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Old 06-06-2009, 11:19 PM   #1
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Default T&B Panel and Breakers

Had a call about a dryer breaker or outlet not working. 10 year old home. Ended up being that one of the poles on the breaker had burnt off from the busbar and 2 other one pole 15's adjacent to it had the same thing only they were still electrically connected but burnt nonetheless. The bus was burnt also where these breakers were attatched, but everywhere else the buss looked fine.

I'm wanting to know what could have caused this to happen to only a few of the breakers. I can only think that it must be from a weak connection and the arcing caused it to constantly heat up and cool down, heat up and then cool down every time the dryer was on until it finally had enough and burned off.

I also want to know if anyone knows if T&B has a bad rep for this type of stuff as does FP and Zinsco and Sylvania, because I've never seen or heard of T&B breakers or panels and this house is only 10 years old.

Anyway here are some pics:








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Old 06-06-2009, 11:25 PM   #2
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a few more pics:




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Old 06-06-2009, 11:25 PM   #3
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is this T&B as in, Thomas & Betts ???
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
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is this T&B as in, Thomas & Betts ???
yes.....
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:32 PM   #5
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and finally two more:



I know I know, some of these are kind of redundant. Sorry to bore you.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:15 AM   #6
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Man those burned up really bad! Im voting loose connection between the breaker and stab - breakers fault.

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Old 06-07-2009, 02:05 AM   #7
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This is not just common to T&B but to any stab type breaker panel with aluminum buss stabs, located in a high moisture areas like laundry room, damp basements, outdoors, Etc..., very common with ITE's also. we use only copper buss panels in these areas, and if outdoors it's a must. of course a little dielectric grease helps too. we dumped T&B panels and service equipment because of failures like this and there meter packs were the worst, we still have about 10 less than a year old meter packs on some town homes that keep loosing the buss connection, which requires the POCO to de energize them before we can try to fix them, and many times you cant because the screws holding the busses together will strip out, so lately we been just changing them out.

About a year after we dumped T&B they also dumped the service line so they are not being made any more. for good reason.

Last edited by hurk27; 06-07-2009 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:52 AM   #8
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I agree with Hurk27. Mositure and Aluminum bus. I when I see this, its always with aluminum busses. If there is alot of mositure in the area or there is water or cold air getting because the raceway wasn't seal from outside water or cold air.
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:58 AM   #9
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I don't understand why you guys think that it would be due to AL buss. Most resi panels from what I recall are AL buss.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:17 AM   #10
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Murry is has aluminum buss, its twin brother Seimens is copper.
GE are copper. I am not sure about Homeline.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:25 AM   #11
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aren't alot of them copper on the inside with a coating of nickel or some other metal that looks like aluminum on the outside?
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
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aren't alot of them copper on the inside with a coating of nickel or some other metal that looks like aluminum on the outside?
Yes GE is like that but Murry is AL.
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:39 PM   #13
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T&B is an identical clone to Westinghouse/Bryant/Cutler Hammer panel. Much like Siemens/Murray.

You will probably have good luck taking the guts out of a new Cutler Hammer BR panel to replace these.
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
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T&B is an identical clone to Westinghouse/Bryant/Cutler Hammer panel. Much like Siemens/Murray.

You will probably have good luck taking the guts out of a new Cutler Hammer BR panel to replace these.
Yeah I used Cutler Hammer BR breakers to replace the burnt up ones and told the HO that they should start saving money for a changeout. But now you've got me thinking maybe I can just swap out the busbar instead? Do you think that everything will line up the same? You know the mounting holes and all? I've never done this.
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:50 PM   #15
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I noticed that in a Cutler Hammer BR panel that the buss is also aluminum. I'm actually thinking that they won't need a new panel or guts because the burnt up part of the buss is clear now. I moved the new replacement breakers farther up to a new clean spot in the panel.
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:52 PM   #16
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Unless the can is piped with conduit, or some other similar compelling reason, I hardly ever replace just the guts. Conduit work is one time where replacing just the guts makes perfect sense.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:04 PM   #17
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Unless the can is piped with conduit, or some other similar compelling reason, I hardly ever replace just the guts. Conduit work is one time where replacing just the guts makes perfect sense.
But why trouble yourself with removing the can when the guts can be swapped out one-to-one, as may be the case here? Admittedly this only makes sense where a suitable identical replacement can be obtained.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelersman View Post
Yeah I used Cutler Hammer BR breakers to replace the burnt up ones and told the HO that they should start saving money for a changeout. But now you've got me thinking maybe I can just swap out the busbar instead? Do you think that everything will line up the same? You know the mounting holes and all? I've never done this.
I'm 99% sure it's an even swap, but you may want to buy a CH BR panel and check before you do anything.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
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But why trouble yourself with removing the can when the guts can be swapped out one-to-one, as may be the case here?.
If you can sell the gut swap for the same price as the panel change, that's what you should probably do. The only "value" the customer will ever see will be a shiny new can and a new panel cover, so I'd recommend chaning the whole panel for the perception of value.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:12 PM   #20
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Well in this case the panel is flush mounted inside a finished wall. So therefore a buss replacement would be ideal so as to not have to tear up any drywall.

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