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What do you do with your used breakers? #48739
02/19/05 12:31 AM
02/19/05 12:31 AM
Active 1  Offline OP
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 687
Grayslake IL, USA
What do you do with all your cheaper used breakers? I know some places offer to buy bigger breakers. But what about your single pole plug in type?

Throw them out?
Keep em in the shop for what?
Stock them on the truck?
Give them away?
Leave them with the customer?
Sell them on Ebay?

I was wondering this because I don't like to put in used breakers unless they are hard to get or I'm in a bind. So I'm wondering why I'm saving all these old things that are not worth much. There is no garantee they are any good. Mostly taken out of panel jobs that were overloaded and under circuited.

I found I have a lot of QO 30 sp from fixing the homeowner jobs. Also some of the off brand made to fit QO panels. What about your old GFCI breakers?


Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: What do you do with your used breakers? #48740
02/19/05 12:56 AM
02/19/05 12:56 AM
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
Play Hockey with old FPE! Save the newer ones for that temp before the panel change.

Larger or industrial go to re-manufacturer for a little $ each year.

Common ones (Murrey, GE, CH, SqD) go into a bottomless bucket and get used for temp power, or that need it now CB, but all eventually get the dumpster when the shop gets cleaned out. And every time it gets dumped, you walk back to the empty bucket and say, "I know there was one in there..." But if you save them forever you'll be knee deep in them.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Re: What do you do with your used breakers? #48741
02/19/05 01:42 AM
02/19/05 01:42 AM
Attic Rat  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 524
Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
Milkcrate,in my basement...why?? cuz I'm a packrat (as well as an attic rat),and can't stand throwing anything away..It's not like I'm gonna use them again,They'll just sit and collect dust...I just can't let 'em go,..unless they're really cruddy!! [Linked Image] [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by Attic Rat (edited 02-19-2005).]

.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"
Re: What do you do with your used breakers? #48742
02/19/05 03:09 AM
02/19/05 03:09 AM
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,261
SI,New Zealand
As a rule Tom,
I usually leave them with the customer, after all they've already paid for the breaker, so legally it belongs to them.
However, if the breaker is burned out, I usually offer to dispose of it for them, alng with any other rubbish left over from the job.

Re: What do you do with your used breakers? #48743
02/19/05 05:58 AM
02/19/05 05:58 AM
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
Mike that is an interesting point.

I usually leave them with the customer, after all they've already paid for the breaker, so legally it belongs to them.

The last house service change I did (I don't do many) I left the breakers and panel for the homeowner. They where his and in good shape, I told him to hang onto it all in case he wanted to add a sub panel in the garage.

On the last commercial remodel I did it was in the contract for me to remove a bunch of panels and turn them over to the building owners.

I am with Mike on this, unless the equipment is unusable it should stay with the owners.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Re: What do you do with your used breakers? #48744
02/19/05 10:00 AM
02/19/05 10:00 AM
NJwirenut  Offline
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 806
Bergen County, NJ
I try to keep a few of each manufacturer in a box in the truck, particularly the oddball ones. A few weeks back, having an old Wadsworth breaker in the truck made it possible to get the lights back on for a customer until I could come back to change out the service.

FPE's hit the trash immediately (love the sound of an FPE panel crashing into a dumpster! [Linked Image]), except for the modern UBI replacements, which are kept for emergencies.

Re: What do you do with your used breakers? #48745
02/19/05 10:34 AM
02/19/05 10:34 AM
cvelectric  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 30
I certainly have my share of used breakers on the truck that I never use. I always buy new breakers for each job but I can't seem to part with the old ones. Are breakers supposed to be tested when they have tripped? I heard this somewhere and am not sure if it was a manufacturer suggestion or some regulation.

Re: What do you do with your used breakers? #48746
02/19/05 12:20 PM
02/19/05 12:20 PM
NORCAL  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 882
UBI? Chinese circuit breakers scare the daylights outta me,its IMO the same catagory a using a match to see how much fuel is in the gas can.

P.S. The arguement that they are UL listed does not hold water with me, after all UL listed Zinsco.

Re: What do you do with your used breakers? #48747
02/20/05 11:21 PM
02/20/05 11:21 PM
BigB  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 742
Tucson, AZ USA
I just built a nice big shop with tons of shelf space. I have hundreds of breakers lined up so my friends can walk in and say "Wow! look at all those breakers!!!". I don't like to use them either except in an emergency and then only temporarily. I guess as the shop fills up I'll have to part with them. I think part of the reason we save them is because they're "neat".

Re: What do you do with your used breakers? #48748
02/21/05 12:59 AM
02/21/05 12:59 AM
Dave55  Offline
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 697
Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA
I look at a breaker and ask myself, "Can I sell this?". If it's not new, the answer is no, and I throw it away. I may have about 10 used breakers between the truck and garage, and have thrown away hundreds.

I now offer to leave screw-in fuses with the customer after being accused of stealing them... when I threw some in my truck on a service upgrade (I give away used fuses).


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