Breaker stuck in on position

and!ru

Member
Location
Washington
Occupation
Electrician
Working on a house I found the main breaker stuck in the closed position. I tried several times but couldn't get it to open. I ordered a new one to replace it, but I was wondering what the cause may be and if there's a remedy (without replacing). And is it possible the breaker can still trip if there's a fault? I'm just curious, because I've never ran across this before. The breaker is a CC2200 now discontinued. The replacement is the CCV2200.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Old Cutler hammer?
Sounds like welded contacts.
Replace it..
If you can’t get it to open and the contacts are welded it’s doubtful it will open on a fault.
kill the panel at the meter and replace it.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
kill the panel at the meter and replace it.
Before scheduling a meter pull, I would turn off all the branch circuit breakers, then see if the lug screws will loosen.

I've had it happen more than once, that POCO pulls the meter, then the lug screws won't loosen, and the SE cable has to be cut and is now not long enough.

Better to know if cable replacement is necessary before starting
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Retired Electrical Contractor
CH has had an issue with main breakers. I have had at least 5 of them fail either in that you couldn't turn them off or you turn it off and there was still power on.

In the beginning they were replacing them for free but then they decided not to do it. I think someone should take them to court. The ones we replaced were also 20-30 years old. I am not the only one who has run across this and I bet if someone went around and tested everyone there would be thousands of them not functioning properly.

Fwiw, they may trip properly, IDK, but the handle operation is definitely an issue.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Is handle "stuck" or does it move but not open contacts?

Stuck handle may or may not still open on overcurrent functions but then will have difficult trouble resetting it.
 

gar

Senior Member
220113-1032 EST

When I built my home starting in 1965 I installed all Sq-D QO equipment. For my main protection I went with fuses, 200 A. I have never blown either of the two fuses. The fuses are mounted in a removable plugin assembly. When that assembly is pulled you absolutely know that you are disconnected. The electrical gap is somewhere between 6 and 8 inches and completely visible that the home is disconnected from the AC supply.

There are numerous times when I have pulled the fuses for various experiments. There was one time when one wire of the three phase supply lines before me was broken by a tree branch. Our primary service is a three phase delta that is grounded only at the substation. One wire to the primary to of my single phase transformer's was fed from this opened line. My voltage would vary greatly from a low voltage to near full voltage. My guess is that various loads beyond me were cycling on and off from motors with thermal overloads in the motors. There are about 30 homes beyond me on this three phase service. Only about 10 homes would have been on the one good phase.

I see no good reason to use a main breaker.

.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
220113-1032 EST

When I built my home starting in 1965 I installed all Sq-D QO equipment. For my main protection I went with fuses, 200 A. I have never blown either of the two fuses. The fuses are mounted in a removable plugin assembly. When that assembly is pulled you absolutely know that you are disconnected. The electrical gap is somewhere between 6 and 8 inches and completely visible that the home is disconnected from the AC supply.

There are numerous times when I have pulled the fuses for various experiments. There was one time when one wire of the three phase supply lines before me was broken by a tree branch. Our primary service is a three phase delta that is grounded only at the substation. One wire to the primary to of my single phase transformer's was fed from this opened line. My voltage would vary greatly from a low voltage to near full voltage. My guess is that various loads beyond me were cycling on and off from motors with thermal overloads in the motors. There are about 30 homes beyond me on this three phase service. Only about 10 homes would have been on the one good phase.

I see no good reason to use a main breaker.

.
Cost??

Think you can normally purchase a QO 200 amp main breaker panel for less than you will a main lugs panel and separate fused disconnect to be used as your main. Takes less wall space also. Not aware of any currently made load centers with a fuse option for main OCPD
 

garbo

Senior Member
Working on a house I found the main breaker stuck in the closed position. I tried several times but couldn't get it to open. I ordered a new one to replace it, but I was wondering what the cause may be and if there's a remedy (without replacing). And is it possible the breaker can still trip if there's a fault? I'm just curious, because I've never ran across this before. The breaker is a CC2200 now discontinued. The replacement is the CCV2200.
Had this happen on two garbage ge 600 amp 600 volt breakers but in the off position. Could not turn them on. Our switchgear expert said that the old grease hardens up. Told us to use a heat gun and gently warm up the breakers. It worked but on next yearly PM & shutdown replaced breakers. I would be afraid of liability in this age of do we sue them and how so I would replace the breaker ASAP.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
North Georgia mountains
Occupation
Owner/electrical contractor
Had this happen on two garbage ge 600 amp 600 volt breakers but in the off position. Could not turn them on. Our switchgear expert said that the old grease hardens up. Told us to use a heat gun and gently warm up the breakers. It worked but on next yearly PM & shutdown replaced breakers. I would be afraid of liability in this age of do we sue them and how so I would replace the breaker ASAP.
Happens quite often, Square D has that problem too. One or more of the blades stick, and don’t open. I had a CH 400 amp three phase main breaker that would open, but would not close. It was in a 3R enclosure that was left open. Water intrusion swelled the fiber insulator, and wouldn’t let it close.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
North Georgia mountains
Occupation
Owner/electrical contractor
The bad thing, was the 400 amp was the main to a concrete plant, and I was adding a fusible disconnect for a roots type blower that unloaded the dry mix to plant storage tank. Told the owner I would only have him down for 15 minutes to tie it in. He was not happy when it would not reclose! It was his own fault they kept leaving the door open. I was able to disassemble the breaker and trim the insulator to get him back on line. I’m betting that breaker is still in operation 35 years later, and hasn’t been turned off since.
 

Ritchieco

Member
Location
Chicagoland Area
Occupation
Apprentice
CH has had an issue with main breakers. I have had at least 5 of them fail either in that you couldn't turn them off or you turn it off and there was still power on.

In the beginning they were replacing them for free but then they decided not to do it. I think someone should take them to court. The ones we replaced were also 20-30 years old. I am not the only one who has run across this and I bet if someone went around and tested everyone there would be thousands of them not functioning properly.

Fwiw, they may trip properly, IDK, but the handle operation is definitely an issue.
I’m not sure if someone addressed this but I believe the “reasoning” by the powers that be is along the lines of: we replaced them for free, but now (because of useful service life) they have served their time and would need to be replaced anyway- so we aren’t giving out freebies anymore.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
The problem with suing someone over this kind of thing is what are you going to recover versus what you spend on legal fees. Unless you can get a class action suit going on behalf of all people with this main breaker, and while that seems possible, even if there are a million of them out there, getting a law firm to take on such a case may not be the easiest thing.
 
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