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Many people are tempted to throw away their old Cutler Hammer circuit breakers, especially if they are obsolete. Did you know there is a growing market for obsolete, used and overstock circuit breakers? Relectric.com is an excellent example; Relectric purchases a variety of used and obsolete equipment--you may be able to sell your old Cutler Hammer circuit breakers and much more. It's very important to contact the retailer about selling your used breakers in advance; don't simply box up the old parts and mail them to the company expecting a store credit or payment. You'll need to get an estimate on how much your old circuit breakers are worth, learn who pays for shipping and what mode of shipping is preferred.
Depending on the size of the transaction and the value of your old Cutler Hammer circuit breakers, you may be offered store credit or a payment. Store credit can be just as handy as cash if you have other purchases to make, don't forget that your new circuit breakers will need to be replaced some day.
If your circuit breakers are in a public area, you may wish to add a little extra security to your electrical system. Did you know some brands can be handle-locked? Some types of Cutler Hammer circuit breakers allow installation of a padlock assembly. These padlocks can be placed in the left or right pole position and can protect up to a four-pole circuit breaker. Once installed, a padlock system can lock the circuit breaker into the "on" or "off" position.
It's very important to respect the same rules for installing a Cutler Hammer circuit breaker padlock system as you would any electrical component. A padlock doesn't use electricity, but any time you work around circuit breakers, the power should be completely off. You'll find instructions in the owner's manual requiring "no voltage present" conditions prior to installation. Remember that all warranties for circuit breakers, accessories and padlocks are voided if you do not follow the instructions to the letter.
If you are considering installing a padlock system on your Cutler Hammer circuit breakers, there are several safety issues to consider. A padlock system can be handy for securing the circuit breaker system in any area easily accessible to others. Cutler Hammer circuit breakers can be locked in either the "on" or "off" position. If you lock a circuit breaker in the "on" position, this does not prevent the breaker from tripping if there is an overload. This is an important safety feature which can prevent electrical fires and other mishaps, but if you are not available to unlock the breaker once it has tripped, power will remain out until you can reset that circuit breaker.
This has the potential to be a serious problem in cases where people require an uninterrupted power supply for assisted living equipment such as respirators or other health care gear. If you need to lock a circuit breaker system, make sure the keys are available to reset the power in your absence. When installing the lock system itself, use only a UL-rated padlock designed for use with the circuit breakers. Anything short of this can void the warranty of your locking system and the Cutler Hammer circuit breakers.