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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    VA
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    Default Hot breaker in a panel

    Experimenting with my new infrared camera and took a look at a power panel. The hot water breaker was up to 93 degrees while everything else was around 78 degrees. My question is how hot must a breaker be before you call it out as too hot?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia, electrical only
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    294

    Default Re: Hot breaker in a panel

    First: I don't know.
    Second, rule ff thumb: if it's "Ouch!" hot, I don't trust it, unless it's inherently lossy, like a light, heater, perhaps transformer.
    Third, if the CB is marked 60/75 deg C, it's supposed to handle that temperature, which is wa-ay higher than you measured. Tested at 100% rated load, the parts you can touch aren't supposed to exceed 60 deg C after it achieves equilibrium.
    Fourth, to confuse matters, tests in the standard can be destructive.
    And fifth, I love new toys, but if an ammeter says it's handling the load the heater says it should supply, and the CB doesn't give you other indications of something being wrong, a' wouldna be worrit now.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Orlando, FL
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    1,564

    Default Re: Hot breaker in a panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Huffman View Post
    The hot water breaker was up to 93 degrees ...
    That's not even "room" or ambient temperature around these parts, especially in a garage or external panelboard.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia, electrical only
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    294

    Default Re: Hot breaker in a panel

    Right you are, Dom. Of course, the ish here most likely is "is there abnormal temperature rise?" rather than "Is this breaker about to self-destruct?"


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Garland, TX
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    650

    Default Re: Hot breaker in a panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Huffman View Post
    Experimenting with my new infrared camera and took a look at a power panel. The hot water breaker was up to 93 degrees while everything else was around 78 degrees. My question is how hot must a breaker be before you call it out as too hot?
    RH

    waving the magic wand requires more training & data than you furnished for any factual temperature evaluations

    see attached for the basics for performing electrical ir evaluation

    CPSC announced a Schneider Electric recall recently...
    https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2022/Sc...YA6PGHQneGwXsA

    Last edited by BARRY ADAIR; 06-17-2022 at 02:33 AM.
    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Stucco-ACMV-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia, electrical only
    Posts
    294

    Default Re: Hot breaker in a panel

    That is a nice little document from Schneider/Sq D, Barry. Even so, I'm sure it's no substitute for a good class. Now I don't know that the greatly revamped standard-in-the-making that 70B has become offers a great deal more to help with IR surveys.

    I do like its point about documenting other evidence of deterioration. I hope they didn't t need to add, "But don't let your nose touch an energized component."


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Garland, TX
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Hot breaker in a panel

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    That is a nice little document from Schneider/Sq D, Barry. Even so, I'm sure it's no substitute for a good class. Now I don't know that the greatly revamped standard-in-the-making that 70B has become offers a great deal more to help with IR surveys.

    I do like its point about documenting other evidence of deterioration. I hope they didn't t need to add,
    "But don't let your nose touch an energized component."
    DS
    never imagined you as being 1 for nose envy ;~}
    my point was ir is not point-shoot & done, i know you get this

    much more is required for a factual electrical analysis w/ir & most inspector assoc. do not stress this enough, thus the spate of ineffectual wand wavers

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Stucco-ACMV-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia, electrical only
    Posts
    294

    Default Re: Hot breaker in a panel

    Realistically, friends, it seems that IR analysis of electrical equipment focuses on ongoing maintenance programs. 70B-that-is-to-be does not even include SFRs, though the CMP agreed to take proposals and comments to add them as input for the next edition.

    This said, years ago, Dr. Bruce Moore, then with Met Labs, came in to provide a second opinion on a consult. He brought a load bank and IR camera, neither of which I had used. While he largely seconded my findings, he added a big bang to the "open it up!" by finding a hot, buried air splice with the camera.

    The point: sometimes the magic (oh, hell, magick) wand will give mighty useful information without the proper study program.

    BTW, I don't know whether anyone else here has seen this use, but a PA recently used a small IR imager to find the veins in my forearm, for sticking purposes.


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