AFAIK (and the Cutler-Hammer brochure I downloaded from the above link
indicates also) that this UL reqm't only applies to fluorescent lighting
For commercial buildings like retail or office space, I'm sure they are.
I've never bothered to check whether the breakers at the church are
rated or not; the frequency of times they get switched is so low and the
loadings are limited that I've never worried about it.
This panel was installed in the mid-60s in a wiring upgrade to the
original (1920s) building in conjunction w/ an expansion project. AFAIK
there's never been a breaker failure in the 50 years since.
I strongly suspect that is mostly related to how heavy the switching
cycle is as well as the switching load. There's two effects; the
mechanical mechanism and the possible arc/pitting of the actual contacts
afaict. Higher amps are obviously worse for the one; the mechanics of
the switch itself are the other and one presumes probably there's some
difference there in one intended for specific use as switch as compared
to "just" a breaker.
But, my sense is that for small loads and reasonable use the likelihood
is that the normal user wouldn't ever notice any difference at all.
From the UL White book:
"Circuit breakers marked "SWD" and rated 347 V or less are suitable for
switching fluorescent lighting loads on a regular basis at their rated
"Circuit breakers marked "HID" have been investigated for switching
high-intensity discharge lighting loads on a regular basis at their
"Circuit breakers rated 50 A or less and 125/250 V or less are
investigated for use with tungsten-filament lamp loads.
"Circuit breakers are tested under overload conditions at six times the
rating to cover motor circuit applications and are suitable for use as
motor circuit disconnects per Section 430.109 of the NEC.
"Circuit breakers investigated for use with heating, air conditioning
and refrigeration equipment comprising multi-motor or combination loads
are marked "HACR TYPE," in conjunction with the Listing Mark. Such
circuit breakers are suitable for use with heating, air conditioning and
refrigerating equipment marked for use with HACR type circuit breakers."
Both incandescent lamps and motors have an inrush/start current of about
6x normal current. Breakers are intended to not trip powering on
Contacts can be damaged by arcing when the breaker is opened repeatedly.
The old fluorescent ballasts were inductive and caused arcing - hence
SWD rating. (I don't think the electronic ballasts arc much on opening.)
My guess is HID ballasts are even more inductive and arc more on
opening. I don't remember ever seeing a "HID" rating.
I have no idea how "HACR" breakers are different.
A garden variety 20A SquareD breaker I looked at is marked "SWD" and "HACR".
I guess it all came on the same time after failure. That might rule out
that possibility. I have turned certain transformers on, and depending on
what part of the ac cycle, blew fuses. Some things are going to draw more
current at lower initial turn on too.
I know that CRT computer monitors and crt tv sets always draw a lot of
power upon starting. When I had them, I could see a surge on the room
lights, particularly when a dimmer was installed.
One of the games still is a CRT type. I was there tonite again, and
talked to the owner about it. I also noticed that I mis-counted. There
are actually 6 games, a jukebox, 3 signs a clock, and an ATM machine all
on that circuit. I also found out that the day they opened the bar some
years ago, they had a power failure. An electrician came and found
almost every outlet, except the ones behind the bar on the same circuit.
He split it into 4 breakers. One for each wall. But he said that back
then they only had 2 or 3 video games and a jukebox in the whole place.
The company the furnishes the games keeps bringing in more and more
stuff. He said the revenue from these games is small, but it all helps
pay the bills. But he also said the electric bill is much higher than
it used to be. Kind of makes me wonder if it's worth having all those
games.... I seldom see them being used.....
Being Mormon, and reader of Gary Larson's far side. I'd sure like a Donner
Party snow dome, some time. Appeals to my sick and twisted side.
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
On Sunday, May 6, 2012 4:01:49 PM UTC-5, (unknown) wrote:
This is usually the case for storms...being outdoors! *L*
On Sunday, May 6, 2012 5:01:49 PM UTC-4, (unknown) wrote:
maybe just replace the breaker. breaker age/fatigue could have it tripping at say 12 amps instead of 15. use a "kill a watt" meter at any outlet. electricians use a clamp on ammeter at the panel. test each device to match their wattage plates. you can call the power company on a slow day to check their power lines to the building meter for any damage. you can request a replacement power meter from the company.
On Sunday, May 6, 2012 5:01:49 PM UTC-4, (unknown) wrote:
Back in the late 70s I worked in a game arcade. I opened the business about 4 PM and closed it around 11 PM . The owner had told me to shut down each machine individually and dont use the breaker. I didn't listen to him and started just shutting off the breakers(2 of them) and this worked for a while then one breaker would pop once in a while but come back up if I reset it. I figure still no big deal and kept on doing it until a couple of weeks later it didn't reset and had to be replaced. Owner was not happy with me.
Also would just about be willing to bet money the breaker is 15A. The circuit was probably never intended to have something plugged into every outlet and have them all come on at once.
On Sun, 06 May 2012 16:01:49 -0500, email@example.com wrote:
Why did the power go out in the first place??
Lightning strike perhaps? I.E. Voltage/current surge probably tripped
the Power CO's overload circuits..
The same surge could have tripped the breaker in question. Most video
games have power supplies protected by surge suppressor and
RF-filters. MOV's protect by shorting out the excess energy.
Thus the transient voltage spike resulted in large current surge which
could have tripped the breaker either when power was just about to
totally fail, or when it was abruptly restored.
Note: When significant HV circuits are interrupted or re-connected,
it's not exactly an instantously process (slow, hundreds of
milliseconds), and there is significant arcing involved. Arcing =major source of high frequency voltage spikes.
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