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Electrician's Help With Circuit Breaker ? #5388567 03/29/20 11:07 AM
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doitmyself Offline OP
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Licensed electricians,

Where can I find the document that states that a Siemens circuit breaker (Q2100) is UL listed and/or classified to use in an ITE panel?? You know the conundrum surrounding this and AHJ's.

In my case, the ITE labeled panel is circa 1986, 3 years after Siemens acquired ITE, but was still marketing their panels with the well-known ITE legacy name.

Numerous pro electrical sites anecdotally state that Siemens is UL listed for use in ITE panels. I cannot find official Siemens documentation.

Thank you.

Re: Electrician's Help With Circuit Breaker ? [Re: doitmyself] #5388699 03/29/20 02:12 PM
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littlehulkster Offline
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You may have to contact Siemens to get that information, but as a working electrician I will assure you that they are 100% compatible.

Could be worse, it could be a Zinsco/Sylvania box.


2015 Mazda3 I 2.0
Re: Electrician's Help With Circuit Breaker ? [Re: littlehulkster] #5388706 03/29/20 02:18 PM
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Wolf359 Offline
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Originally Posted by littlehulkster
You may have to contact Siemens to get that information, but as a working electrician I will assure you that they are 100% compatible.

Could be worse, it could be a Zinsco/Sylvania box.


No, worse would be a Federal Pacific with Stab-lok breakers. They're still out there. Mostly condos but some old houses too.

Re: Electrician's Help With Circuit Breaker ? [Re: Wolf359] #5388713 03/29/20 02:30 PM
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littlehulkster Offline
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Originally Posted by Wolf359
Originally Posted by littlehulkster
You may have to contact Siemens to get that information, but as a working electrician I will assure you that they are 100% compatible.

Could be worse, it could be a Zinsco/Sylvania box.


No, worse would be a Federal Pacific with Stab-lok breakers. They're still out there. Mostly condos but some old houses too.


Never seen a FP in the wild before, but I've seen more than a few Zinsco/Sylvania panels. Although from my experience a Zinsco can be bandaided by cleaning the bus bar and coating it with kopr-shield. I think the problem with the Zinscos is that the connection is weak, and the copper antisieze seems to mostly fix that.

That said, I'd recommend a replacement usually, but obviously there are a lot of people who can't afford that.

Last edited by littlehulkster; 03/29/20 02:31 PM.

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Re: Electrician's Help With Circuit Breaker ? [Re: doitmyself] #5388989 03/29/20 09:44 PM
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Donald Offline
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Why do you need to know this?


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Re: Electrician's Help With Circuit Breaker ? [Re: Donald] #5389193 03/30/20 08:06 AM
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doitmyself Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Donald
Why do you need to know this?

I'm doing my homework to question an electrician's recommendation. The short answer - at my workplace, our staff electrician heavily recommended replacing our 34 year load center box after the 100 amp main breaker went bad. One of the reasons revolved around code definitions regarding what replacement breakers are "legal" to meet code. There's plenty of internet discussion about this, so I won't repeat it. Codes are like the Bible - it's the rule, but every jurisdiction has their own interpretation.

My safety concern is very high. Their liability concern is very high. They err on the side of replacing things that are not built to today's codes. My budget is limited, at the same time I want to remain safe.

My analogy would be this: The mechanic says he can replace the brakes on your 1995 car and it will work. But, your car does not meet today's safety standards so we recommend that you replace the car with a new one. People generally do not rewire or replumb their homes every 10 years to meet the ever changing codes, unless it is an eminent safety concern (my opinion).


Here's one of dozens of discussions if you care to learn: https://www.electriciantalk.com/f2/breaker-compatibility-278694/ It boils down to code interpretation vs. the AHJ - authority having jurisdiction. One of the thread comments "There is NO PANEL that is UL listed using anything other than the ORIGINAL breakers shown in their listing,"




Re: Electrician's Help With Circuit Breaker ? [Re: doitmyself] #5389742 03/30/20 09:11 PM
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Wolf359 Offline
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Have you actually priced out the difference between what the 100 amp breaker would cost and a new panel? It's probably not that much more and it'd be good to update it. I did have an old panel once where the cost of the breaker vs getting a new panel that came with the breaker wasn't that much more money. Plus with a new panel it was easier to find current breakers for it.

Re: Electrician's Help With Circuit Breaker ? [Re: doitmyself] #5389993 03/31/20 08:07 AM
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doitmyself Offline OP
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That's a good idea that I will look in to, Wolf359. I was guessing that the cost of paying an electrician parts and labor for the breaker install ( $35+/- @ Wesco) would be about $200 and an entire panel/breaker replacement would be around $500 -$600.

But, the more I study this, maybe I am wrong about the need for a new panel. Some of the literature I read says that whenever an electrician makes a repair to a panel, he is required to do certain upgrades by law.

The attitude of the electrician threw off my trust of his comments. Codes are complicated and I need to find an electrician that I trust to give me accurate information.

Thanks for the replies.

Re: Electrician's Help With Circuit Breaker ? [Re: doitmyself] #5390155 03/31/20 12:24 PM
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mk378 Offline
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>every jurisdiction has their own interpretation.

Thus you should ask the local building official. Panel replacement usually requires a building permit and inspection.

Re: Electrician's Help With Circuit Breaker ? [Re: mk378] #5390395 03/31/20 06:27 PM
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doitmyself Offline OP
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Originally Posted by mk378
>every jurisdiction has their own interpretation. Thus you should ask the local building official. Panel replacement usually requires a building permit and inspection.


I'm headed in that direction and I'm not going to do this work (even though I have the skills). You may not believe it, but sometimes getting the correct answer is sometimes nearly impossible. This linked article shows how AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) is sometimes cloudy: https://www.douglaskrantz.com/SCWhoIsAHJ.html. Something as simple as the orientation of a 3 prong outlet is a conundrum. I've had similar issues getting OSHA interpretations. Our workplace had problems getting some CDL (Commercial Driver License) rulings because the Federal,State, Local agencies didn't agree on interpretations - the State Police Motor Carrier officers were wrongly pulling us over.

Anyway, I am on my way to getting this resolved. I no longer need my OP question addressed. I "think" I have bigger problems. The original 1986 refurb installation by a licensed electrician and approved by a state inspector may have been wrong and illegal from the get go if you follow the letter of the law. I.E., tandem breakers in a panel not designed for them?, among other things.

I feel for the trades people that have to deal with this.

Re: Electrician's Help With Circuit Breaker ? [Re: doitmyself] #5391842 04/02/20 12:32 PM
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Wolf359 Offline
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Originally Posted by doitmyself
Originally Posted by mk378
>every jurisdiction has their own interpretation. Thus you should ask the local building official. Panel replacement usually requires a building permit and inspection.


I'm headed in that direction and I'm not going to do this work (even though I have the skills). You may not believe it, but sometimes getting the correct answer is sometimes nearly impossible. This linked article shows how AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) is sometimes cloudy: https://www.douglaskrantz.com/SCWhoIsAHJ.html. Something as simple as the orientation of a 3 prong outlet is a conundrum. I've had similar issues getting OSHA interpretations. Our workplace had problems getting some CDL (Commercial Driver License) rulings because the Federal,State, Local agencies didn't agree on interpretations - the State Police Motor Carrier officers were wrongly pulling us over.

Anyway, I am on my way to getting this resolved. I no longer need my OP question addressed. I "think" I have bigger problems. The original 1986 refurb installation by a licensed electrician and approved by a state inspector may have been wrong and illegal from the get go if you follow the letter of the law. I.E., tandem breakers in a panel not designed for them?, among other things.

I feel for the trades people that have to deal with this.


Good luck with that. Sometimes they don't like to give answers. They're there for inspections and they expect people doing the installs to know the codes so they don't like to answer DIY people. And sometimes they either miss things or don't even know the code. I've seen installs in new construction that was approved by an electrical inspector have issues that the home inspection found.

Re: Electrician's Help With Circuit Breaker ? [Re: Wolf359] #5392321 04/03/20 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Wolf359
Have you actually priced out the difference between what the 100 amp breaker would cost and a new panel? It's probably not that much more and it'd be good to update it. I did have an old panel once where the cost of the breaker vs getting a new panel that came with the breaker wasn't that much more money. Plus with a new panel it was easier to find current breakers for it.

I agree. It was about the same money for me to replace the whole panel than to get a new 100A main breaker for my old panel which would have to have been ordered.


The "thinking" man's friend.
Re: Electrician's Help With Circuit Breaker ? [Re: doitmyself] #5394227 04/05/20 07:50 AM
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doitmyself Offline OP
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In this case, I am not allowed to do the work myself because it's at my workplace. Just like automotive repairs, you can't compare DIY costs to having it done professionally. Local electricians around here are averaging around $750 for parts and labor to replace a 30 slot residential load center. No different than a DIY front brake job (new rotors/pads) at under $100 DIY vs. $300+ at a shop.

Practicing self advocacy, I have a few trusted electricians lined up to evaluate and make recommendations (hiring one of them).

Thanks. I appreciate the input.

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