My dad still has a FPE panel in his garage with at least three 2-pole
breakers in it and a bunch of singles. I've been trying to talk him
into letting me replace it with a SquareD or GE panel next time I visit.
He's had problems with it before, the breakers tend to work loose.
I have one of these panels. And I have tested all the breakers too
They all trip just fine. I've even had a nusiance trip when I was
using heat gun to remove some paint. The single pole breakers are just
fine. The only problem I have ever had with mine is with a ganged two
pole breaker (which was really two one pole breakers joined togather on
the outside which is poor substitute for a real two pole breaker). I
have read all the stuff about them on the internet and think there are
a lot of fear mongers out there. The stuff really is just fine as long
as you nkow that all your breakers work. Having said all of that, If I
had a lot of two pole breakers on my system I might feel differently
since that seems to be where the problem area are.
That and any breakers over a certain age should be viewed with
suspician irregardless of the manufacturer.
just HOW would one test a overcurrent device without putting it thru a
I have looked at breaker testers they appear to run various overloads
over time and look for trip time in minutes seconds or cycles.
Remember breakers are DESIGNED to trip under short circuits and a
variety of other overload conditions.
they are probably rated at survining so many thousand dead shorts over
since a dead short can occur for any number of reasons even shorting a
breaker shouldnt damage it, its what its DESIGNED to do.
although I wouldnt make a habit of trying it.
a controlled replicatable condition is among others a dead short, which
all breakers should be designed to tolerate.
in the case of FPE theres some evidence once tripped they are less
likely to trip again...
this isnt the norm for breakers.......
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