what is the proper name for switching breakers

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stjohnbarleycorn

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what is the proper name for the breaker with no number on the handle used for switching only/ wanted to get a picture of one, online. can't seem to get the right words together, I guess they still make them. I have seen them in square d. thanks for any help kevin
 

stjohnbarleycorn

Senior Member
ha, no I mean what would you call them looking them up. I tried a couple of ways, looked on square d site under breakers and nothing. Maybe they don't make them anymore. Used to say no overcurrent protection on them.
 

Dennis Alwon

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Location
Chapel Hill, NC
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ha, no I mean what would you call them looking them up. I tried a couple of ways, looked on square d site under breakers and nothing. Maybe they don't make them anymore. Used to say no overcurrent protection on them.
What is the purpose of these? If you install it in a breaker panel it appears it would need to have some ocp.
 

stjohnbarleycorn

Senior Member
my understanding was that they were used for switching lighting, possibly after a panel that protected the circuit?? I have got one around here somewhere, have to try to find it. IT looks just like a regular QO but has no number on the handle. Or maybe used in a weatherproof can for an ac disconnect? I didn't know these were so uncommon, I am starting to think I dreamed it all up?
 
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al hildenbrand

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Location
Minnesota
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Electrical Contractor, Electrical Consultant, Electrical Engineer
Kevin,

The commodity 15 Amp and 20 Amp single pole circuit breaker, in most all of the manufacturers models, has the rating "SWD", meaning that it is listed for switching duty.

Is the SWD rating what you might be asking for?

I have, on occasion, installed AC disconnects, like the one in the spec sheet that McGraw just posted, that has a non-overcurrent protective device (NOCPD) switch that looks like a breaker when the cover is on. I've never seen this NOCPD loose, without an enclosure.
 

Mgraw

Senior Member
The only way I have seen the "molded case switch" is with an enclosure. When I was doing residential I would buy them because they were cheap, throw away the "switch" and buy the breaker I needed.
 

K8MHZ

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Location
Michigan. It's a beautiful peninsula, I've looked
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Electrician
what is the proper name for the breaker with no number on the handle used for switching only/ wanted to get a picture of one, online. can't seem to get the right words together, I guess they still make them. I have seen them in square d. thanks for any help kevin

They are NOT breakers, they are disconnects.

I just put one on an irrigation pump.

They resemble breakers, fit like breakers, but have NO over current protection. I believe Sq D calls them 'molded switches'.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
The only way I have seen the "molded case switch" is with an enclosure. When I was doing residential I would buy them because they were cheap, throw away the "switch" and buy the breaker I needed.

They are NOT breakers, they are disconnects.

I just put one on an irrigation pump.

They resemble breakers, fit like breakers, but have NO over current protection. I believe Sq D calls them 'molded switches'.

There are molded case circuit breakers, and there are molded case switches. The same case is used on the same frame sizes but the switch does not provide overcurrent protection.
 

hurk27

Senior Member
I have used them for AC disconnects, but on one restaurant call I got the "deer in the headlights" look when I discovered one of these in a QO panel on a toaster circuit I was working on, I got real lucky, as the problem was the wires burned off the receptacle, when the toaster shorted out, after looking at other breakers in all 4 of the panels for this restaurant, I found 4 more, I showed them to the owner, and he said the electrician who wired the place put them in, after I told him this was just like putting a penny behind a fuse, he had me change them, with no questions.

What I could not believe is UL allowed these to be made, without some kind of way to prevent them from being used in a regular breaker panel, like the CTL tandem breakers.
most dangerous breaker I have ever seen, I can see the little yellow warning sticker not lasting too long as it is just paper, and I know many DYS would just treat the missing amperage on the handle as "it got rubbed off" as it does on many regular breakers, so I can see where these could find there way into a panel by a home owner or DYS,

But the above there was no excuse as both the warning label was on them, and the handle was not marked for the amperage, and the switch was in like new condition.
 

stjohnbarleycorn

Senior Member
I found one or two in a panel, but its been a while. I got one from one of my students last year, I don't remember where he got it. They were the standard qo configuration, and would fit in any standard qo panel.

thanks for the info , kevin
 

480sparky

Senior Member
Location
Iowegia
................What I could not believe is UL allowed these to be made, without some kind of way to prevent them from being used in a regular breaker panel, like the CTL tandem breakers...............


No more 'dangerous' than a 20+ amp breaker.
 

hurk27

Senior Member
No more 'dangerous' than a 20+ amp breaker.

Oh I can think of many cases where it would be, like in motor circuits, at least a breaker will most times open in a faulted condition, even if it is larger then the correct size, but these will provide the full available fault current to the circuit.
Luckly for the toaster circuit, the wire just burned free of the receptalce when the toaster shorted out, the wiring in the toaster was all burned up, and the cook said flames shot out of both the toaster and the receptacle.

But I do agree with your thinking, that all installations should be done proper, and even a 25 amp breaker on a 20 amp receptacle circuit could be dangerous.
 

stjohnbarleycorn

Senior Member
I found a 100 amp breaker, bolt on, "older style with the number on the bottom when you installed the breaker", a piece of #12 going to a hot water fan unit in a ceiling.
when that ground faulted, the #12 in the 400 amp panel came very close to melting through the feeders, before it melted off somewhere, that would have made a nice display in the shop class.
 
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