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As I was throwing away a main breaker today which I replaced with a new $85.00 breaker, I was wondering what other guys do with the old ones. Do you recycle them or is there a place that buys them to recondition them? Not talking about a plain old single pole breaker, but the more expensive ones.
 

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They're garbage, dude.

The breaker refurbishing places get more of the run-of-the-mill breakers than you could imagine. If you have something weird they might be interested. But pretty much guaranteed they aren't going to care about anything residential grade.
 

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zap
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cc2kj said:
As I was throwing away a main breaker today which I replaced with a new $85.00 breaker, I was wondering what other guys do with the old ones. Do you recycle them or is there a place that buys them to recondition them? Not talking about a plain old single pole breaker, but the more expensive ones.
85$ is cheap for a main. Just put in a reconditioned 1000 amp ge that was about 3000$.
 

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motors and controls.........
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I've been known to connect them across a transformer type arc welder, turn the current all the way up and see what happens.........
 

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I guess depends on what you consider expensive to some extent. A molded case FD3225 (225A 3 phase) breaker would be a cheap breaker where I work. All of the ones in this picture were all recycled at a recycling center. We scrap the chunks of copper for scrap bin and will pull off any ok parts like lug kits or anything re usable. Everything in the picture was thoroughly worked over with a chipping hammer to make inoperable. Feels odd to smash apart breakers worth thousands of dollars but it is proved and tested defective and not suitable to return to service or repair when we keep it... so we take all measures to make sure that it doesn't find its way onto the used market.
 

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. so we take all measures to make sure that it doesn't find its way onto the used market.
I have always been a great believer of recycling. But junk is junk.
Whenever I would take a load of junk to the local dump (small town)l, there were usually a few people scavenging. I can imagine the look on their faces when the perceived treasures turned out to be totally smashed and useless:laughing:
If a qualified electrician feels something is unsafe to reuse, then the material should be destroyed.
 
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Molded case breakers are designed to be non-repairable, and not that we've never opened any up, but as soon as we do all factory certifications and ETL listings go bye-bye, so it's never the best option for the customer.

Besides which, while their are reconditioning standards for MCCBs, many places don't follow them, and you're likely getting a used breaker in the exact same totally unknown condition it was in when it was removed from service.

Finally, given that most MCCBs are removed from service nearing the end of their useful life, and especially if there's no effective reconditioning done to them, it's actually a bad idea to resell those because both the seller and buyer are assuming huge liabilities.
 

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I just toss them out but lots of guys want old zinsco stuff to sell I guess
 

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Depends on the circuit breaker, small molded case trash, larger ones are tested and kept for temporary. Draw out CB's we try to sell.
 
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