Jayco RV Owners Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-13-2020, 05:21 AM   #1
Site Team
 
norty1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 17,320
Different grade of A/C breakers

We have read many discussions on weak breakers at Cg pedestals.
Yesterday we were having a man discussion on this subject and someone said that breakers wear out from use because they are not meant to be used as a switch primarily and the action of manually throwing them so much as used in cgs leads to early failure.
Can any of the experts on here Comment if this contributes to the Useful lifespan of a breaker?
I know that heat shortens their life as the are typically running with near maximum current draw a lot.
__________________

__________________
Moderator
2011 351RLTS Eagle, Mor/Ryde suspension & pin box, Hughes PWD50 Power Watchdog,
17 F350 Lariat 4wd,PSD, SRW, SB,CC
B&W Turnover ball, Andersen Ultimate 3220


Can't find what you're looking on JOF? Try:Jayco Owners Forum Custom Google Search
norty1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2020, 07:10 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Vicr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Snohomish
Posts: 1,204
Circuit Breakers As Switches
Both the ANSI and the NEC definitions acknowledge the potential for the legitimate use of circuit breakers as switches. Switches (devices that pass but do not consume electrical energy) are considered as being control devices; thus one may also say that a breaker is a control device, or a controller. A circuit breaker can control and protect an electrical circuit and people operating the utilization equipment. An electrical relay is an example of an operating control; it opens and closes the circuit. Circuit breakers are not designed as replacements for operating controls such as relays, contactors, or motor starters.
There is, as you may have intuitively anticipated, an exception. Some circuit breakers are manufactured for use in a specific type of application. When a circuit breaker is designed to also be routinely used as an on-off switch to control 120 or 277volt florescent luminaires they are marked SWD, for switch duty. This does not mean that a switch duty breaker can be used to manually control a traffic signal light where it will be cycled on and off 1,000 or more times per day. The point is the listing for switch duty (SWD) does not mean a circuit breaker can be used as a high frequency cycling operating control, such as a relay that has a life span rated in tens, if not hundreds of thousands of duty cycles.
While circuit breakers can be legitimately and safely used as switches, the frequency and duration of such use is limited. Routinely circuit breakers are manually operated for service-maintenance and repair type activities. With the preceding enhancing our understanding, we can say that circuit breakers can legitimately be used as switches; generally they are not intended for prolonged repetitive manual breaking and making type control of electrical energy utilization equipment.



This is from Mike Holt's Forum he is without a doubt one of the countries foremost electrical experts.
__________________

Vicr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2020, 07:19 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
us71na's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: McKean, PA
Posts: 768
I don't believe that circuit breakers wear out from being used like switches. I worked in a machine shop where they would turn the lights on and off with circuit breakers every morning and night every work day and some weekends for more than the 12 years I worked there with no failures.

When in a camp ground, I always check the outlet for the 30 amp for correct wiring with an outlet tester and for correct voltage. I always turn off the 30 amp breaker before connecting and when disconnecting my trailer.
__________________
2011 Skylark 21FKV
us71na is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2020, 07:44 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Missouri City, The Republic of Texas
Posts: 4,223
An interesting discussion. My CG procedure is to insure both A/C units are off, the house and pole breakers are open prior to connecting. After connecting I close the pole breaker and watch the EMS display to see if it detects any faults. If none then I close the house breakers and let the Bride know she can turn the A/C units on.

Ive always felt the closing a breaker with a high load device (A/C unit) ready to be powered up could result in a more damaging arc as the breaker closed. May or may not be anything to this but it helps me sleep better.

My post is also a subtle advert for an EMS.
__________________
Cheers,
T_

2013 F-350 CC SB 2WD 6.7PS
2013 Eagle Premier 351 RLTS
-SOLD- 2012 X23B
-SOLD- 2003 Ford Expedition 5.4, Bilstein shocks
RedHorse1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2020, 08:26 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Grumpy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Where ever the boss says we're going.
Posts: 9,158
Quote:
Originally Posted by us71na View Post
I don't believe that circuit breakers wear out from being used like switches. I worked in a machine shop where they would turn the lights on and off with circuit breakers every morning and night every work day and some weekends for more than the 12 years I worked there with no failures.
The building I was in was built in the 60's and that's how we turned the lights off and on too. We didn't have to change any for the 15 years I was there.
__________________
DISNEY LOVERS
Grumpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2020, 09:30 AM   #6
Site Team
 
norty1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 17,320
I have been in a FEW cgs where I witnessed employees doing routine inspections of the pedestals where they opened the panel and inspected and cleaned the works behind the panel.
I would wager it is not done in many campgrounds.
__________________
Moderator
2011 351RLTS Eagle, Mor/Ryde suspension & pin box, Hughes PWD50 Power Watchdog,
17 F350 Lariat 4wd,PSD, SRW, SB,CC
B&W Turnover ball, Andersen Ultimate 3220


Can't find what you're looking on JOF? Try:Jayco Owners Forum Custom Google Search
norty1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2020, 08:19 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
JimD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Inland Empire, California
Posts: 655
I would guess that a breaker used as a switch, if it were to fail because of being used as a switch, would fail in the off state meaning it would no longer stay engaged. It is doubtful it would fail where it would not trip with excessive current. Just thinking.
__________________
Jim

Retired electronic technician (45 years in the field)
2017 Greyhawk 29W
solar & many other mods
wife (maybe I should have given her top billing)
JimD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2020, 08:43 PM   #8
Site Team
 
JFlightRisk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Newark, NY
Posts: 6,174
This discussion raises three questions I now have. First, would the lifespan of any given breaker be shortened more, it was getting electrically tripped, versus manually turning it off? Second, are the SWD breakers marked as such, where it's visible without opening the service panel, which is commonly frowned upon at campgrounds? Lastly, what are the chances that your favorite campground has actually installed the SWD breakers at their pedestals?
__________________
Every day's a learning experience, though sometimes not what we expected.

2012 Jay Flight 19RD
2016 Ford F150 XLT 2X4 SC 3.5L Eco Max Tow
2010 Tundra TRD DBL Cab (Traded)
1 Spoiled Dog
JFlightRisk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 06:54 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Grumpy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Where ever the boss says we're going.
Posts: 9,158
Quote:
Originally Posted by JFlightRisk View Post
This discussion raises three questions I now have. First, would the lifespan of any given breaker be shortened more, it was getting electrically tripped, versus manually turning it off? Second, are the SWD breakers marked as such, where it's visible without opening the service panel, which is commonly frowned upon at campgrounds? Lastly, what are the chances that your favorite campground has actually installed the SWD breakers at their pedestals?
It is my understanding that SWD are maxed at 20 amp, so wouldn't apply to CG's anyway. That explains why many commercial places use the breakers for lights. Found that info after my post yesterday.
__________________
DISNEY LOVERS
Grumpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 07:45 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Jagiven's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 6,285
I wont argue that the spring inside cannot get week over time. I suspect the bigger issue really is the outlet. They take a lot of betting. I find many 30 amp outlets where the connections between the male and female portions of the plug do not make a good solid connection. Often the plug feels loose. Also look at the end of your plug. Often the brass is tarnished. Some of us will clean or replace a plug end periodically. CG's seem to never replace components unless it has completely failed. How tarnished is the inside the outlet. That tarnish is resistance which creates heat (added amps that we do not use in the TT). We feel that heat in the cord end. We maybe drawing 25+ amps through the cord, but the breaker maybe seeing much more, as the poor connection creates heat, which is drawing more amps, which pushes the breaker over its tripping point.
Jagiven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 10:44 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Vicr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Snohomish
Posts: 1,204
Quote:
Originally Posted by JFlightRisk View Post
This discussion raises three questions I now have. First, would the lifespan of any given breaker be shortened more, it was getting electrically tripped, versus manually turning it off? Second, are the SWD breakers marked as such, where it's visible without opening the service panel, which is commonly frowned upon at campgrounds? Lastly, what are the chances that your favorite campground has actually installed the SWD breakers at their pedestals?



This is a common residential circuit breaker. SWD is clear marked and visible. Yes life span is shortened with load trips more than mechanical operation.
Attached Thumbnails
square-d-1-pole-breakers-hom115cp-64_1000.jpg  
Vicr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 10:52 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Murff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 3,500
At least, we aren't blowing fuses, anymore!

Murff
__________________
Murff
2015 White Hawk 20MRB (It's last year)
2011 F150 Non EcoBoost (5.0)
Reese Steadi-Flex WDH

Murff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 11:32 AM   #13
Site Team
 
JFlightRisk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Newark, NY
Posts: 6,174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
It is my understanding that SWD are maxed at 20 amp, so wouldn't apply to CG's anyway. That explains why many commercial places use the breakers for lights. Found that info after my post yesterday.
Thanks for checking that out Grumpy. I didn't know that. It's too bad they don't apply to the 30 and 50 amp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicr View Post
This is a common residential circuit breaker. SWD is clear marked and visible. Yes life span is shortened with load trips more than mechanical operation.
I appreciate the picture, and confirming my thought on shortened life span from tripping. Now I know exactly where to look to identify a SWD breaker. Good info.
__________________
Every day's a learning experience, though sometimes not what we expected.

2012 Jay Flight 19RD
2016 Ford F150 XLT 2X4 SC 3.5L Eco Max Tow
2010 Tundra TRD DBL Cab (Traded)
1 Spoiled Dog
JFlightRisk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2020, 11:37 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Grumpy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Where ever the boss says we're going.
Posts: 9,158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murff View Post
At least, we aren't blowing fuses, anymore!

Murff
Ahh.. The "Good Ole Days". Always kept an assortment in the camper, saved a call to the office...
__________________

__________________
DISNEY LOVERS
Grumpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Jayco, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2002-2016 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×