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Breaker Box Fire


DougT4Bama
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The main breaker box on the outside of our home burned up a couple of days ago. We've had the entire unit and new breakers installed. The power company said that what happened was that a breaker shorted out and burned. Here is a link to the photos of the breakers and everything that was replaced. I know nothing about electricity, but I would like someone has had experience please tell me if the breakers burn like the ones in the photos. Thanks.

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Here is a document with the link to the photos. Sorry I forgot it with original message. The main breaker box on the outside of our home burned up a couple of days ago. We've had the entire unit and new breakers installed. The power company said that what happened was that a breaker shorted out and burned. Here is a link to the photos of the breakers and everything that was replaced. I know nothing about electricity, but I would like someone has had experience please tell me if the breakers burn like the ones in the photos. Thanks.

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Hi Guys,

I've got virus programs up the ying-yang on my box, so I checked out the link. Verified that it was safe, and then grabbed the link from the Word Doc and turned it into a hyperlink on DougT's original post, so it no longer goes through a word doc.

When you click on the hyperlink, it will take you to DougT's photo album on another site where it will take a minute to load a shockwave-type slide show with 46 photos of the remains of one very crispy exterior meter socket and panel.

The contrast is a little high on the photos, but if you want to get a better look at one or more, just grab them individually and reopen them in MS photodraw and you can lighten them up when necessary.

Pretty scary sight! Looks like the bus is completely melted away. Must have been aluminum!? I'd be interested to know what Douglas thinks about it.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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The question reinforces my paranoia, i.e., "is there something new we should know about?" That's the problem; I don't know. There always seems to be something new. I was bombarded by the current virus over the last 2 weeks, & I'm a little shaky.

Mike decided to be brave; I'm a wimp. I live & die w/ my network, & I have irrational fear of the unknown virus eating my system.

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Mike - Thanks for fixing the link. Sorry about the .doc file. I tried to put the link in my e-mail, but when I checked it, it wouldn't work. We are lucky the house didn't burn down. We do have a little smoke on the bricks just above the meter. Can any of you tell me if this is the nature of breakers? If so, I'll have them checked more often. Several years ago, the 100 amp breaker on our heat pump went bad, but it just quit working and an electrcian replaced it. Is there a certain brand of breaker box or breaker I should not use? Thanks for any info.

Doug

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Well,

Since you can still find the panels if you look hard enough, as well as new breakers, avoid any Sylvania panels and any Federal Pacifi Electric panels.

What brand panel is that? The pictures are kind of dark and make it hard to see the breaker configuration.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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All but one of the breakers is ITE / Gould, now owned by / known as Seimens, so that's probably the brand of the panel. The one odd breaker is GE (I think). The meter base just looks smoked-up, I don't think it had anything to do with the fire. The conduit carried the smoke and heat around to it, but I don't see any damage to the hardware.

It seems obvious that the problem was with the main buss bars somehow. The lug ends of the breakers are mostly intact, whereas the ends that grab the buss bars are a burnt mess.

Brian G.

Seen a Few Breakers like That, Never a Whole Panel

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Thanks everyone for the information. I checked the burned breaker box this morning, and it is an ITE. Three of the breakers say ITE Gould, so the box is Gould. One of the breakers is a GE, and another is a Murray/Seimens. The new breaker box is a Square D. We have had a great deal of rain, which the power company electrician said seems to be the case when he has encountered this problem at other homes.

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Originally posted by DougT4Bama

I checked the burned breaker box this morning, and it is an ITE. Three of the breakers say ITE Gould, so the box is Gould. One of the breakers is a GE, and another is a Murray/Seimens.

Bullseye! Damn I'm good!

Oh...sorry guys. I usually save that line of BS for my wife, it makes her laugh.

Brian G.

Domestic Comedian & Former Wholesale Elec. Supply Salesman

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