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Eaton Retrofit Interior Kit


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I got back from Corey Friedman's electrical presentation just now, and among several very interesting things, he also allowed as to how he'd very recently met with Eaton rep's, and learned of interior changeout kits for Federal, Zinsco, and other "outdated" panels.

Yes, I question the why not just change out the entire panel part, but apparently some folks @ Eaton are aware of the controversy concerning these panels.

In my city, there are thousands of them in high rise apartment and condo buildings all over the city. Changing out entire building service equipment simply is not realistic on any level. The retrofit kits are mfg. to custom spec's.

The larger story is the idea that major industries are paying attention to this stuff. If they are mfg. repair components, engineers in their companies think the stuff is crap too.

The sales pitch(es) are......

Replaces "vintage" brands that have hard to find, expensive replacement breakers

Allows upgrade to arc fault and gfci

Maximizes # of circuits available with compact design

Meet 2008 NEC bending requirements

Eco-friendly in asbestos filled environments

Uses existing panel box and wires

Eliminates drywall and paint rpeair

Saves 2-3 hours

It's field adjustable so you get precision refits.

I had one in my hands, and it was pretty darn cool.

I've got the first brochure; I haven't looked hard at the Eaton site yet, but it must be there.

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If they've really figured out how to accommodate the necessary wire bending space, it sounds like a great idea. After all, the enclosure is just a box. If you can fit a new panelboard in it, great. A lot of the work in a box change out is threading all of the individual cables in & out of the boxes and keeping track of what's what. If you could change just the panel, you'd save a lot of time & frustration.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Yep, it's the third one.

It's custom fab with some built in adjustment allowances. Not complicated, logical, and it's just nice and heavy duty and sensible. I couldn't tell anything about how it fits with bending requirements, but I'm assuming that's part of the custom order component of this product. They've probably got old model enclosure dimensions cataloged, and they mfg. on limited runs for big projects.

That Eaton is making them and referencing Zinsco and Fed Pac is the interesting part. This is huge validation for condemning the crappy panels if anyone still wants to argue the point.

And, there's a lot of these in crappy public housing; there's gov't. money in play. That draws out the big boys.

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