Strange Square D Breaker

Originally Posted By: Bob Badger
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A friend of mine gave me this breaker he had removed from a house panel.


It is a Square D "mini" or "twin" 15 amp single pole.

But check out the wire terminals, no double tapping this breaker. ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif)

I have never seen a push in terminal on a breaker, is this something you HIs see?





![](upload://sRFShyIIhfr4XYkZOMcaK2hK70p.jpeg)

![](upload://spteZyD4UwsQYWeTR62kplic5Sk.jpeg)

![](upload://d7buHwHq0335pShMQ8lIQFJnRig.jpeg)


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Bob (AKA iwire)
ECN Discussion Forums
Mike Holt Code Forum

Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Bob,


Yes, I have seen them around here. They are acutally longer than the standard breaker but I did not know about the push terminals.

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: jpeck
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We always referred to those as “piggy-back” 1515. 2020. 1520. But, back then, they had screw terminals (either that, or my memory is fading more than I know it is).



Jerry Peck


South Florida

Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Bob,


On another note, I am not a big Square D fan like most. I have never really found any basis for anyone to claim their products were any better than any other electrical products out there.

Since I actually worked for an electrical distributor, I had the pleasure of meeting many of the guys that liked them and installed them exclusively. When I asked them why they thought they were better than other products the answer seemed to evolve only around the Square D reputation. If you, or anyone else for that matter, want to pay for their reputation I say go ahead.

I was a big fan of the Cutler Hammer CH series right up to the point where I inadvertently placed one in a direct short condition and it took what seemed like an eternity for the breaker to trip. That or course was single pole breaker, I accidentally did the same thing to a double pole that instantaneously tripped.

I have also had personal experiences with Siemens, GE, Westinghouse, Zinsco, Murray and FP panels.

In the mean time I became a fan of Siemens panels having passed the same direct short test of the previous panels. The one thing that I don't like about them is that the copper buss is an option, although around here most that carry the Siemens panels carry only the panels with the copper buss. The cost of the Siemens panels have come down to levels equal to other panels for a similar configuration.

I am assuming that since this is the first time you have come across one of those breakers that you do more commercial installations (switchgear) than residential panels.

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Jerry,


At least you think you can remember them having screw terminals, I can not remember at all. ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: Bob Badger
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jmyers wrote:
I am assuming that since this is the first time you have come across one of those breakers that you do more commercial installations (switchgear) than residential panels.


Part of that is right on the money, I do not have much to do with residential type equipment.

I have seen plenty of "twins" "piggybacks" etc., what I had never seen before was the push-in terminals for the load conductors.

jmyers wrote:
On another note, I am not a big Square D fan like most. I have never really found any basis for anyone to claim their products were any better than any other electrical products out there.


Well I kind of agree with you, each panel has things that are good about them and things that are not.

With me not working with many plug in style panels I can not say much about them.

I do like Square Ds trip indicator, I do not like the use of combination slotted & square drive screws on the neutral & grounding bars.

Get into the equipment I work on and there is also good and bad among the bolt on panels.

One real irritation with Siemens is the fact that the bolt on breakers do not retain the bus bar screws like GE & Sq D.

Move up to distribution panels and not one company can hold a candle to Square Ds "I Line" panels.

A I line panel will take 15 to 3000 amp breakers with out the need for mounting kits and the breakers can be easily and safely replaced live.

But I do not think you could find a more expensive panel or breakers.


--
Bob (AKA iwire)
ECN Discussion Forums
Mike Holt Code Forum

Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Bob,


The trip indicator is what I find the most irritating about them, because if you are on an angle you can not tell if it is indeed tripped at all. This is compounded by the fact that some have some of the red showing when they are on.

As for the comment about you replacing the breaker when it is live, I believe it is time for Mike P to step in and start quoting OSHA regulations! HE HE HE

On a more serious note though, since you live in the real, world how often do you have to replace them while they are live? Like rarely, occasionally or often?

What you said is exactly what I concluded from asking electricians. They just prefer certain panels over others, for any reason or number of reasons. ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: Blaine Wiley
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My cousin likes the Square D equipment just because he says that breaker failures are rare. He also likes how tight they sit in the buss, and the double terminal plate for the wires. Just one electricians opinion.


Originally Posted By: Bob Badger
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Live work never.


Officially no live work is done without PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and a lot of paper work.

If I was to change a breaker in a bolt on Siemens panel it would be nerve racking as the screw can fall down as it removed from the bus.

Other panels the screws are retained and would not be so likely to cause a problem.

That would be small panels.

In the real world getting a distribution panel shut down is not that easy as you will be affecting many things.

I have and use in my truck all the PPE I need to work on 480 volt at high current levels.

Even with that I would not attempt to install the "fingers" on bus bars that are necessary to mount different sized breakers on non I-Line panels.

The chance of finger A dropping across fingers B and or C is just to great to even try.

With an I-Line panel there are no fingers, the breakers, even the largest ones plug into the I-Line bus bars with no problem.

I do check for shorts between phases on the breaker being installed before trying to put in place.

I have never found any cross phase shorts but that would be the one thing that could go wrong when putting in one of these breakers.

Having to install new breakers for feeders in existing buildings is a pretty common occurrence.


--
Bob (AKA iwire)
ECN Discussion Forums
Mike Holt Code Forum

Originally Posted By: rpalac
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Joe, if you ever are stuck for Zinzco breakers or Fedrals, I have a couple laying around. I haven’t found any afordable place to buy them so when I tear them out I save them along with the Bull Dog Push matics.


I just removed two old 60 Amp Zinsco Pannels that both were push in wire connections (friction connection). I hated them since I bought the building back in 1986. These panels were big in the 60's in residential and light commercial. They also are very expensive to buy parts for. The old Zinco's pushin wires were not able to be released and the panels had tamper proof screws so you could not easily change out the breakers becuase of a breaker retention bar. They are the pit's. I was suprised to see that type of design from the early 60's, but that is when they came out.

Today it seems like every one is using Seimens only because of the wide distribution they have. I still lean toward Seimen or GE but my preference is GE type THQL and Square D typeQO breakers (both bolt in). They just happen to be to expensive for residential so like every one else price point and coinvenience plays a role. So I'm in Seimens world most of the time.


Bob P.


Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Bob P,


Sounds like you have some of the most expensive and hard to find breakers on the market! ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)

You probably have to keep one full time job just to buy new breakers for those panels.

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: rpalac
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Joe,


That’s why I pulled the panels and put in new ones this year and last. Boy, are they a pain in the *** when you nead a breaker.


When I pulled the panels I kept all the breakers for future if I knew any one who is stuck.

Now here is a Q for the Home Team.

Does any one realy take note the hight of the panel. The up most breaker can't be more than 6'0" to center from A.F.F.

And as others have pointed out you must have clearance in front of 36" and side agragate of 30"

But, How many realy count how many breakers are in place? Remeber a piggy-back is counted as two.

I've seen panels that had well in excess of 42.

Bob p.


Originally Posted By: jpeck
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I thought it was 6’7" (used to be 6’8") high above the floor.


And each pole of a multi-pole breaker is counted as one, so a double pole breaker (for 240 volt circuits) is counted as two.


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: jfarsetta
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I think Jerry is right. I am vertically challenged, myself. I’ve inspected a few where they seemed pretty hi\gh. Certainly more than 6’0" AFF



Joe Farsetta


Illigitimi Non Carborundum
"Dont let the bastards grind you down..."

Originally Posted By: roconnor
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Bob Badger wrote:
Officially no live work is done without PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and a lot of paper work.
If I was to change a breaker in a bolt on Siemens panel it would be nerve racking as the screw can fall down as it removed from the bus.

Bravo ... an electrician with a healthy respect for how badly electricity can "bite" you ... even 120V household current ... ![eusa_clap.gif](upload://vwXJP6EroRUgatgS660IOyuD5XK.gif)

As long as it's not a FPE or Zinsco panel (maybe throw Pushmatic in there too), I think it comes down to preferences. I think for residential equipment Square-D is just a more recognized name. I have heard marginal comments about the "Homeline" series, but really good things about the more expensive QO series ... go figure ...

But one thing about SQ-D (that I have not found with other manufacturer's) is that their technical people are extremely helpful, practical, and very competent. I think to a certain degree that is a reflection of their overall attitude and product line.

Just my 2-nickles


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong