Siemens Circuit Breakers Tips

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Can I recycle my circuit breakers?

Can My Used Siemens Breakers Be Recycled?

Siemens breakers and other brands are made with simple designs which make them perfect for reutilization. Unlike some products, there is a big demand for old, outdated or worn-out Siemens circuit breakers. Surplus buyback programs, store credit plans and other incentives are offered for breakers; depending on the make and model of your Siemens circuit breakers you should consider saving your old breakers until you have a small collection to sell back.

This is especially true if you have a system which uses obsolete breakers. These circuit breakers can be re-worked and put back on the market just the same same as their modern counterparts. The one thing you should not do with your old breakers, whether they are Siemens QT circuit breakers, Pushmatic breakers or any other model, is throw them in the trash or recycling bin. Until you know for sure what the buyback value of your old breakers might be, it's best to hang on to them until your collection has grown to the point where you can earn a good amount of store credit.

Can a damaged appliance cause my Seimens breakers to trip?

Tripping Circuit Breakers and Damaged Appliances

It's easy to miss the connection between a damaged appliance and a constantly tripping Siemens circuit breaker. If you are frequently going to the breaker box to reset Pushmatic breakers or other types, do a quick check around your house or apartment; has someone recently dropped a hair dryer? Has any other appliance been damaged recently? A loose wire or connection inside a damaged appliance can create conditions that cause your circuit breakers to trip.

It is a simple (but time consuming) thing to narrow down the list of possible appliances by unplugging them all and operating each one on a particular circuit one by one. If your Siemens breaker trips with a toaster or hair dryer, but not with a different type of appliance drawing about the same electrical load, chances are you've found your damaged appliance. It may be possible to unplug the device, inspect it and tighten or reconnect a loose wire, but doing so may void your warranty. Double check before attempting any do-it-yourself repair work .

Do I really need an upgraded circuit breaker panel?

Replacement Breakers or Upgraded Panel?

If you are considering the installation of a swimming pool, hot tub, tanning bed or other item which requires more electricity than a standard appliance, you may need to consider upgrading your circuit panel. Some electrical issues can be addressed by adding a better Siemens circuit breaker, installing a sub panel and switching the load to new breakers, but there are some needs which simply require a better panel.

If you live in a house that more than 20 years old, you may already be running electrical loads on a circuit breaker panel which is inadequate for modern needs. Adding a freezer unit, hot tub or tanning bed may be too much for the old panel. Your Siemens circuit breakers may already be tripping too much if you're using an old system. Worse yet, your circuit breakers may not be tripping when they are supposed to. Resist the temptation to overtax your electrical system. Ask a qualified electrician about upgrading to a better circuit breaker panel in conjunction with the installation of your new pool, hot tub or other items.

Will installing a circuit breaker other than the type specified in the manual void my warranty?

Installing New Circuit Breakers

Whether you are installing Pushmatic breakers, Siemens QT circuit breakers or any other type, it's important to read the fine print on both the circuit breaker instructions and the breaker box. If you are not installing a specific type of circuit breaker in accordance with the instructions for the breaker box, you may risk voiding your warranty or creating an electrical hazard depending on the installation. Some circuit breaker boxes are designed for specific types of breakers or configurations of those circuit breakers.

If your Siemens circuit breakers are not right for the type of breaker box or if the breaker box is too full to accommodate a new breaker, do not perform "unauthorized" modifications to the breaker box or the Siemens breaker itself. Alterations to a breaker box or Siemens circuit breaker specifically provided for in the manual or instructions can be performed if you know what you are doing, otherwise consult with a professional to get suggestions on acceptable alternatives to your current setup.

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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.