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Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Alternate


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Federal Pacific Circuit Breakers Can Be a Problem – Here’s an Alternative Electrical Repair…


Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Alternatives

  Electrical Repairs Question
Is there an alternate part to the Federal Pacific dual pole 50 amp 240 volt circuit breaker? 1960′s 3 bedroom 2 bath home turned doctor’s office with original wiring and breakers and electrical panel. When the HVAC system is in the heat mode it will trip the circuit breaker after 2-3 minutes. of operation. The circuit breaker will then resist reset for approx. 2 minutes., and it will reset then it  will throw the circuit breaker again after 2-3 more minutes. Until sufficiently warmer then breaker will stay in on position. Federal Pacific parts are not readily available.

This electrical question came from: Melanie, a Handy Woman from Vero Beach, Florida.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your Electrical Repairs Question Melanie.

Federal Pacific Circuit Breakers Can Be a Problem – Here’s an Alternative

Melanie, when is the last time the HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) system was checked out by a technician? It may be that the circuit breaker is in fact doing its job by protecting the circuit from overloading due to a mechanical problem with the HVAC unit. It could be as easy as adding some refrigerant. It is easy to assume that the circuit breaker is not working right so you wish to replace the “defective” circuit breaker, when it may be that there is another  problem that is occurring that needs to be identified and repaired. Yes, you may have a defective federal pacific circuit breaker, but the only way to really know this is to have an electrician or better yet a HVAC service technician take a amperage reading to see exactly how much electrical current the HVAC unit is using. If the amount of electrical current is over the stated range on the nameplate on the HVAC unit then there is a problem with the unit that requires attention. Back to your original question, no – there is not an alternative part for the 2-pole 50 amp 240 volt Federal Pacific circuit breaker, but the good news is that there are replacements available for most of the Federal Pacific circuit breakers, however because of the history about Federal Pacific circuit breakers you may consider upgrading the electrical panel.

The Following will assist you with your Electrical Repairs

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Electric Circuit Listing
The size of the home electrical service panel is designed by calculating the square footage of the home and factoring in the code requirements for the electrical circuits that are required.

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Electrical Wiring Protection using Circuit Breakers
A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.

How to Install Home Office Electrical Wiring
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Home Office Electrical Wiring

Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Home Office Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.

This link is helpful as a Handy Woman
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