Reduce Failure Rates and Avoid Downtime with NPE’s Circuit Breaker Aftermarket Parts

It is well known in the industry that National Power Equipment has thousands of available reconditioned parts, assemblies and subassemblies. NPE has now taken the business of supplying parts to a new level by introducing a product line of aftermarket parts for industrial circuit breakers and switchgear.

Extend the Life of Your Equipment with Replacement Aftermarket Parts

NPE’s aftermarket parts are available with improved designs and modern materials to help reduce failure rates and avoid downtime. Our experienced staff continuously works to identify solutions for hard-to-find and high-failure parts.

We use modern materials with an emphasis on strength and quality. Sometimes the changes can be as simple as a fiber-reinforced material or by filling voids to increase the strength of the part. Other times it could be a change in the concept of how the part performs. Why would you want to replace one poorly-designed part with another? NPE’s line of parts are made to fix the problem, not just put a band-aid on it.

  

 

In addition to our long and growing list of replacement parts for circuit breakers, we also stock an extensive and growing list of hardware and tools to help you safely move, lift, and maintain your circuit breakers and switchgear. Racking handles, extension rails, slow close, and spring removal tools are only a small sample of what we offer.

 

Most often we find that our customers appreciate the prompt availability of our parts and our same day or next day shipping. All of our parts, especially the ones that have been out of manufacturing production for decades are in stock and ready to ship for delivery in hours or days, while OEM’s take weeks to ship even if they are in stock. Our products are available through your normal purchasing channels and in our online Aftermarket Parts Store

The Right Circuit Breaker Replacement Parts

As difficult as it is to correctly specify replacement circuit breakers, finding replacement parts can be much more challenging. Not only do you need to communicate all the correct breaker information, you also need all the information regarding the vintage changes of the internal parts as well. 

We specialize in fast, easy solutions for finding these parts. With a few questions and possibly a photo or two, our sales team will get you the right part at the right price and, if needed, right now!

Please take a moment to browse our available aftermarket parts store. If you don’t see what you need just let us know. If we don’t have an improved design or a used part, we would be happy to quote a new custom design just for you. In any case, you can be assured that we will do our best to find the best solution to solve your problem and get the power back on as fast as possible.

Contact us today to talk to one of our experts about aftermarket parts.

Finding Electroswitch Lock-out Relays – Series 24 and 31

Lock-out relays provide reliable protection of critical utility equipment. Electroswitch lockout relays can accommodate nearly any lock-out switching application in the electric power industry and can be the difference between a routine outage and the destruction of expensive equipment.

Finding these high-quality Electroswitch lock-out relays can be challenging. Even browsing switchgear providers’ catalogs and websites, or other Electroswitch distributors, can yield low or no inventory. However, National Power Equipment regularly stocks these lockout relays, including the popular Electroswitch Series 24 lock-out relays and Electroswitch Series 31 lock-out relays.

Electroswitch Series 24

This series features low resistance, double-wiping contacts with self-cleaning silver contacts for long-term reliability. They come available with up to 10 decks (20 poles) and allow for between two and eight positions. Series 24 switches are rated at 30 amps @ 600 volts.

These lock-out relays have been put to the test over the years in heavy duty applications, including military and power switching applications.

Features include:

  • Double-sided, Double-wiping, Knife-type rotary contacts
  • Silver Contact Surfaces
  • #8-32 Terminal Screws
  • Standard Three-Hole Panel Mount

Reading Electroswitch Series 24 Product Numbers

Identifying the exact part number you’re looking for can be difficult. Here are some tips on finding the exact Electroswitch part number you’re looking for:

  • To better understand the lettering in the product number, use this guide:
    • A=Single LED, Amber, 48/125VDC
    • B = Two LEDs, Green/Red, 48/125VDC

    • C = Three LEDs, Green/Amber/Red, 48/125VDC

    • D = Three LEDs, Green/Red/Red, 48/125VDC (Dual Trip Coil Monitor)

    • E = Single LED, Amber, 120VAC

    • F = Two LEDs, Green/Red, 120VAC

    • G = Three LEDs, Green/Amber/Red, 120VAC

  • Example: A breaker control switch with a pistol grip handle (PG), Lighted Target Nameplate, three LED’s, and 120VAC LED voltage would be part number 24PG38D

View all available Electroswitch Series 24 Relays available from National Power Equipment

Electroswitch Series 31

This series features low-resistance, double-wiping contacts in a smaller package. They are available with up to 10 decks (20 poles) and allow for between 2 and 8 positions. Series 31 switches are rated at 15 amps @ 600 volts.

Features include:

  • Double-sided, Double-wiping, Knife-type rotary contacts
  • Silver Contact Surfaces
  • Terminal Screws
  • Standard Four-Hole Mount

Reading Electroswitch Series 31 Product Numbers

Use the graphic below, sourced from Electroswitch’s “Switches and Relays for the Power Industry” Guide, to identify the exact product number that you’re looking for:

Image to help identify product numbers for Electroswitch eries 31 lock-out relays.

View all available Electroswitch Series 31 Relays available from National Power Equipment

About Electroswitch

Electroswitch Corporation is a leading manufacturer of electronic switches, relays, and photocontrols. The company was founded in 1946, and over the years began designing and building high-quality switches for the heavy duty Industrial and Electrical Utility markets. Through a series of acquisitions in 1908, Electroswitch became the industry leader in electrically-operated auxiliary relays, and their products are used in virtually every major electric utility in the United States and Canada.

If you’re looking for a specific Electroswitch lock-out relay but can’t find it in our catalog, contact us or give us a call at 216-898-2680.

 

 

Identifying MAGNE-BLAST Circuit Breaker Designations

General Electric produced a line of medium voltage air circuit breakers called the MAGNE- BLAST for over 30 years. The product line was very popular and was produced in a wide range of sizes and ratings to meet customer’s needs.

Particular attention needs to be paid to several parts of the nameplate when you’re looking for replacement MAGNE-BLAST breakers or parts for these GE circuit breakers. This flow chart was designed to streamline the specification process and help you identify your MAGNE-BLAST designation.

Image of a designation flowchart for MAGNE-BLAST circuit breakers.

Even with the flowchart, it can still be easy to miss specifics for designation There will be additional information you will need. Rated Amps, close and trip voltage, and mech type can all be found on the nameplate. When in doubt, a photo of the nameplate and a photo of the breaker from the front will give your supplier a clear understanding of what you need. The following photos of MAGNE-BLAST nameplates show how important details like the letter suffixes are in determining exactly what you need.

First nameplate image from a MAGNE-BLAST circuit breaker.
Second nameplate image from a MAGNE-BLAST circuit breaker.

Still confused? Contact us today with what information you have and we’ll help your figure it out. As a circuit breaker supplier, that’s what we’re here for.

How to Find and Identify Old or Obsolete GE (General Electric) Circuit Breakers Type AK and AKR

Finding old or obsolete General Electric circuit breakers can be challenging. GE has produced circuit breakers for over 70 years, which can make it difficult to match the right models and model numbers to your needs. In this article, we’ll present a brief history of GE’s circuit breaker production and help you understand how to identify what circuit breaker you’re looking for.

Image of a General Electric circuit breaker.

A Brief History of General Electric Circuit Breakers

GE’s “Slate back” line of type AE and AL air circuit breakers was its first product line utilizing one of the first true inverse time elements to obtain automatic “resettable” overcurrent protection. This marked a huge step up from simple fused protection. Sometime later, technological improvements prompted a redesign so GE introduced the AK line of breakers. These models featured improved electro-mechanical trip units and were designed to fit both AKD and AKD5 switchgear.

In the 1980’s, GE redesigned the AK line and gave the product line the AKR prefix. Although they may initially seem similar in appearance to the older style, the design has been improved and is not interchangeable with previous versions. This product line was designed to fit both AKD6 and the later redesigned AKD8 switchgear.

How to Read a General Electric Breaker Number

Almost all of the digits in an AK or AKR model number identify important characteristics of the breaker. It is important to either understand these details or even more important make sure your supplier does. Let’s use an AK-25 circuit breaker as an example. At a glance, with the door closed, most AK-25’s look the same, but the missing digits between the AK and 25 reveal important information that is needed to assure a safe and proper fit. You can use these quick guidelines to identify the specific model of a General Electric circuit breaker:

  1. The first part, “AK”, tells you the general designation of one of two switchgear vintages that the breaker will fit in - AKD or type AKD 5.
  2. The last part, “25”, indicates one of the smaller feeder breakers that is rated 600 amp AC continuous and has a frame rating of 25,000 amps interrupt (AC). 
  3. There are up to 4 more spaces for letters or numbers between the AK and 25 that are important. One could be a “U” which would indicate the addition of current limiting fuses. Another could be an “F” which designates a special field discharge option. There will be a number, most likely a 2 but it could be a 3, 4, all the way up to 10, which designates which type of trip unit that was installed at the factory. After the 2 or other trip unit number there could be an “A”. Absence of an “A” indicates that it is for AKD switchgear, the presence of it indicates it is for type AKD5 switchgear.
  4. For more information on how to understand what each letter or digit of the model number means, we’ve developed a guide. This guide will help you identify most of the options built in to your breaker from the factory and which, if any, will need to be changed or upgraded. (link to GE Basic Circuit Breaker Designation)

Other Questions to Ask

In addition to knowing the brand and product number you’re looking for, here are some other questions to help us identify the perfect solution for your needs:

  • Is the breaker A. electrically or B. manually operated?
  • If A, what is the voltage of the close coil, control relay and trip coil?
  • If A, do you have a wiring diagram number? 
  • Why type of trip unit is needed?
  • What trip function is required?
  • Are any accessories like bell alarm or under voltage protection required?

You can read this flowchart for AK and AKR circuit breakers for guidance. If you’re still having trouble or are unsure of what you need, just let us know and we’ll be happy to walk you through the process.

How to Streamline the Process of Identifying Obsolete Circuit Breakers and Components

When there is a problem with a circuit breaker or piece of switchgear, you need to be able to communicate exactly what you need to a vendor so that you can get the right equipment the first time and at the right price. Time is often the most critical element to shorten outages and restore power and production.

Our experts have worked with circuit breakers since 1983 and we can tell you from experience that while technology has improved this process immensely, it still has its pitfalls. The bottom line is that if the equipment is not specified correctly, it may not fit or work and can even become dangerous.

Image of an expert at a circuit breaker supplier.

Have Plenty of Information About Your Circuit Breaker

The best way to identify and communicate with a circuit breaker supplier is to get more information than you think will be needed. The model number of a circuit breaker is a start, but may not cover all the details. Serial numbers are rarely traceable. When they are, it may take weeks for the factory to reply.

Photos of the nameplate can help, but again, it may or may not detail all that is needed.

We like to take an “all of the above” attitude. We find that when we know the breaker’s model number and have clear photographs of all the nameplates (may be more than one), along with photos of the front, back, and sides and/or photos of the parts in question. We can quickly and accurately assess the situation and provide the most cost-effective solution to solve the issue at hand.

In the real world, however, this is often not possible. It’s common that information is handed up or down the chain of command and details can be lost or simply not communicated in the first place. This can and will necessitate someone going back to get the needed information, which can be both time consuming and frustrating.

Find a Circuit Breaker Supplier That Asks the Right Questions

When inquiring to multiple vendors, one or several of the vendors will typically not ask as many questions and may seem to have a quick and easy answer. The question that should then be asked is, “Why aren’t they asking the questions?” and “Will the equipment they ship work?”

If this seems like a daunting task, it is, or it can be without the help of a qualified vendor who is familiar with the equipment and can walk you through the pitfalls to get you the right equipment at the right time, for the right price.

When you have questions about your circuit breakers, contact us today. If we can’t help you with your specific problem, we’ll tell you and direct you to someone who can. That’s what we are here for.