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  1. #1
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    Cool Circuit Breakers:

    Recently inspected a 1957 built home with circuit breaker panel box which appeared original, indicated that in the inspection report. Insurance co. has questioned the age of the circuit breaker panel box, does anyone know what year circuit breakers were first used in residntial construction? Thanks -

    Tom McKay
    Melbourne Atlaantic Home Inspections, Inc.
    ASHI Certified Inspector

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:

    Don't know the answer, but most of my town was built in the late 40's and early 50's, and has circuit breakers in all of the original buildings. Some of the older ones have a knife switch with 2 fuses as the disconnect, and breakers in the distribution panel, but it was all original.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:

    Thanks Jim, that is helpfull.


  4. #4
    Scott Murdock's Avatar
    Scott Murdock Guest

    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:

    Was intrested after your posting and the only thing I can find was a small section that is vague at best here it is from Wikipedia under
    Fuse (electrical)


    In North America, fuses were used in buildings wired before 1960. These "Edison Base" type fuses, would screw into a fuse socket similar to Edison-base incandescent lamps. Ratings were 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 amperes. To prevent installation of fuses with an excessive current rating, later fuse boxes included rejection features in the fuseholder socket. Some installations use resettable miniature thermal circuit breakers which screw into that fuse socket.
    One form of fuse box abuse was to put a penny in the socket, which defeated overcurrent protection and resulted in a dangerous condition.
    In the 1950s, fuses in new residential or industrial construction for branch circuit protection were superseded by low voltage circuit breakers.

    Hope it helps.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:

    Thanks for that informaton, it seems circuit breakers were available in the 50's especially in custom homes, that is what I am dealing with.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:

    Try here: Circuit Breaker Technical Information - CIRCUIT BREAKERS

    1932 Westinghouse begins marketing their modern molded case air circuit breaker.

    1935 Square D manufactures first circuit breakers for use in homes.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:

    Thanks Jerry, that is exactly what I was looking for - TM


  8. #8
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:


    Old Square D manufactures first circuit breakers for use in homes.

    This was one that i came accross last week they told me the home went back to 1940?

    Best

    Ron


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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    Old Square D manufactures first circuit breakers for use in homes.

    This was one that i came across last week they told me the home went back to 1940?

    Best

    Ron
    Those are plug-in Square D, which did not come out until 1951.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:

    Thanks Ron, good information!


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Those are plug-in Square D, which did not come out until 1951.
    Definitely. Those are QO series which are predated by XO series.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:

    Here's some pics of '57 and '58 services and panels. The first is Federal Pacific No-Arc, still not arcing.
    The last is an Amalgamated Electric, a modern combination panel from '59, uses Westinghouse or GE breakers. Yeah it is minus an important part.

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  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:

    In my area I'd say the cut-off from fuses to circuit breakers was in the early 50's. There are some of each on either side of that time but that's a good average mark of the change over.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Here's some pics of '57 and '58 services and panels. The first is Federal Pacific No-Arc, still not arcing.
    The last is an Amalgamated Electric, a modern combination panel from '59, uses Westinghouse or GE breakers. Yeah it is minus an important part.
    That panel is just a Federal "No-Ark", it predates Federal Pacific, I have seen the "No-Ark" name on equipment built by Colt (firearms) so they may have predated Federal.

    My 1943 house had SQ D Multi-breakers in the kitchen. Multi-breakers were replaced by the Cutler-Hammer / Sq D XO breakers which by 1960 was obsolete.


  15. #15
    Jim Katen's Avatar
    Jim Katen Guest

    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    . . . My 1943 house had SQ D Multi-breakers in the kitchen. Multi-breakers were replaced by the Cutler-Hammer / Sq D XO breakers which by 1960 was obsolete.
    Here are some pictures of those old Square D multi-breakers. I suspect that these are the oldest type of in-service breaker that we're likely to see.

    - Jim Katen, Oregon

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:

    I believe this is a photo of the Frank Adam brand of panel that I see in our older neighborhood. This house would have been built in 1948.

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    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  17. #17
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Circuit Breakers:

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    That panel is just a Federal "No-Ark", it predates Federal Pacific, I have seen the "No-Ark" name on equipment built by Colt (firearms) so they may have predated Federal.
    You are correct, Rollie, it is NoArk with a K.

    I would have spelled it 'Arc' myself, everybody knows the ark was a boat. Hey, maybe it's a 'sub' panel.

    That '57 NoArk panel has a Federal Pacific label inside, possibly using both names at that point.


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