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The Worst Breaker Design Ever? #124263
09/08/06 06:17 PM
09/08/06 06:17 PM
electure  Offline
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,279
Fullerton, CA USA
This is a Zinsco RQ38, 30 Amp plug-in 2 pole circuit breaker. I believe the only reason this one lasted is because it powered a dryer receptacle in a home with a gas dryer, and was never used. It's 3/4" wide.
(It's got "IQ65" stamped in a small emblem on the side; possibly the designer's test score?)

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

How do you like it?
Do you have any other candidates for the honor?

[This message has been edited by electure (edited 09-08-2006).]

Tools for Electricians:
Re: The Worst Breaker Design Ever? #124264
09/08/06 06:47 PM
09/08/06 06:47 PM
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
Are those 'speaker terminals' used on a breaker????

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Re: The Worst Breaker Design Ever? #124265
09/08/06 07:44 PM
09/08/06 07:44 PM
mxslick  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 803
Atomic City, ID USA
Are those 'speaker terminals' used on a breaker????

Indeed they are. And the performance is about what you'd expect from them, too. [Linked Image]

Believe it or not, this horrible piece was available in 40 and 50 amp ratings too!!

I still have a few Zinscos in my junk box, along with the bus assemply for an old mini (I think 4 space) panel.

I plan on breaking the one I have open to see what condition the internals are in. When I do, I'll post the pics....

Stupid should be painful.
Re: The Worst Breaker Design Ever? #124266
09/08/06 07:49 PM
09/08/06 07:49 PM
Jim M  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 457
Chestertown, MD, USA
My vote would have to be FPE Stab-loks. Between the handles being too wide to take the cover off without turning some of them off by accident, they were prone to just falling out of the panel if you did take the cover off.

Re: The Worst Breaker Design Ever? #124267
09/08/06 08:02 PM
09/08/06 08:02 PM
Wizzie Electric  Offline
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 69
Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Can...
Ya shes a real fine instrument.(sarcastic)

Re: The Worst Breaker Design Ever? #124268
09/08/06 08:32 PM
09/08/06 08:32 PM
allen476  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 7
My nomination is the Bulldog/Gould/ITE Pushmatic. They were prone to fail to the ON position. Many never survive more than 4-6 on/off cycles.

Re: The Worst Breaker Design Ever? #124269
09/08/06 10:26 PM
09/08/06 10:26 PM
Rewired  Offline
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 558
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
I nominate the ITE "Blueline" series.. they were chincy little breakers that just felt "weak" when you operated them, and the buss-breaker connections were tiny and had a tenancy to burn up..


Re: The Worst Breaker Design Ever? #124270
09/09/06 09:44 PM
09/09/06 09:44 PM
Theelectrikid  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 810
Levittown, PA
GE Skinnies. They don't trip, and an electrician (Yes, an electrician) said, "If that main didn't fry that skinny breaker would've let your house burn."

Ian A.

Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
Re: The Worst Breaker Design Ever? #124271
09/09/06 11:56 PM
09/09/06 11:56 PM
trobb  Offline
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 110
Iowa City, IA
Geeze, I'm no spark and I know that 2x 50A breakers in a single would (at load) put an unholy amount of heat through the breaker. How on earth could even CH or SD build something to work, let alone Zinsco?

Re: The Worst Breaker Design Ever? #124272
09/10/06 03:23 PM
09/10/06 03:23 PM
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Personal experience is a funny thing; that's why we are taught that personal experience has no relationship to what the actual reality may be.

Failure at the buss connection is a good example of this principle. While we all "know" that certain brands are "junk," compare that opinion with my experience over the past five years.
(Again, I am only referring to failures where the breaker connects to the buss).

I've encountered this failure in:
1- Sq D "QO" 100 amp 2-pole
1- Zinsco 50 amp 2-pole
2- GE snap-in 20 amp 1-pole

Complicating factors included:
- The Sq. D was often run slightly overloaded (say, 108-112 amps); and,

- The GE failures were from a panel where the maintenace guy "cleaned the buss bars" with a wire brush on his Dremel (!!!!).

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