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Old 05-24-2016, 10:31 AM   #1
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Default Oxidation on breakers

What is your rule of thumb when it comes to rust on breakers at the connection point this particular panel is a ch br 150amp. the buss bar is fine but all the breakers are rusted up. Do you guys replace them as you find them or leave as they are until they cause a problem?
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:19 PM   #2
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What is your rule of thumb when it comes to rust on breakers at the connection point this particular panel is a ch br 150amp. the buss bar is fine but all the breakers are rusted up. Do you guys replace them as you find them or leave as they are until they cause a problem?
Are they rusted from water intrusion into the panel to any degree? If so toss them pronto. Seen that turn into smoking hot breakers when very little load is imposed upon them for some reason or another and they become a true fire hazard.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:27 PM   #3
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Is the panel located in a high salt air location ? If so I'd swap them out.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:52 PM   #4
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Can you get us a picture of this rust?

Rust is ferrous oxide and there would have to be iron present to have rust. Is it on tin plated copper contacts or on a screw or rivet or what?
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:56 PM   #5
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Can you get us a picture of this rust?

Rust is ferrous oxide and there would have to be iron present to have rust. Is it on tin plated copper contacts or on a screw or rivet or what?
Getting 'educated' from several other threads, many people call any corrosion "rust". If it is actual rust it could be groundwater getting in from outside and leaving iron residue behind. A picture would be a great hing on many posts.
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Old 05-24-2016, 04:53 PM   #6
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It's from the tenant not hooking up their dryer vent causing high humidity. So yes water damage. There is some mild oxidation on non important parts of the can but it's odd because the discharge from the breaker screws is actual orange oxidation which would lead me to believe that there is some iron in the breaker itself it's not the typical white buildup you see.
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Old 05-24-2016, 05:10 PM   #7
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It's from the tenant not hooking up their dryer vent causing high humidity. So yes water damage. There is some mild oxidation on non important parts of the can but it's odd because the discharge from the breaker screws is actual orange oxidation which would lead me to believe that there is some iron in the breaker itself it's not the typical white buildup you see.
It's possible that it's actually 'raining' inside the panel when the humidity builds up enough.
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Old 05-24-2016, 05:10 PM   #8
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Getting 'educated' from several other threads, many people call any corrosion "rust". If it is actual rust it could be groundwater getting in from outside and leaving iron residue behind. A picture would be a great hing on many posts.
Good point. We have a spot on our floor from when a piece of roof flashing leaked and the water trickled in. The floor is now "rusted" in that spot even though it's a sky blue 3 layer ESD polymer over concrete.
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Old 05-24-2016, 05:15 PM   #9
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Good point. We have a spot on our floor from when a piece of roof flashing leaked and the water trickled in. The floor is now "rusted" in that spot even though it's a sky blue 3 layer ESD polymer over concrete.
Much like CSI, it isn't just the water but whatever substances the water carries in from the path along the way. Most water from roof leaks always seem to leave a golden brown stain behind.
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Old 05-24-2016, 05:43 PM   #10
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This breaker came in today, bunch of rust on it, will look brand new (And actually be better than new) when we are finished with it.
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Old 05-24-2016, 06:25 PM   #11
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This breaker came in today, bunch of rust on it, will look brand new (And actually be better than new) when we are finished with it.
Cool man.

I've racked a few like that . We would have a special team that traveled around and refurbished our old ones.
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Old 05-24-2016, 06:37 PM   #12
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I did a job in a knitting factory once. The previous tenant had an operation that left all the breakers rusty and oxidized. Recommended that we replace all of them, over 100 3 pole breakers, but they decided to take their chances. Within 1 month over over 1/3rd of them failed. They tried to save bucks but failed. Replace is the best outcome.
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Old 05-24-2016, 06:45 PM   #13
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I did a job in a knitting factory once. The previous tenant had an operation that left all the breakers rusty and oxidized. Recommended that we replace all of them, over 100 3 pole breakers, but they decided to take their chances. Within 1 month over over 1/3rd of them failed. They tried to save bucks but failed. Replace is the best outcome.
Worst corrosion I recall right off was a ladies hair place that did all kinds of coloring and relaxing. The stuff they used in there attacked the aluminum buss in the sub panels and just about melted the insides of the RTUs.
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Old 05-24-2016, 07:29 PM   #14
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If you swap any of them out for new, do you need to make any afci/gfci?
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Old 05-24-2016, 11:45 PM   #15
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I think that I would have to but I was told to do a one for one swap, of course we've had the discussion on here about afcis when swapping a receptacle 1 for 1 so I am sure that we are supposed to do the same with breakers but I couldn't find anything that mentioned it explicitly just receptacles or wiring
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Old 05-24-2016, 11:47 PM   #16
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I pretty much have to put in an afci or dual if I sneeze so I am always expecting it.
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Old 05-25-2016, 12:04 AM   #17
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Personally I would, higher ups are pushing back so far I have only won when there is a permit and even then only on the circuits I heavily modify
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Old 05-25-2016, 12:07 AM   #18
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I just work here! Lol
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:04 AM   #19
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I just work here! Lol
Sadly yeah they don't give me too much access to the purse strings with this or led retros. Anything over 200 or so I have to ask about
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:34 AM   #20
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Sadly yeah they don't give me too much access to the purse strings with this or led retros. Anything over 200 or so I have to ask about
Until it's a safety concern, we gotta earn!
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