What is the warranty you are offering? We've used some used electrical
equipment in our shop, but it came from dealers with a warranty and
reputation for good stuff. Cluless individuals are not interested in 600A
breakers, and most pros are not intrested in screwing around wiht
questionable equpment. Just not worth the risk.
What you have is of interest to a very small segment of the electrical
market. You may be very disappointed in what you are offered for them.
I actually have a good reputation, 300+ 100% positive ebay feedback.
And it is not because I never screw up. I do screw up from time to
time, but I make it right afterwards.
I will be elated if, say, I get $150 apiece. That would be many
times over what I paid for them. I do hope to get $180-200 apiece,
which is in line with recent ebay sales.
If I sell these breakers separately, I can give buyers a 5 day right
of return, they pay shipping. If I sell to dealers, all in one lot, I
would give them no warranty. They are dealers and know what they are doing.
I often encountered small contacts that were silver/cadmium. I have no
clue why the cadmium, but it was always a surprise to find the yield lower
than expected, thanks to the cad content. Interestingly, cad and silver
are quite similar in appearance, so there is no outward sign of the alloy.
That's very unlike the tungsten type, which often have a waffle pattern on
the back side, and are considerably heavier than the other alloy types.
| I came into possession of a few used 400-600A circuit breakers. Each
| is the size of a milk jug. While researching prices on them and such
| (they sell for $150-200 on ebay), I learned that some cost many
| thousands of dollars new. I saw numbers from $2,500 and higher.
| I am curious just what makes them so expensive. Do they have any
| precious materials inside? Or what?
There's a new kind out there now, which is wiping out the demand for the
older style. All amperages of the same body size of breaker are all the
same breaker, with a small module plugged in to control the trip point.
Folks love the low parts count. I've never priced them, but I was impressed
when I first saw 'em.
In that range, there's so few people that need them the economy of scale
keeps the price up, but I imagine that the used prices are really good.
Industrial customers usually don't tend to buy stuff like that used.
The new ones are the one with a little thing in the middle with tyhe
amp number, that is separate from the case, right? Like a little
They could easily sell for $150-200, it seems, at least a half of wat
I have if not more. Gotta look at them more closely.
Oh, yeah! Specific gravity, as I recall, is something like 18-19. Not too
many elements are heavier. Gold (19.3) , Platinum (21.37), Iridium
(22.42). Silver (10.4+) languishes down with lead, about 11.
You should look at this site. Talk about high powered breakers, and
this one failed. The movie is totally awesome.
Click on the MPEG video movie titled
"NEW MPEG of a 500 kV disconnect switch, one phase opens hot!"
Apparently breaker contacts have a tough job to do. They have to
resist oxidation to some large degree, but there is always some
surface oxide present to interfere with the making of the contact
when the breaker closes. The cadmium, having a relatively high
vapor pressure, does vaporize to some degree every time the
contact opens, and leaves a surface that is favorable to re-closing
The man I knew was a technician who was responsible for formulating
different kinds of sintered contacts out of different materials,
to research the idea of getting the Cad out of the product. At the
time GTE was well aware that it was not the best material to have
in their products, and wanted to be one step ahead of any regulation
about the issue.
I think by the time I met him (this was about '81 or so) they had
already decided on tungsten as a likely replacement. I always
though it was very ironic that this man was toiling away quietly
doing work that would benefit the public, and the environment as well,
greatly. Yet each night he would bring home two one-gallon jugs
of water from the lab (we received our water from the metropolitian
district commission) because his own public water supply for his
town (woburn, mass) had been badly polluted by W. R. Grace, and he
did not want to drink or cook with that water.
As a side note, the guy who first figured out what was going on
was indeed another GTE Labs employee, who ran a sample of his
tap water through a Mass Spec Gas Cromatograph anaysis machine (which
was what he did there at the labs) just as a lark. "Hmm, let's
see what's in this, just for fun."
Lots of chlorinated solvents, like TCE and Benzine.
And then the shouting began.
According to Ignoramus5533 :
Yes, but does that feedback say you're a reliable supplier of
useable/working high amp breakers? _That's_ what's meant by "good
reputation" in this context. eBay reputation is somewhat irrelevant
in this context.
Industrial customer do purchase used, sometimes that is the only place they
will get what they need. There is a huge difference in large frame
breakers. Most are rebuildable. There are lots of aftermarket companies that
offer springs and contact kits for a lot of the popular old breakers.
As long as you have the personnel and equipment to do the testing after the
rebuild there is nothing wrong with a 15 year old breaker that is tested
after a rebuild. Most larger cities have several companies that specialize
in just this function. I just sold a bunch of GE Magnablasts and cells to a
factory in the east. Each breaker was produced circa 1977. The are of the
15kv varity and 1200-1600 amp frame. Each breaker weights in at a svelte
2350 pounds. They wanted to do an expansion and did not want to change
breaker types. They will refurbish these and add new trip units.
Installation of the cells will be over their Christmas shutdown. Sure glad
it is outside my service area.
Higher amperage breakers especially the medium voltage types can have lead
times of 20 plus weeks.
We will also be removing ~22 GE 2000kva transformers soon. 12.47kv to 480 or
208 3 phase 4 wire. Can I put you down for a few? Got 3 utility
transformers coming up. 69kv to 12.47kv any one interested? Oil samples
were taken, I do not have the results yet.
Yeppers, that stuff has a cottage industry around it. Better to pay
$1000 to a rebuilder, than to pay $6,000 for a new one with a MSRP of
If I can sell mine to a rebuilder for $200, I will be happy as a clam.
According to Ignoramus21085 :
It means you're basically honest, but it doesn't mean that you can
reliably assess the condition of these breakers. You can't test them.
Best you can say is "good/clean condition, contacts apparently good,
manual actuator works".
Industrial users of such equipment will not buy such gear. Even a
guarantee is not going to help, because they can't risk it failing and
taking something very expensive with it. Hell, for the most part,
it'll cost them more to install it than you could sell it for.
Rebuilders are your best bet, and they won't pay much.
Yep. That's what I will do. I will say something like "Demolition
takeout from a working system. Clean. Checks out with an ohmmeter,
turns on and off with manual switch". Or something like that.
Well, what would they pay, in your opinion?
Interesting. Reminds me of a product I used to make for Univac, that
required cadmium plating with an iridite finish. Zinc was substituted for
the cad almost immediately. This was back in the 70's, so the movement away
from cadmium use was already in motion. Almost everything that got plated
was done with cad those days----at least in the missile facility. I
became well acquainted with its use and appearance.
The bigger the breaker the less of a muliplyer there is. All depends on the
volume your doing with the supplier.
What part of the country are you in? Maybe I can give you some numbers or
names that will help in the money mission. You will need to be VERY
specific with these folks.
Model, manufacture, frame size, trip unit/size, mounting, voltage, poles
just to get started. Detailed pictures help as well.