and rated for. Any recent panel is class CTL, which limits the positions at which tandem breakers can installed, so the max number of poles is not exceeded. The breakers that only fit in those positions are also class CTL. If you want to install tandem breakers this is something to check. The panel label should have information.
You might also see SWD - rated for routine switching of flourescent lights.

AFCIs came out of a Consumer Product Safety Commission investigation to reduce electrical fires. Wiring in buildings over 20 years old are at higher risk but extension cords and equipment plugged in can also cause fires. My opinion is that AFCIs are useful, particularly with an older house like yours.
AFCIs are now required to detect parallel arcs - hot to neutral or hot to ground. Starting in 2008 they will be required to also detect series arcs - as in a loose connection. You may or may not want to wait for the new ones, which as far as I know are not yet on the market, and certainly not tested by field experience.
[The current draft of the 2008 NEC, which could be revised, requires all residential 15 & 20A 120V branch circuits to be on AFCIs.]
bud--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sometime breakers from different suppliers will work you dont need to try to install a Square D Breaker in Siemens panel. Stab in or bolt_in. Siemens panel Siemens breakers. The ul listing has them operating as a unit. HACR Heating, Air conditing, refridgeration.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If your breaker panel is somewhat new, it must have been purchased somewhere, by someone. Chances are, there is a shop somewhere nearby that carries that exact panel, or used to within a few years ago. Just start calling -- first try all the electrical retail supply stores and big-box stores. Then try the contractor-type supply stores. Just keep phoning and asking around till you find the place it was purchased at. They ought to have the breakers, or (if not home depot or lowes) be able to tell you what substitute to use, since they likely have hundreds of customers and contractors coming to them for replacement breakers.
Did this myself a while ago, until I found the exact store where nearly all the electrical and plumbing supplies for our house were purchased. I can get exact replacements for nearly everything, and those things that are no longer carried or made I can get a very precise recommendation for a compatible model.
-Kevin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
> Just to clarify, I'm back home without buying anything. The sticker on > the panel specifies the use of "I-T-E type QP, QT, QPF, QPH, QPHF, or > HQP breakers" none of which appear to be currently available
Siemans (formerly ITE) QP breakers are available EVERYWHERE including my local Home Depot. I can't believe yours doesn't carry the full line. They are a current, main stream brand that is used everywhere...including my own home built 3 years ago!
>Secondary question: Are the new AFCI's really worth it? and does >anyone make an AFCI breaker for my load center? Is it possible to use a >GFCI outlet on an AFCI-protected circuit?
AFCIs are now required by the NEC in all new construction or remodels for all bedroom outlets and switches. They protect against fire cause d by arcing. So is it worth it? Depends on how much one values the marginally increase in safety and conforming the the NEC. And...yes you can add a GFCI outlet to an AFCI branch circuit.
"> Also, I was unable to find any of the "Madison straps" referenced in the

Ask for "battleships" (they kinda resemble a battleship). Madison hangers are the correct term but nobody I work with knows them by their real name.
Hope this helps Brad
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
turn off main breaker, turn off easy to access breaker and remove wire then breaker they come out easy mark wire so you know where it came from.
take sample breaker to store.
if your doing electrical work breaker removal is a new part of your life and the easiest way to get a exact replacement.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I just gave up and hit the 'bay; I hope everything works out OK because I don't generally like buying possibly used equipment, but I was able to find a siemens AFCI breaker and two each 15A and 20A tandem breakers for a total of about $60... I would think there would have to be a good hardware store around that would a) stock this stuff and b) have staff knowledgeable enough to answer basic questions but I haven't found it yet, save for one actually within walking distance of my house, but whose hours are so limited it's difficult to stop by.
I do find it odd though that mfgrs. web sites have so little info; I'm used to dealing with cars and many automotive aftermarket suppliers actually have pretty comprehensive online catalogs so questions can be abswered quickly and with only a little time researching.
nate
--
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nate Nagel wrote:

One last question: There's a note on the sticker of the breaker panel that says something like "maximum breaker rating 110A per bus stab" am I correct in assuming that a "bus stab" is one "finger" of the bus bar and that all that means is that if I have two full height breakers next to each other sharing that "finger" that their ratings cannot add up to more than 110A?
thanks,
nate
--
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Brad Behm wrote:

I asked at the Home Despot, the guy had somewhat of a clue and said that he *thought* I could use the Cutler-Hammer breakers, but that wasn't good enough for me to buy... I asked about ITE/Siemens and he said that they used to carry Siemens, but that they were phased out, not sure if he meant that HD no longer carried them or that Siemens got out of the residential breaker business.
nate
--
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.