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Old 07-27-2014, 02:20 PM   #1
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Main Circuit Breaker fail..

Main circuit breaker- I completed a 2 hour routine run of the generator under load, then connected to shore power. (manually ) and turned the main CB back on. I was checking the surge protector time out, as the Surge Guard energized, there was the sound of bacon frying coming from the main power panel. First reaction was to jump back, --then to turn off the Main CB and disconnect the power cable..
Everything looked normal with the panel cover off. Re-applied power and the main CB again sizzled internally for 4 or 5 seconds.
Removed the CB and it was very hot. Replaced with a new 50amp CB, (Home Depot +-$15) all back to normal.

Don't know where this would have led if I had not stayed there while the power energized. Hopefully the CB on the pedestal or the one in the house would have provided some protection.
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:07 PM   #2
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Big question is why did it fry a breaker? Was genny still running,possible bad transfer switch. Was there a lot of stuff on pulling almost 50amps? Breaker should not sizzle it should just throw. Or it was just tired not making a good connection and was just arcing.
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:19 PM   #3
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Probably just contacts arcing internally,. No transfer switch, my rig requires moving power cord to generator receptacle. Had just run 2 ac's for about 2 hours on genny, but that's only about half load. New CB gets barely warm under same load. Old CB was almost too hot to hold several minutes after power removed..
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:21 AM   #4
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Over time the contacts go bad.

Recently had to change main on home and a friends home.

Some folks use them like light switch and that is fine if no power applied.

What happens is the surface area of the contacts degrades then becomes resistant.

In a series circuit with different items the part with higest resistance generates most heat.

Does not take much to start it then it degrades seemingly fast.

When you pull it out it falls apart
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:47 PM   #5
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My first year teacher in electrical school calls that the FM factor. " freaking magic
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:00 PM   #6
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Most of the time this is due to loose wiring, when was the last time you checked all the electrical contact lugs for tightness?. Most overlooked task, and usually causes the most damage.

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Old 09-09-2014, 11:32 AM   #7
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Bill- Prior electronics tech so checking or cleaning connections part of normal routine. This arcing was internal to the circuit breaker, just sizzle, no smoke...
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:24 PM   #8
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Dirty contacts will cause this. A breaker is just like any other part or the rv or house it needs to be used by that I mean every once in a while turn them off and back on helps keep things free and working. Attended a safety class by square d several years ago and that is what we were told.
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