Old Murray Panel

curt swartz

Electrical Contractor - San Jose, CA
Location
San Jose, CA
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Electrical Contractor
I agree with Norcal. The panel is listed for ITE breakers so just use a Siemens. ITE=Siemens, just name change.

Most old Murray load centers list ITE and many list Bryant too.
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
I agree with Norcal. The panel is listed for ITE breakers so just use a Siemens. ITE=Siemens, just name change.

Most old Murray load centers list ITE and many list Bryant too.
My understanding, based on a public letter from Siemens, is that Siemens brand products that are approved to be used in Murray panels...
are only approved for a certain few Murray panels manufactured after Jan. 2002.

There is a weird piece of this puzzle though that Siemens makes Replacement Only - Non-CTL breakers, which only make sense to me for the older panels the aforementioned letter says should NOT accept Siemens cross overs.
 

ramsy

Owner/Operator
Location
LA basin, CA
Occupation
Service Electrician 2017 NEC
I've had this in my pocket for 17 years.

Curt Swartz said:
10-08-03, 07:53 PM #4 curt swartz
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 944
Re: Circuit Breaker Compatibility
Crouse Hinds distribution equipment was renamed back to Murray when Siemens acquired the line. Murray breakers with the same part number can be used in Crouse Hinds equipment. Crouse Hinds equipment was named Murray before it was Crouse Hinds.

Cutler-Hammer acquired the Westinghouse distribution line which included Challenger. A Cutler-Hammer BR circuit breaker is the replacement for Westinghouse (Bryant) BR circuit breakers and Challenger C breakers. If you look at a BR breaker you will notice that it has both the Westinghouse and Challenger part numbers on it.
Curt Swartz
Electrical Contractor
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
Seems to me that the direct Siemens cross over or replacement is not approved of for this panel... that I have to look for an actual Murray breaker if the panel was made pre-2002.

I have documentation for Type MP-T anywhere Type MP is approved of, but for neither of those types, can I find a tandem breaker.
Worse, all of the breakers with Model Number MP#### are actually type MH-T. So I keep thinking I've found "the one" and then it ends up being a different type and I have to remind myself that Model/Catalog #'s are NOT Breaker Types, lol.

What's the world coming to that you can't trust a completely unknown private Amazon seller to label their product info correctly! haha.

The only tandem breakers I can seem to find would be Type MH-T.

I was pointed in the direction of some refurbished Type EP, which is also approved... and just read about a code change that finally defines refurbished. Apparently, as long it's "identified" (not "listed") as "refurbished" (i.e. labeled with refurbisher name, date, etc.) they would be acceptable.

 

ramsy

Owner/Operator
Location
LA basin, CA
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Service Electrician 2017 NEC
Maybe @Jraef will be along, he used to work for Siemens.
Jraef said:
Aug-12, 2017, 11:17 AM #9
Jraef' Moderator
Join Date Jul 2006
Location San Francisco, CA, USA
Posts 6,631

First off, circuit breakers can only be UL Listed by testing them IN the panels they are designed to go with, which ultimately boils down to the same mfr. But years ago, mfrs started designing panels for residential use where the mounting and connections were virtually the same. We used to collectively refer to this type of breaker as "interchangeable"; you could plug a Bryant breaker into a Murray panel or a GE breaker into a Sylvania panel, as long as they were the same style of breaker. But some time in the 80s, a lot of field failures took place and in ensuing investigations it became clear that unless specifically tested, these mfr mismatches did not always perform as expected, then created a conflict in determining who's fault that was, the panel mfr, the breaker mfr or the person who did it.

Since the lawyers only wanted to go after deep pockets, and it was unclear which mfr had the issue, a lot of homeowners insurance companies ended up holding the bag. That then prompted them to get UL involved, who came up with a new process by which otherwise UL listed breakers could also be "classified" to be used in some specific panels, so long as the BREAKER mfr tested them in those specific panels and listed those specific panels in their installation instructions. This system by the way NEVER includes "series ratings" for higher AICs, so if you are in an area that requires 22kAIC or higher, Classified Breakers are immediately eliminated as a possibility.

So technically, if the specific panel that you are looking at is on the specific list of tested panels in the Classification certification of those Homeline breakers and 10kAIC is acceptable in your area, they are perfectly legal. If not, they are illegal. That level of detail is virtually ignored in the retail industry, because if a homeowner installs something themselves, they assume their own risks. Electrical Contractors however cannot ignore the liability associated with willy-nilly use of Classified breakers, just as we cannot ignore any other portion of the NEC, and the misuse of a Classified breaker would violate 110.3 no matter what.

So now we come up against the kind of situation you are involved in; YOU did not originally install them, but now YOU have seen them, so does that then shift responsibility for investigating whether they are appropriately applied over to you? Good question. The SAFE BET, as others have said, is to just replace them, because the time and hassle to investigate them is worth more than the breakers themselves in most cases. But with smart phone access now, it might only take a minute or two to find and download the list of approved panels for Homeline breakers to find out. So that makes it a judgement call.

Of course if you are in an area that requires more than 10kAIC, you don't need to bother checking, it's an automatic fail.
___________________________________________
Many people are shocked when they discover I am not a good electrician...
 

ramsy

Owner/Operator
Location
LA basin, CA
Occupation
Service Electrician 2017 NEC
..I was pointed in the direction of some refurbished Type EP
Except for some removable lugs & bus contacts, never seen a riveted MCCB (Molded Case Circuit Breaker) intended to provide recondition access prohibited by design and 110.3(B).

Suppliers resell them used, can warranty failure, even claim to test overload function, but are only subject to Joint and Several Liability after casualty claims.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Didn't either '17 or '20 do something about that? I remember reading somewhere that they introduced a definition of "refurbished" but something about it having to be recertified by UL.
I believe 2020 NEC has this.

I also think there is a difference between used and refurbished. Cleaning it up so it looks nicer is not refurbishing, but at same time shouldn't be called refurbishing either. Small breakers like this have no renewable parts, without getting into an actual refurbishing act. Some other items might have some replacement components. Take some NEMA contactors/starters, you can replace contacts and coils on most if not all of them, they make parts kits for doing so, but I wouldn't call that refurbishing either, but it may come some what close to refurbishing. There are still other parts that aren't really available as replacements that could be needed for a complete refurbishment.

One good example of what refurbish is IMO is taking a burned out motor and rewinding it, replacing bearings, and fixing other issues it may have, even if it takes a little machine shop type work to do so, which I think many motor shops are capable of.
 

curt swartz

Electrical Contractor - San Jose, CA
Location
San Jose, CA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
My understanding, based on a public letter from Siemens, is that Siemens brand products that are approved to be used in Murray panels...
are only approved for a certain few Murray panels manufactured after Jan. 2002.

There is a weird piece of this puzzle though that Siemens makes Replacement Only - Non-CTL breakers, which only make sense to me for the older panels the aforementioned letter says should NOT accept Siemens cross overs.
Stop looking at that letter! It has nothing to do with the loadcenter you are working on. Your load center lists ITE(Siemens) as listed breakers. You don't need a cross reference to use breakers that are already listed for your loadcenter

The letter you are using is for Murray loadcenters than only list Murray breakers and don't list Siemens breakers on the label.
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
Stop looking at that letter! It has nothing to do with the loadcenter you are working on. Your load center lists ITE(Siemens) as listed breakers. You don't need a cross reference to use breakers that are already listed for your loadcenter

The letter you are using is for Murray loadcenters than only list Murray breakers and don't list Siemens breakers on the label.
With respect, I think that's wishful thinking. A panel made by a company in the 1960's.. and said company being purchased by another company (i.e. Siemens) 30 years later... does not necessarily equal justification for using those later dated breakers in said panel. There needs to be something more substantive.

The letter I'm referring to absolutely applies to this panel. It explicitly states that Siemens cross-reference breakers for Murray panels are only UL approved for panels made after Jan. 2002. ... and it's blatantly clear via the NI Class that this is a panel from the 50's-60's.
 

curt swartz

Electrical Contractor - San Jose, CA
Location
San Jose, CA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
With respect, I think that's wishful thinking. A panel made by a company in the 1960's.. and said company being purchased by another company (i.e. Siemens) 30 years later... does not necessarily equal justification for using those later dated breakers in said panel. There needs to be something more substantive.

The letter I'm referring to absolutely applies to this panel. It explicitly states that Siemens cross-reference breakers for Murray panels are only UL approved for panels made after Jan. 2002. ... and it's blatantly clear via the NI Class that this is a panel from the 50's-60's.
So every ITE and Gould panel must be replaced if adding a new breaker because the company changed names?
By your reasoning I guess that also means I can't install a new SquareD QO breaker in a QO panel that was build prior to Schneider purchasing SquareD?
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
So every ITE and Gould panel must be replaced if adding a new breaker because the company changed names?
By your reasoning I guess that also means I can't install a new SquareD QO breaker in a QO panel that was build prior to Schneider purchasing SquareD?
You're conflating the idea of an instantaneous name change w/ the one that, in my case, took place 30 years after the panel was made.
And I never said it was an absolute no go. I simply said it had to be more substantive... such as a statement on company letterhead that approves of the exchange, like the letter I cited.

For example, after Siemens purchased Murray, they continued to make Murray products, which is why they released the letter I cited shortly after the merger - to combat this exact issue... but there is no way one can just assume that a panel made by Murray in the 1960's is approved for use with a breaker made by Siemens post 2000 simply because they merged.

I'm simply saying that the companies merging is not sufficient enough. There's more to it than that.
 

curt swartz

Electrical Contractor - San Jose, CA
Location
San Jose, CA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I have been in the trade 38 years. I have experienced many of the mergers, buyouts, name changes. I have purchased and installed, Gould, ITE, Bryant, Challenger, Westinghouse, Cutler Hammer, Crouse Hinds (old name for Murray).

I don't tell my customers that I need to replace their equipment every time a company changes names.

An ITE Type Q breaker is the exact same thing as a Gould Type Q and Siemens Type Q. Just a different company names.
Same goes for Bryant BR, Westinghouse BR and Eaton BR. All the same just different company names.
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
Location
Northern California
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Solar and Energy Storage Installer
I have not read through all the super-nerdism above but seriously, just use Siemens breakers if that's what you got. Unless your problem is convincing an unreasonable inspector. The Q of recent vintage are 100% physically identical to the MP of recent vintage, other than the label. I do not know why Siemens doesn't put both Q and MP on the breaker labels (the way Eaton puts both BR and C for the old Challenger panels) but there cannot be a good reason for it.
 
Last edited:

ramsy

Owner/Operator
Location
LA basin, CA
Occupation
Service Electrician 2017 NEC
..Your load center lists ITE(Siemens) as listed breakers. You don't need a cross reference to use breakers that are already listed for your loadcenter
07F5EAA2-1BCF-4840-B3D2-BEFA78A4677D.jpeg
Murray on left is MP2020N, the ITE EQ-T 20A twins have rejection tab in place, listed for the existing load center.

Unless adverse to used equipment, Curt is suggesting similar plug-in ITE breakers, perhaps with rejection tabs removed, which the equipment was designed.
 
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winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
I agree with Jerramundi: there needs to be a proper 'chain' connecting the panel to the breaker. There are many many breaker designs that are similar and 'fit' but but because the fit isn't quite correct the chance of failure is higher than it should be. If nothing else there needs to be a legal chain saying that the breaker installed is correct for the panel for liability protection.

Curt Swartz is correct: the letter than Jerramundi posted describes a 'chain' that connects Siemens breakers to all Murray panels manufactured after 2002. This chain does not include the panel that Jerramundi is working with, so the letter is irrelevant. Jerramundi needs to look at each breaker type listed on the panel label and see if there is a chain that connects it to a breaker manufactured today.

IMHO if one of the breaker types listed on the panel can be connected to a current model via name changes only, that is a different valid chain.

-Jon
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
Location
Northern California
Occupation
Solar and Energy Storage Installer
...

IMHO if one of the breaker types listed on the panel can be connected to a current model via name changes only, that is a different valid chain.

-Jon
It's common knowledge that Siemens are the same as the old ITE. Google it or see for example here: https://forums.mikeholt.com/threads/siemens-breaker-compatible-with-ite-panel.136456/

I would at least try to contact Siemens before replacing a panel. Again, I don't know why they don't make it more plainly obvious on their documentation.
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
I have been in the trade 38 years. I have experienced many of the mergers, buyouts, name changes. I have purchased and installed, Gould, ITE, Bryant, Challenger, Westinghouse, Cutler Hammer, Crouse Hinds (old name for Murray).
And those 38 years could most certainly be valuable, which is why I'm on here writing this, instead of just puffing my chest out and pretending the input received on this forum is below me. At the same time, length of time in the trade can also be detrimental to critical thinking skills and result in stubborn, uninformed positions resistant change (not that yours is).

It could very well be, as has happened in the past, that a lack of documentation for an approved crossover, after pressure from the industry, results in new testing that then approves of the very same said crossover.

My entire point to you was simply that documentation is required.
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
I don't tell my customers that I need to replace their equipment every time a company changes names.
Nor do I. But Siemens did not buy Murray yesterday... or a few years ago.. or even a decade ago.
That merger is over 20 years old and contains within it several other mergers... something like a half dozen or more, that occurred over a period of 60 years.

On top of that, this panel was made 30 years prior to the Murray - Siemens merger. And more important still, is that this particular panel is from a time period before CTL was introduced, which most, if not all, modern breakers are and have been since 1970.

Point being, again, simply grabbing a Siemens breaker because the two companies merged is not sufficient, IMO.
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
I do not know why Siemens doesn't put both Q and MP on the breaker labels (the way Eaton puts both BR and C for the old Challenger panels) but there cannot be a good reason for it.
If the cross over is approved, they should put both model numbers and/or types on the breaker. I agree.
Siemens might be hesitant to do so for the same reasons I am digging deep into this issue - liability and professionalism.
 
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