100 amp Pushmatic Electri-Center

Masterelectricians… need some help here??? House built in 1958 buyers indicateit has original 100 amp Pushmatic Electri-Center manufactured by BulldogElectric Products. I have never inspected a house with this system… anythoughts (4 Point) and or safety issues. I read that there are many complains and different views… Thanks…


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  1. Pushmatic circuit breakers of the era in the panel use a thermal breaker
    design with no magnetic trip mechanism. Modern breakers incorporate both magnetic and
    thermal tripping mechanisms, increasing safety and the likelihood that they will function
    properly in the event of an overload or short circuit.

  2. Operating difficulty: The design of the breaker is such that, over time,
    they become very stiff and difficult to operate or reset.

  3. State of breaker On-Off unclear: Pushmatic breakers have an indicator flag showing
    whether the circuit is on or off. Many times, on old Pushmatic breakers, this on/off flag
    will stay fixed in either position, giving you a false indication of the condition of the circuit.
    The internal flagging mechanism that indicates the state of the circuit breaker as “on”,
    “Tripped”, “off” fails inside of individual circuit breakers, making it difficult for a building
    occupant or owner to know the condition of the breaker.

  4. Some insurance companies may consider the Pushmatic design obsolete & require replacement.

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2 things.

  1. Many insurance companies won’t write coverage for that panel.
  2. Is 100 amps enough for today’s demand. Just to clarify, I am not expecting you to do load calculations, just use common sense.
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  1. Who cares what others think and do?
  2. No one is required by us to upgrade anything. If you see that there is an issue (and you can document it) put it in the report. The rest of the possibilities has no place in the report. What does something than “Might Happen” have to do with the existing condition of the building?

My last home had a 100 amp pushmatic , I did nothing new owners are also satisfied they too have done nothing .

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Hello Sir
Could you give me How i can turn off the main breaker

I inspect Pushmatics almost on a weekly basis around here. Absolutely nothing wrong with them, except for, of course, any regular defects that might be present and that you would find in any panel. Just because you never inspected one before doesn’t give you the right to condemn it.

  1. How the heck do you know this LOL. As Judge Judy often says, “prove it.”
  2. That’s just nonsense.

Do you test each breaker to see if it would reset? do you test the breakers to see if they will trip under overload and faults? How do you know there is “nothing at all” wrong with them from your visual inspection alone? aren’t you assuming? do you believe the “pushmatics” issues brought up by the industry are just myths?


Do you do any of this for any panel you inspect - lol?

There’s a lot of crap out there on the internet that are myths. In fact, you can find anything you want to back up your belief. If you or anyone else want to scare people into replacing them based on a name and a different style of breaker, so be it. I’ll just keep inspecting for actual defective conditions.

You did not answer a single thing I asked… nevermind.

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I did answer your question with my question. Besides, you already knew the answer beforehand.

In their time Pushmatic was considered the Cadillac of panelboards due to the fact that they were the only residential panelboard with a bolt-on design.

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I have inspected just a few. I will note in my report if the “flag” is stuck and also that replacement breakers are no longer being manufactured.

a quick google search indicates replacement breakers are readily available…

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True, I said not being “manufactured”

Because CPSC and, for example, Schneider have given estimates of the life expectancy of circuit breakers and panels, I believe it would be a mistake to not so advise clients, especially regarding a 60-year-old electrical distribution panel. As Simon points out, the visual lack of evidence of failure is no basis for assuming a breaker is functioning properly.

No one here does that… ever! :face_with_monocle:

I always call out an ‘obsolete’ panel. Electrical parts fail from age just like everything else. The bolt on breaker design is easily abused by bolting conductors directly to the bus without a breaker. Original breakers are no longer manufactured. The ones that are available are expensive. Like most older panels there is insufficient gutter space.

My job is to inform! If you never have a problem and the breakers never trip, that’s good. But are you willing to guarantee they will trip when needed, That’s the real problem with old breakers.

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