Exposed breaker interior components

During my inspection yesterday I noticed that the main service disconnect breaker was exposing some of the interior components of the breaker. If I am not mistaken is there not a protective type covering used at the breaker on and off switch handle to protect the interior components. Curious as to the concerns?

Yes there’s a plate there that should cover any live components, it would slide with the breaker handle. If you have the model of breaker you can look it up and verify what it should look like.

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Electrocution, if contact is made on an energized component.


No different than a slot being open or a missing knockout… electrocution hazard!!!


First off, thanks to all responses.
I suspected it to be a safety concern, so I previously noted in my report.

“The main electrical service disconnect breaker appears to be missing a protective type covering at the breaker on and off switch handle. This condition exposes some of the interior components of the breaker and live circuitry. Recommend further evaluation from a qualified electrical contractor and corrective repair/replacement as necessary.”

For my future knowledge can this be easily repaired or will the breaker need to be replaced?

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IMO, a Sparky will say the breaker needs replaced do to the availability of breaker parts being slim to nil. Not to mention, who wants the liability for repairing a broken breaker?

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And for this reason I won’t even use the reconditioned breakers that are widely available on the internet.

Replacement with a new breaker will be the remedy.

In my report I would still write repair or replacement by a licensed electrical contractor as it shifts the course of action off my license and on to theirs.

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How does one recondition a used breaker? most breakers are sealed using either rivets, thermoplastic weld, glue, or some such. A used breaker is worn out unless the internal components are replaced.

Beats me. Here are a couple of the outfits that offer these products for a reduced cost. We get calls from all sorts of them trying to buy up our old inventory and sell us “refurbished” parts. The first one at least gives some info on their site as to the warranty and the refurbish process, but not much. The second one gives no info, just a low price and a refurbished tag. I assume it is like buying a car with a branded title.

A good article about it. Seems geared toward larger switch gear though.

Refurbished can merely imply cleaned and tested (if tested at all) – they are often returns, pulls, etc… Reconditioned implies repaired (if needed) and brought back to OEM specs. Very two different terms :slight_smile: Anyway, I understand what you meant now!

I agree with Michael a replacement of that circuit breaker is needed. If the meter has a lock on it then you need to get the utility company involved. You would need to pull the meter, remove the old CB install the new one and reinsert the meter.