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Circuit Breaker Panel Problem - arcing between busbar and breaker - heating and melting plastic

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Published on Jul 20, 2011

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This video taken with the panel totally removed from service -- DO NOT ATTEMPT WORK ON AN EXPOSED PANEL UNLESS YOU ARE QUALIFIED TO DO SO - YOU COULD BE ELECTROCUTED AND DIE.

This problem has been reported to the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. You should go to their site at www.SaferProducts.gov and locate Report No. 20121231-9E5E3-2147460448 and share your experience.

This Westinghouse circuit breaker panel was installed in a new home in 1993. In July 2011, it had a failure of the busbar contact with three circuit breakers. This caused a burning plastic smell and the warming of the area where the problem occurred. The electrician said he saw problems like this about once a week and that I had to replace the entire panel. He did not single out this brand as a problem. The cost to replace the panel itself loaded with new breakers and to pay the city electrical permit was $900. The city pulled the electric meter so this work could be done. Westinghouse sold the panel making business and it is now owned by Eaton Corp. Eaton says " There is no recurring problem with this product. Occassionally we get requests for replacement breakers or covers for the old Westinghouse loadcenters, but I've very rarely heard of any problems with them. Also, there is no program in place for reimbursement for repair costs." If you have had a problem with a "Westinghouse" circuit breaker panel made around 1993, please post a comment here. There were a rash of problems years ago with panels made by a different manufacturer.

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