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  1. #1
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    Default Please educate me on Bulldog ITE Pushmatic

    I inspected the exterior of an apartment building with 4 units on Tuesday and the interior yesterday. Every unit had identical Bulldog ITE Pushmatic panels. I have the following questions:

    1. There is an electric range and a 40 amp breaker straddles two sides of the panel so I assume one phase is on the left and one on the right and you cross it to get 240V. Correct?
    2. Some single phase breakers seem to be elongated like the 15A in the pic while others are have the height such as the 20A? Why?
    3. There is not main disconnect. The only possibility is the box between the meters show in the second pic. I am going to go back to the property to see if I can open it up but I originally assumed it was just a junction box. Have you guys seen this kind of setup and will I find 4 disconnects in this box? Will they be breakers or switches?

    I appreciate the help.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Please educate me on Bulldog ITE Pushmatic

    The most common setup in the residential service is a 120/240V 3 wire single phase. The 2 hot legs are just at opposite ends of the transformer with a neutral point in the middle.

    The box between the meters is simply a junction box.

    The panel label will tell you a lot about the panel, including the locations of bond screws or straps and whether it is a split bus design.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Please educate me on Bulldog ITE Pushmatic

    There were two labels. One basically explains how to add or replace a breaker and from the other I learned that the panel is rated at 110Amps when using aluminum "service entrance equipment." If the exterior box is just a junction box, then what serves as a disconnect? Could it be back in 1962 they figured you could just turn off all the breakers?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Please educate me on Bulldog ITE Pushmatic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Cissell View Post
    I inspected the exterior of an apartment building with 4 units on Tuesday and the interior yesterday. Every unit had identical Bulldog ITE Pushmatic panels. I have the following questions:

    3. There is not main disconnect. The only possibility is the box between the meters show in the second pic. I am going to go back to the property to see if I can open it up but I originally assumed it was just a junction box. Have you guys seen this kind of setup and will I find 4 disconnects in this box? Will they be breakers or switches?

    I appreciate the help.
    I can't tell from your pic but it's probably a split bus. This is a split bus Pushmatic from a couple of days ago. 3 punches and all the power is off.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Please educate me on Bulldog ITE Pushmatic

    Thanks Mike. Your panel and wiring diagram shows a "main" which I would assume is a disconnect?? My panel has no breaker labeled as "main" nor does the wiring diagram depict a main. This building was built in 1962.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Please educate me on Bulldog ITE Pushmatic

    there might be a case of there is no shut off per say but to shut things off you have to pull a couple of fuses located inside the breaker box but hidden inside of a holder. if there is no ready switch to shut power off this might be the case.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Please educate me on Bulldog ITE Pushmatic

    Tom, You did not say were the distributions panels are located. Normally in my area in a multi-unit building the meters and main breakers are grouped together outside and the distribution panels are inside each apartment. Usually there is no main disconnect inside the (sub) distribution panel, it is at the meter.

    If there is no main breaker then the 6 throw rule applies.

    240 breakers straddle the center bar, 120 breakers attach to one side or the other. Since the bus bars have threaded holes that the breakers are screwed to it is possible and fairly common to see wires directly connected to the bus bar without a breaker. The other common issues with pushmatic breakers are the on / off indicator flags break or stick and so you cannot depend of the indicator to tell you the breaker is on or off and eventually the breakers will not reset when tripped or turned off.

    Last edited by Don Martin; 02-03-2013 at 09:25 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Please educate me on Bulldog ITE Pushmatic

    Thanks Don. That is exactly the info I was looking for. The meters are clustered outside on the back wall outside each building. The panels are in a pantry in the kitchen. Building was built in 1962.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Please educate me on Bulldog ITE Pushmatic

    2. Some single phase breakers seem to be elongated like the 15A in the pic while others are have the height such as the 20A? Why?

    The smaller breakers (i.e. non-elongated) are twin breakers.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Please educate me on Bulldog ITE Pushmatic

    Maybe I'm missing something in the first set of pictures but it appears to me that the panels depicted do not have a main circuit breaker and are in violation of the 6 throw rule as well.

    There will not be any means of disconnect located within the meter channel.

    And.......if there was, disconnect needs to be readily accessible.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Please educate me on Bulldog ITE Pushmatic

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D. Fornataro View Post
    Maybe I'm missing something in the first set of pictures but it appears to me that the panels depicted do not have a main circuit breaker and are in violation of the 6 throw rule as well.

    There will not be any means of disconnect located within the meter channel.

    And.......if there was, disconnect needs to be readily accessible.
    That panel is a split buss panel. The third circuit breaker from the top (labeled main lighting) controls everything below. So there are three main circuit breakers (i.e. the main lighting breaker and the two above).


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Please educate me on Bulldog ITE Pushmatic

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    That panel is a split buss panel. The third circuit breaker from the top (labeled main lighting) controls everything below. So there are three main circuit breakers (i.e. the main lighting breaker and the two above).
    The pictures attached to the original post reflect something different than you have identified.

    I am fully cognizant of what a spilt-bus panel looks like and I don't see this picture as such.

    The odd side (left) has blanks in the first position, probably covering the main lugs.

    The next descending position on that side appears to be twin single phase circuit breakers of undetermined rating.

    As are the next position descending downward. (hard to tell but it also appears to be "double-tapped.")

    On the even or right side, the top position is again blank.

    The next descending position is a full size 15A, single phase circuit breaker which appears to have a #12 wire connected to it.

    Next position down is occupied by twin 20A, single phase circuit breakers.

    It's difficult to ascertain but the top conductor, which is newer wire and black appears to be smaller guage than the white conductor underneath it and connected to the second half of the twin.

    I'm also not willing to bet the house on wire guage as the older insulation is considerably thicker but it appears as if they are different in the picture.

    Appearances can be deceiving though.

    One could argue that this is a 220V circuit but there is an absence of a tie-handle between what I customarily would identify as a single phase twin breaker.

    However, on a Bulldog panel, opposing bus bars carry the phases as opposed to todays panels which are configured as phase one, phase two in a descending order.

    The third, or is it fourth if you count the blanks, is clearly identified as a "range" circuit of undetermined amperage.

    Note that this breaker, regardless of usage, straddles both left and right bus bar thereby making it a 220V circuit breaker.

    Where did you see the split-bus main?

    These are bolt-on circuit breakers and it is confusing because you can make out an aluminum conductor attached to a lug which could lead one to identify such as a split-bus, however; it is clearly labeled "range."

    The lug, I beleive, is integral to the "range" breaker.

    Without being in front of the panel, I guess we'll agree to disagree but I will concede that I have seen panels incorrectly wired using the "range" breaker as the split-bus main.

    Hope we didn't bore the HI's but many haven't encountered these archaic albeit still in use panels before and many an aspiring electrician has been confused by the odd or old arrangement that such a panel presents phase-wise.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Please educate me on Bulldog ITE Pushmatic

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D. Fornataro View Post
    The pictures attached to the original post reflect something different than you have identified.

    I am fully cognizant of what a spilt-bus panel looks like and I don't see this picture as such.

    The odd side (left) has blanks in the first position, probably covering the main lugs.

    The next descending position on that side appears to be twin single phase circuit breakers of undetermined rating.

    As are the next position descending downward. (hard to tell but it also appears to be "double-tapped.")

    On the even or right side, the top position is again blank.

    The next descending position is a full size 15A, single phase circuit breaker which appears to have a #12 wire connected to it.

    Next position down is occupied by twin 20A, single phase circuit breakers.

    It's difficult to ascertain but the top conductor, which is newer wire and black appears to be smaller guage than the white conductor underneath it and connected to the second half of the twin.

    I'm also not willing to bet the house on wire guage as the older insulation is considerably thicker but it appears as if they are different in the picture.

    Appearances can be deceiving though.

    One could argue that this is a 220V circuit but there is an absence of a tie-handle between what I customarily would identify as a single phase twin breaker.

    However, on a Bulldog panel, opposing bus bars carry the phases as opposed to todays panels which are configured as phase one, phase two in a descending order.

    The third, or is it fourth if you count the blanks, is clearly identified as a "range" circuit of undetermined amperage.

    Note that this breaker, regardless of usage, straddles both left and right bus bar thereby making it a 220V circuit breaker.

    Where did you see the split-bus main?

    These are bolt-on circuit breakers and it is confusing because you can make out an aluminum conductor attached to a lug which could lead one to identify such as a split-bus, however; it is clearly labeled "range."

    The lug, I beleive, is integral to the "range" breaker.

    Without being in front of the panel, I guess we'll agree to disagree but I will concede that I have seen panels incorrectly wired using the "range" breaker as the split-bus main.

    Hope we didn't bore the HI's but many haven't encountered these archaic albeit still in use panels before and many an aspiring electrician has been confused by the odd or old arrangement that such a panel presents phase-wise.
    Richard, Sorry. I was looking at the photo posted by Mike Lamb, not the original photo. I do not see a main with that panel and cannot say that it is a split buss panel. I suppose it could be correct if it were a correctly wired feeder panel.


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