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Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,438
Member
Zinsco failures??? I've encountered too many to remember. With the buss and the breaker contacts not seeing eye to eye on their purpose, I've yanked and relocated at least 50 or so 15 & 20A twins, maybe 20 or so 30A, 40A & 50A twins, a 55A(!)full size, 17 - 90A 2 poles from 3 switchgear sections in a mobile home park (replaced the buss on that one as well, too many 100A mains to count(most turned into panel changeouts) 9 - 200A (I forget the type,looks kinda like a Bryant BJ2200 from the front) Zinsco has made me ALOT of $$$ [Linked Image]
Then there's the prehistoric ones with the fork tabs right off the load side of the meter [Linked Image] people got really creative when they wanted another breaker shoved in those things, usually a bite out of the outside cover will be present where someone made screwdriver contact to the outside cover while on the unfused fork terminals and likely saw spots for a few hours afterwards [Linked Image]

I never came across too may FPE buss failures suprisingly.. maybe about 10 so far (I think they were all on the skinnies 30A and up) Most FPE probs I remember were internally in the breaker.

Funny to notice no one brought up the POS Crouse Hinds and Challenger skinnies which you could pretty much make your own combination, you could supposedly place 2 separate thin breakers on the same stab if you had a right side and a left side contact combination.. I've replaced TONS of those with MP-T's and QP-T's over time.., suffering from poor stab contact and arcing into uselessness.

I fully agree on the GE THQP's being good for nothing besides target practice.. I've broken more of the cheezy small plastic piece on the bottom under the terminal than anything else [Linked Image] I've also seen more than enough THQP's with "bubbling" on the side indicating a huge amout of heat buildup within the breaker itself.. More than enough that I wouldn't ever install a GE panel.

Bulldogs seem to seize up and fail to reset mostly from what I've seen.. Remembering that Pushmatic was (and is to this date AFAIK) the only resi bolt-on panel out there. therefore your contact with the buss was as good as you were at tightening the screws down [Linked Image] (which I've snapped the heads off more than once [Linked Image] always a good idea to shut the panel down and run a tap through the buss hole if possible) Pushmatic breakers in coastal cities seem to collect unbelievable amounts of sand through the bottom vent opening also...

Anything else, I've seen about 5 CH style panels lose their mains in a spectacular display of just how much fault current can be at a resi panel. 3 Wadsworth panels that were simply beyond their expiration date, maybe 10 Square D XO panels suffering from the same as above. a strange looking Frank Adam panel which I couldn't locate anything for and ended up replacing. Some multi-breakers from Trumbull, SQ D and CH, none of which failed to do anything but reset. Even a couple QO panels here and there with buss/breaker failures..

I'd get into the aftermarket (Connecticut Electric et al) replacement crap, but my hands are starting to cramp [Linked Image]

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 929
Likes: 1
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I read somewhere where Connecticut Electric has bought the rights to Zinsco from T&B, if thats the case Zinsco has gone from bad to horrible.

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 456
C
Member
I don't thnink FPR is inherently a bad design, just a bad build back in the day, or else they wouldn't be so popular in Canada. Yes, I understand the problems they used to have.

I have seen bolt on westinghouse I think breakers.

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 929
Likes: 1
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We were dicussing in chat why FPE in Canada (Federal-Pioneer) does not seem to have the problems that FPE has had here in the states, my only guess is better QC. What do you say?

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 693
L
Member
That's because Canada has more stringent standards, and the breakers are afraid.


Larry Fine
Fine Electric Co.
fineelectricco.com
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,289
Member
The GE(THQP)Skinnies! A wonderful Choice. You can cram ever so much into such a small space [Linked Image] Look, There's still room for 3 more circuits! Matched with aluminum Romex, a combo that's hard to beat by anyone's standards
(These match up at the white blob on the load lug of the 1st 40A CB Down from the poor 100A main).


[Linked Image] [Linked Image]




[This message has been edited by electure (edited 09-12-2006).]

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 273
C
Member
i use the GE "skinnies" in my shop & have never had a problem.they trip on overload & with a dead short, usually my goof up.i think the best still are the square D "QO" line though.

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 558
R
Member
I like the QO line myself... If I was doing my service over again it would definately be Square D "QO"... I have only seen one or two of them ever fail at the buss-breaker connection.
As for the "Canadian" version of the FPE breakers I have only seen one or two failures of the buss-breaker connection, and one of which was due to severe corrosion from being operated UNDER WATER ( Spa pack, bad setup, don't ask) [Linked Image]
I have run across a few of the "narrow" ones that will occasionally want to fall out of the panel but thats rare. The only problem I have with them is they are extremely slow to trip ( they DO trip though at least the Canadian ones do). Found these to be ideal for circuits for things like large A/C's ,table saws, HID lighting and the like, as I have had such loads nuisance trip square-D and Siemens /ITE breakers in the past. Just wish FPE would trip quicker during short circuits, just to keep the shower of sparks to a minimum [Linked Image]
A.D

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 706
T
Member
If you'll check out the picture page on my website, under 200 amp service I have a picture of a toasted breaker in the service panel. Maybe someone else will recognise the brand.

Dave
www.TigerElectrical.com

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 558
R
Member
Dave: Nice Dodge you have in the pic!!
Looks like a C/H ( Cutler Hammer) or as we call 'em at the shop "Constantly Hot" [Linked Image]

A.D

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