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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Switch rated circuit breakers?

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mlts22

Austin, Texas

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Posted: 03/06/12 09:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do switch rated circuit breakers exist for RVs? While doing some research, I've not found such an animal, although it would be very useful to have.

enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 03/06/12 09:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most manufactuers of circuit breakers offer switch rated. RVs use standard off the shelf breakers. Look closely at your breakers for make and series.


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 03/06/12 11:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In most RV's the breakers are very standard devices, Same as those used in a home, I have purchased breakers for the RV at Lowes or Home Depot.

There is nothing "Special" about RV breakers.. Thus I suspect your answer is YES.

Side note: There are many different companies making breakers and boxes tho house them as a general rule one company's breakers will not fit in another company's box And in some cases the same company makes two different breakers. So make sure you get the right switch breaker.


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aruba5er

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Posted: 03/06/12 02:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What are going to switch that you feel you would need to do that(expense of changing breakers) Swd breakes are made to switch every day on/off. I have never turned off my breakers save for the water heater once and have never turned it back on. You worry too much I would guess.

mlts22

Austin, Texas

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Posted: 03/06/12 12:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the info. One of the things on my to do list, even though it is on the bottom is to replace all breakers with switch-rated ones after I replace the converter. This way, if I'm troubleshooting in the future, I won't be wearing out electrical components.

Bit Bucket

Brookings, Oregon

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Posted: 03/06/12 01:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mlts22 wrote:

Thanks for the info. One of the things on my to do list, even though it is on the bottom is to replace all breakers with switch-rated ones after I replace the converter. This way, if I'm troubleshooting in the future, I won't be wearing out electrical components.


There is no special RV breaker. Most any hardware store will have switch rated breakers, just look for the typical SWD rating. While changing out your breakers to SWD rated certainly will not hurt anything, it is doubtful you will ever see any benefit in your lifetime unless you plan on cycling them multiple times daily, month after month.

It is extremely rare that a circuit breaker wears out under normal use, including trouble shooting use. Non SWD rated switches are designed to be cycled a resonable amount of the time. Most times when a general household circuit breaker fails it is because the trip unit will not reset. Manually actuating a circuit breaker probably isn't degrading the trip unit.
Good site descibing circuit breakers, third section down...

Where circuit breakers are allowed to switch things, which is all breakers in your house or RV, the only ones that are considered to need special breakers are 120-volt and 277-volt fluorescent lighting circuits (which require SWD or HID breakers) or ones that are used to control high-intensity discharge lighting circuits (which need HID breakers).
Ref: 2011 NEC 240.83 (D)

smkettner

Southern California

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Posted: 03/06/12 04:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would only replace as they fail. Not sure that will ever happen.


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 03/06/12 06:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mlts22 wrote:

Thanks for the info. One of the things on my to do list, even though it is on the bottom is to replace all breakers with switch-rated ones after I replace the converter. This way, if I'm troubleshooting in the future, I won't be wearing out electrical components.


IN that case I would recommend against spending the money.

The number of times (Over the course of your ownership of the RV) you turn that breaker off for trouble shooting... You might shorten it's life by a week. But likely only by a matter of hours.

Switch rated breakers are designed to by cycled daily to several times a day, that kind of use will damage non-switch rated breakers.. but once a year, or even once a month, is not that often.

Plus USUALLY when you are turning off breakers the cycle is .. Loose power. TURN OFF ALL BREAKERS (at this point no damage happens)

Restore power and turn on breakers one at a time till .. You loose power.

This is.. Far closer to what they are designed to do. I would save your money.

kneal44

EAST CENTRAL TEXAS

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Posted: 03/06/12 05:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

trick: should you suspect one breaker being faulty just swap it with another one in the panel... should problem transfer to " new breaker" then you know its down stream. some place in the load ed ciruit.

no need to just go out and buy a new breaker.


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Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 03/06/12 02:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bit Bucket wrote:

mlts22 wrote:

Thanks for the info. One of the things on my to do list, even though it is on the bottom is to replace all breakers with switch-rated ones after I replace the converter. This way, if I'm troubleshooting in the future, I won't be wearing out electrical components.


There is no special RV breaker. Most any hardware store will have switch rated breakers, just look for the typical SWD rating. While changing out your breakers to SWD rated certainly will not hurt anything, it is doubtful you will ever see any benefit in your lifetime unless you plan on cycling them multiple times daily, month after month.

It is extremely rare that a circuit breaker wears out under normal use, including trouble shooting use. Non SWD rated switches are designed to be cycled a resonable amount of the time. Most times when a general household circuit breaker fails it is because the trip unit will not reset. Manually actuating a circuit breaker probably isn't degrading the trip unit.
Good site descibing circuit breakers, third section down...

Where circuit breakers are allowed to switch things, which is all breakers in your house or RV, the only ones that are considered to need special breakers are 120-volt and 277-volt fluorescent lighting circuits (which require SWD or HID breakers) or ones that are used to control high-intensity discharge lighting circuits (which need HID breakers).
Ref: 2011 NEC 240.83 (D)


Good explanation!
SWD Breakers should not be needed in an RV.
BUT as with most of the components in an RV being the cheapest available changing the breakers out can't hurt

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