The Dangers of Used and Reconditioned Circuit Breakers
As experts in electrical work and equipment, it is our duty to make sure that all our customers leave the store with what will best serve their needs.
We have been getting a worryingly high amount of people looking for or asking about used or reconditioned circuit breakers. We always end up telling people that we do not sell used/reconditioned breakers and we never will. Our focus is to serve our customers in the best way possible and sometimes that means not letting them buy harmful items.
Here are a couple of reasons why we only sell new and why you should insist on buying only new
What Circuit Breakers Do
Before we look at why used/reconditioned breakers are a bad idea, it is important to understand what circuit protection does. Our houses, commercial buildings and factories use a lot less electricity than the grid can provide (because the electric company created the grid to power everything at the same time), but the influx of electricity is limited in our homes. Sometimes, there are power surges and too much electricity is sent to our homes.
Without a circuit protection device, our houses will be overloaded with electricity. This can cause the wiring to catch fire and the whole house can burn down. A breaker breaks the circuit when it detects too much electricity. It basically breaks the connection between you and the power company to keep you safe.
There’s no guarantee with used/reconditioned breakers
When you buy a new circuit protection device, you have the peace of mind of knowing that it will work exactly as advertised. They are dependable and they have all the correct labeling. You can tell when they were made by looking at the manufacturing date. They are also tested in a factory before being sold to you. With used or reconditioned, there is no guarantee that they will work. The labeling doesn’t matter because you don’t know how the previous owners used them.
Corrosion and water damage
A used/reconditioned breaker may look perfect on the outside but be damaged on the inside. Water damage and corrosion happens with time and are common in used breakers. The worst part is that you may test an old breaker and it may seem fine, but it may still fail in real world conditions.
New circuit breakers are made by professionals and by precise machinery. No respectable electrician or technician will recondition a circuit breaker because they know how dangerous it can be. Thus there is no guarantee that the used/reconditioned circuit breaker you have was made by someone competent at electrical work and the construction may be poor. Good construction is necessary for a circuit breaker to perform when needed.
When a new breaker is used, sealant is used to keep the parts together. In order to remove non-functioning parts and reconditions the circuit breaker the sealant is removed and other types of sealant are used. A sealant being used by an amateur fixing old breakers is nowhere near as good as a professionally applied sealant applied in the factory.
Don’t risk your life by using reconditioned/used breakers
The reason it is so important to only buy new c is that failure to do so puts your own and your family’s life at risk. A life threatening fire can be easily caused by a faulty circuit protection device. Only use circuit breakers that you can trust your life with because that is the whole point of circuit breakers.