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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi to all. This is my first post in this forum.

I'm in Panama, my house was build by the US Army, this used to be Ft. Clayton Army base.

My panel and breakers are very old and can't find replacements in the local market. It is even difficult to find them on eBay and the few ones are very expensive.

The panel and breakers are General Electric. The panel has a metal label that says:

General Electric
Type: NLAB Style: 2
AMP: 225 Plant: P
120/240 V: 1 PH: 3
PANELBOARD NO. 929579
Plainville, CONN, MADE IN USA
And the rest is mostly unreadable

A 2 pole 20 Amp breaker says:
General Electric
Type TQ BREAKER
CAT. NO. TQ1120

I can find breakers with model TQ1120, but they are different, so I don't understand how they can be the same model and not be compatible.

The breakers have some "legs" or bars and must be screwed to the panel. They are not like moderns breakers that just plug into the panel.

I'm attaching some pictures.

I would like to buy replacement breakers, as some of them are starting to have issues. I would like to avoid replacing the entire panel unless that is the only or best way to go.

Your feedback is much appreciated.




 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm finding them at $119 for a 2 pole 50 amp breaker, which seems used. I wonder if there is a way to adapt a more modern breaker to my panel. Are newer bolt-on breakers compatible and perhaps I can reuse the "legs" from my old breakers?
 

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Then call the 1-800 support line for GE and find out the nearest supplier who will ship to your area and then call them. Be prepared to be calling a couple different places until you find the right person.

Nobody here is going to be any help to you. You need to speak with a GE supplier. Good luck.
 

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Electrical Contractor
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By time you source those breakers, IF they are even available, my guess the cost offset would go a long ways towards replacing the panel.

When you call GE, ask if they have an interior upgrade for that panel. You never know.....
 

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Can't Remember
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10,202 Posts
Eaton Cutler Hammer makes replacement inserts and covers that will replace the the guts without removing the can, but all dimensions need to be taken, width, depth, height, type of cover, flush or surface and a list of breakers, for them to manufacture a replacement. You end up with more common easier to get, less expensive breakers. If those that you have are obsolete and no longer manufactured, used or new surplus are likely available, but as others mentioned, may cost more than a new panel (though maybe not, depending upon labor).
 

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Retired EC
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I know money is an issue but that panel being as old as it is probably should be replaced anyways. Find an electrician to price it for you
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to all for your replies. I think that the panel enclosure is so large, that it may be easier than thought to place an entire new modern panel inside, or just the guts of a modern panel. It may be a tedious job, but with organization, proper labeling of the wires, etc..., it may not be that hard after all. I will ask an electrician to quote it.
 

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@MHElectric being that you were the one who started a thread suggesting panel replacement should be "pushed" after 25 years, in surprised you didn't suggest it here. At 55 years old, with obsolete parts, and beginning to show issues, I'd say this one is a prime candidate.

Sent from my SM-G975W using Tapatalk
 

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@MHElectric being that you were the one who started a thread suggesting panel replacement should be "pushed" after 25 years, in surprised you didn't suggest it here. At 55 years old, with obsolete parts, and beginning to show issues, I'd say this one is a prime candidate.

Sent from my SM-G975W using Tapatalk
:biggrin: Sounds like you caught me red-handed being a hypocrite!

To the OP - Panel change! Immediately! It's over 25 years old and that baby might cause a fire at any time if it doesn't get replaced!!!

Good call B-nabs. :thumbup1:
 

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Can't Remember
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I don't know that any one residential panel is that much better than another. GE is fine. You may have limitations on what you can get there. The only disadvantage to Homeline is their arc fault breakers are huge and take up a lot of gutter space. You may not need those depending upon local code.
 

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Willie, I was thinking of using GE, just because my other subpanel has GE. Is Square D better?
In the years when breaker manufacturers were forced to redesign their product to improve dependability Square D didn't have to change, they already met the new standard. I prefer Square D for several reasons.

I'm sure GE makes an acceptable product these days, I'm still mindful of the days of not tripping when they should, and burned buss bars. I hate all the older GE enclosures. I say they only paint a picture of a knock out. I pound long & hard, sometimes denting the box punching out a knockout.

Somebody will post saying I'm wrong, I don't have much experience with GE recently.
 

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Hackenschmidt
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Willie, I was thinking of using GE, just because my other subpanel has GE. Is Square D better?
There is no longer any value in matching the old panel, you can't get parts for either. Save the old main panel to salvage parts for the old one.

Choose the best brand from those that are readily available to you in your area. Talk to knowledgeable people in your area. I bet Siemens is available. Beware counterfeits purchased online!
 
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