Bulldog Pushmatic

I was beginning to think these weren’t sold in this area of the country. I saw my first one today. I noted some aluminum wiring, two scorched/arced terminals, and some uncapped/abandonded wiring. Anyone see anything else? It is a split bus panel rated at 100 amps. Are there any issues with the performance of this brand of equipment?




Double tapped ground wires and improperly marked white wires into the breakes.

Yep, saw those too. I believe the doubled grounds are OK.

The double grounds are likely fine as well as the whites on breakers.
The re-marking of white wires is a relatively new code. Only a few cycles old.

Bulldog and I-T-E Pushmatics are problematic panels in my area of the country. They get ranked right behind FPE, Zinsco, and Sylvania’s Zinsco. I find that the push doesn’t always push properly, leaving the breaker ON when it says OFF, or leaving it OFF when it says ON. They are fun to play with, though.

Gee I have seen this with other breakers also .
In my opinion there is no reason to be any more concerned then with other breakers ,
Yes they have been around for a long time .
I had them in my last home and if I found the home I liked I would not hesitate in buying it .
New breakers where still available the last time I looked more expensive then some other breakers .

Roy Cooke

Guess if I was being FRISKY I would complain about the improper termination of the AL wiring onto the binding screws. AL wiring should be terminated 3/4 of the way around the screw as a good practice to ensure good contact…but not real CODIE on that…just good practice.

Is that Grounded/Grounding terminal block BONDED to the enclosure…I just can’t tell from the pictures…might be…you have to make that call from the visual inspection.

Also can’t tell but it looks like it is missing a lock ring and bushing on the SEC entering the enclosure…again can’t see it all that well.

Ok…the largest problem I found with them is COST of replacement and the fact they are just OLD…i just happen to believe ( yeah I know others don’t agree…but I am WAY past giving a SH*T these days ) anything over 25-30 years old should be reported as such…might be fine to service current needs…sure…not a problem but make aware to the client that if they have intentions to add items, expand anything their options are very limited with this enclosure…

Will the service run the current dwelling sure…it is evident because it is running NOW…but you are bound to make the client know of future expectations and needs…this service has limitations for anything other than what it is…

But other than that…the OCPD’s to seem to trip fine…but ask yourself this…are YOU as FRISKY as you were 25 years ago…now think of OLD breakers and modern technology…are YOU willing to put all your cards in OLD equipment…

P.S. 99% of this post is for educational purposes only…ENJOY !

If PushMatic’s were still made today, that would be my brand of choice. I cannot remember ever having replaced a failed PushMatic breaker due to a poor buss connection, as they bolt-on like commercial panels. That was a fine idea, on their part. They were very popular in my area. I have heard of them not turning on or off when you press them, which I have experienced from time to time. Sometimes, it takes a harder press than you’d think. I have never had a PushMatic breaker be in a different state than was indicated in the window, however. It might not have “switched” when I pressed it the first time, but I’ve found the indicator window to be always accurate as to the true state of the breaker. Admittedly, the design could have been better.


I think the largest downfall was the size required on THOSE specific designs…the sticking issue is normal when you talk about something 30 years old and dust and dirt and well…TIME…we all get a little “STICKY” with time…

But probably the reason we don’t see a HUGE out cry about them is that they were SOLID…and with a few problems but overall worked very well…

Heck…ALL the manufacturers have had issues over the years…

Yes, I hope some manufacturer in the future picks up that concept and makes something like them again.

Maybe it’s the weather down here that results in the Pushmatics being such garbage.

Russel ( with one l )…could possibly be in that areas with alot of salt in the air, excessive moisture and other environmental factors could easiy play a factor into a “PUSH” style breaker possibly…

I am not expert on those factors…but I would agree it is possible.

I was in a meeting yesterday in PA with eaton and we talked about an electrician in CA that replaces 2,000-4,000 Zinsco panels a year in your area…at $ 4,000+ a pop…some higher…I was drooling and wanting to move to CA…you do the math on those figures…

Anyway…i am sure conditions in certain area’s play an effect on alot of equipment as it does near beaches and water fronts to oceans…

I think that the numbers have been inflated while traveling the grapevine from the west coast to the east coast.

The highest figure I’ve ever heard of for replacing a Zinsco panel was $2,735 (parts and labor), and I’m the one who paid that because it was an emergency situation on a holiday weekend. Those triple charges on holiday weekends are he11.

Got it straight from the MOUTH of the guy…maybe he was compensating BUT I know he wanted Eaton to manufacturer him a panel JUST for his company…and did not care if the panels cost $ 700-800 a piece…so I don’t know…not sure which part of the area he is in…only passing on the info russel ( with (1) l )

Perhaps a little bragodocio involved. He wanted all the rest of you to be slightly jealous of how much money he (claimed he) was making.

Well I have to believe him unless I see otherwise…I had them also tell me (2) different guys they get 3,500 to 4,000 in PA in a different class as well…no reason to know why they would lie to me…

Mere locker room machismo and braggodocio. I’ve been guilty of it myself, claiming that I’ve been doing home inspections for the past 6½ years. :mrgreen: Fooled everyone, didn’t I? :shock: Ha! :mrgreen: Reminds me of April 1, 2004. Such a glorious day in the annals of Captain Kirk and Admiral Ray.

Current Advice for Owners of Properties Using a Pushmatic or Bulldog Electrical Panel
Home inspectors encountering a Pushmatic or Bulldog brand electrical panel should warn consumers that

There are safety warnings but conflicting opinions among inspectors and electricians about these electrical panels under either the Pushmatic™ or Bulldog™ brand names
There are some reports of Pushmatic™ or Bulldog™ brand circuit breakers failure to trip
There are some reports of Pushmatic™ or Bulldog™ brand circuit breakers being difficult to operate (pushing the breaker in may not reliably “reset” the unit)
It is apparent that Pushmatic™ or Bulldog™ brand circuit breakers, use a less-reliable trip mechanism (no internal magnetic trip) than that offered by modern equipment.
On this basis and pending further research we consider these products questionable with conflicting opinions that currently deserve a warning but not a condemnation. Consumers should take advantage of evidence of any failures of the equipment, remodeling, or panel upgrade to meet growing usage requirements as opportunities to replace this obsolete equipment.
Consumers should be sure that their property is properly protected by smoke alarms

This is what most of the electricians say around these parts. Say that there one of the best ever made.

I am new to the site and dont know much about electrical, I am a renter and have a Bulldog Pushmatic panel in my home. We have been here for 7 months now but sence day one we have had a problem with the breaker for the dryer tripping every second load or so, the home is 50 years old or so and I would assume the panel is original.

After taking the face off the panel I noticed the wires to the dryer breaker were melted a bit, also often when we reset that breaker and turned the dryer back on it made a poping or sort of fizzling sound only faintly but enough for consern. I pulled it out and noticed char marks on the back of the panel aswell, it is a 30 but that seems low to me for a dryer.

As I stated earlier I am not good when it comes to electrical, do I have serious fire hazard proplems or would it be safe to pop in a 40 or 50 breaker and call it a day?