Blog posts tagged with 'interchangeability'

Old FPE and Westinghouse Parts Compatibility

One of the more interesting aspects of our market is the history of the equipment and how it has changed over the years. While most of those changes were technological, some revolved around the people behind the scenes. One in particular that comes to mind, was a group of design engineers that had left the Westinghouse Corporation and went to Federal Pacific Equipment. While the story has certainly has been passed from mouth to mouth over the years, it does have some evidence to back it up. As told to me it goes like this:

 

Back in the era of the Westinghouse DB 25 single position circuit breaker, a group of design engineers left the old bar W and went over to FPE. With their designs fresh in their heads, they used much of it to design the old FPE DMB circuit breaker product line. The similarities between the two are obvious. Westinghouse manufactured the DB 25 and the DB 50, etc. FPE’s new product line was called the DMB 25 and the DMB 50, etc. Both of these manufacturers used similar technology and materials for their parts, for example, pole base insulators and arc chutes but the similarities continued to the point that some of the parts are physically interchangeable! In particular, parts like secondary disconnects, control relays, shunt trips and a few others.

 

 

 

    Westinghouse vs. FPE Shunt Trip                 Westinghouse vs. FPE Secondary

 

               If you happen to have this FPE switchgear in your facility and you are having a difficult time locating the parts to maintain it, give us a call at 800-647-0815 or send us an email to info@npeinc.com  and we will show you parts that are much more common to the market (and less expensive) and how they can be used to keep your equipment up and running for many more years of reliable service.

 

As we say at NPE- that’s what we’re here for!

 

 

Circuit Breaker Parts Availability in a Google World

Finding the right part to keep your circuit breakers and switchgear up and running should be as easy as punching the part number into Google or on Amazon, then having a list of suppliers populate, right? Well, if you have the part number, if it’s even still available from the manufacturer and if it is sold individually and not part of a larger assembly that gives you a lot of parts that you don’t need nor want.  Well, in that ideal world, yes, that is all it can take. Of course, then you will have to deal with lead time, which can be weeks or months for a part that is still in production. What if it’s no longer in production or you cannot find the part number? That is what NPE is here for.

The old saying, “time is money and money is time” still holds true. Chances are good that if you need it, your breaker and possibly key elements of production are down. You need the right part, you need it right now, and most likely, NPE has it in stock and it can be shipped right away, without the hassle and also without all the parts in an assembly that you do not need nor want to pay for.  So, what should you do? Contact us.

 

This is what we need:

 

  • Breaker Model Number
  • Brief Description (what it is or what it does)
  • Photos
  • Part Numbers (they are helpful, if available, but we’ve been doing this so long we can work around that little detail)

 

How to get it to us:

 

Email:  info@npeinc.com - simple and easy to remember. 

Mobile website:  m.npeinc.com - this mobile site will walk you through a series of questions to help identify the parts and give you an opportunity to submit photos as well, or even faster, use our Quick Note Ap.

Call us: 1-800-647-0815. We’ll be happy to talk you through your problem and customize a cost-effective solution for you.

That is what we are here for.

 

We have tens of thousands of parts on hand along with our trained, experienced personnel that can get them to you when you need them.

Commonly needed parts are also available online at our aftermarket parts store. Many of them have new and improved designs to ensure that whatever shortcoming the OEM part had, was corrected. You may never have to replace that part again.  Visit this store at https://www.npeinc.com/aftermarket-parts, register and enter the promotional code: GOLD20 at checkoutto get 20% off your order.

 

Try NPE and find out why our motto is “The right part, at the right price, right now!”

 

General Electric’s Magne-Blast Product Line and Interchangeability

The General Electric Magne-Blast product line was produced with a wide array of shapes, sizes, and ratings. Finding interchangeable breakers can be simplified once you break the line down to a few simple rules.

How to Determine if a GE Magne-Blast Breaker is Interchangeable

Single Coupler vs. Double Coupler

The secondary coupler or secondary disconnect is a device/plug that carries the power that controls the breakers opening and closing circuits. The original breakers are equipped with 2 round, 7 pin couplers that mount on each side of the mechanism. The newer breakers have a single square coupler with 16 pins that mounts on the left-hand side (as you face the breaker). These two breakers are not interchangeable.

Round style double couple Magne-Blast breaker.

Square style single coupler Magne-Blast breaker.

Solenoid vs. Stored Energy

Older breakers are equipped with a large closing solenoid that closes the breaker, this mechanism type typically has an “MS” designation, like MS-5, MS-7, MS-10B1, or the most common designation MS-13. Newer breakers are equipped with a spring charged/stored energy mechanism, most commonly, the ML-13. This mechanism uses a motor/gearbox to compress springs that are released to close the breaker.

The primary advantage of the stored energy mechanism is that it draws much less current to close the breaker. These breakers have a limited interchangeability. More modern ML-13 breakers can sometimes be used to replace old MS style breakers. When produced at the factory, these replacement breakers will have a “C” at the end of the model number (e.g. AM 4.16-250-6C). Minor changes will also need to be made in the cell wiring when using this replacement because of the decreased power that it takes to close the breaker.

Magne-Blast breaker with MS mechanism.

Magne-Blast breaker with ML mechanism.

Frame Size/Voltage/MVA Rating

The next thing to look for is the MVA rating of the breaker. This is designated in the model number after the voltage rating e.g. AM 4.16-250-6C, is a 250 MVA rated breaker.

The smallest of the product line is the 18-inch wide 50/75 MVA breakers. Designated as either AM 5-MVA or AM 4.16-MVA, these breakers all had one of various vintage MS style solenoid mechanisms. They are available in 600-amp and 1,200-amp frames and are backwards compatible. For example, an AM 4.16-75 1,200-amp breaker can be used in place of an AM-5-50, but not the other way around.

The next step up are the 100/150/250/350 MVA breakers. These are built on slightly wider, 26-inch frames and are very common in commercial and industrial facilities. They have the same limited backwards compatibility of ML-13 to MS-13 mechanisms outlined above and all but the 350 MVA have a backwards compatibility of MVA, as well. In other words, a 250 MVA can always be used in place of a 150 MVA but not the other way around. The 350 MVA’s are built on a taller frame and are unique.

The larger 36-inch-wide breakers cover both the 7.2 kv and 13.8 kv range which are not interchangeable with each other, but generally carry the same interchangeability of their smaller 5kv brethren. The exception comes in the 750 MVA frames. The original 750 MVA (e.g. AM 13.8-750-2) is on a much taller frame than the 500 MVA or below breakers and is commonly known as a “tall boy.” Its added height is unique. However, GE did make a replacement later in production that is designated with an “L” at the end of the nameplate, AM 13.8-7505HL, which indicates a shorter lower profile breaker that was factory modified to fit into the ‘tall boy” cell.

The final breaker, the AM 13.8- 1000 is unique and not interchangeable with the others. There are two basic versions the AM 13.8 100-3H and 4H. The “3H” is commonly called the humpback breaker because the box barriers and arc chutes are taller in the back. The “4H” has smaller arc chutes and is interchangeable with the “3H”, but again, not the other way around.

Frame Size

600/1200/2000/2500/3000/3800

Always make sure that breakers are replaced with replacements of the same frame size or extensive damage could result.

Need Help Finding Interchangeable Breakers?

Still confused? We can help. Take a photo of your nameplate and contact us or just go to m.npeincom and follow NPE On The Go to get all of the information we will need to quote you a replacement.

Trying to find a way to extend the life and reliability of your GE Magne-Blast switchgear instead of looking for a replacement? Learn more about how NPE’s bottle repotting program can be just what you need. If you need help identifying Magne-Blast circuit breaker designations, read this post to find out where to look.