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  1. #1
    Bill Miller's Avatar
    Bill Miller Guest

    Default Panel meltdown mystery

    Mystery of this panel meltdown, even the electrician did not know cause.
    Both HVAC breakers blew out and melted.
    Main 200 amp did not trip.
    Not sure of brand, electrician removed only leaving buss.
    A few days prior HVAC tech sold her on installing a surge protector, they claim blowout not connected to their work.
    Lucky the home did not burn, she was home at the time.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Panel meltdown mystery

    Little more than a guess:
    One (maybe two) breakers were loose on the buss bar.
    This caused overheating at the connection of the breaker and buss bar.
    Buss bar overheated and melted.
    The melted material contacted the opposite buss bar, creating a direct short.
    The short was only protected by the 200 amp main.
    Thus, the blowout you see.
    Again, just speculation.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Panel meltdown mystery

    I have looked at a couple panels that have fried like that. I usually assume that it is loose connections, but once things burn up like that it is hard to say.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: Panel meltdown mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Miller View Post
    A few days prior HVAC tech sold her on installing a surge protector, they claim blowout not connected to their work.
    Bets anyone......HVAC tech better be a licensed electrician or no amount of 'splainin' is gonna save him.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Panel meltdown mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Bets anyone......HVAC tech better be a licensed electrician or no amount of 'splainin' is gonna save him.
    I find it amazing sometimes how many homeowners accept all kinds of explanations from contractors.

    Unrelated, but this past weekend I was visiting my daughter who lives near Rockville, MD. A neighbor just had a contractor install a granite counter top. During the installation he broke it in half. His response was that he would pay for 1/2 of a new one. Apparently one guy was balancing the CT on his knee when this happened.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wenatchee Wa
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Panel meltdown mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    I find it amazing sometimes how many homeowners accept all kinds of explanations from contractors.

    Unrelated, but this past weekend I was visiting my daughter who lives near Rockville, MD. A neighbor just had a contractor install a granite counter top. During the installation he broke it in half. His response was that he would pay for 1/2 of a new one. Apparently one guy was balancing the CT on his knee when this happened.
    Your daughter should respond, "great then it is your insurance is paying for the other half"

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    I find it amazing sometimes how many homeowners accept all kinds of explanations from contractors.

    Unrelated, but this past weekend I was visiting my daughter who lives near Rockville, MD. A neighbor just had a contractor install a granite counter top. During the installation he broke it in half. His response was that he would pay for 1/2 of a new one. Apparently one guy was balancing the CT on his knee when this happened.
    Your daughter should respond, "great then it is your insurance is paying for the other half"

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    421

    Default Re: Panel meltdown mystery

    Can't tell by the pic but if this was one of the back-fed main types, that would be my first guess.
    Replaced a few 'guts' on that type which looked just this way.
    I could answer the question with good pics but obviously the evidence has been a tampered wit!!

    All the HVAC guys I know think they are qualified. Sheesh


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Chico,Ca
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: Panel meltdown mystery

    The panel interior is a Challenger, notice the stabs for the Zinsco main breaker above the damaged stabs. It's a cheap panel & what do you expect?


  9. #9
    Mbrooke's Avatar
    Mbrooke Guest

    Default Re: Panel meltdown mystery

    Looks like either a Bryant or Murray brand. Murray is well known for this, especially the red body main breakers.

    Most likely a poor connection/arcing at the stab that generated a lot of heat melting everything around it.


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