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Extend the Life and Reliability of Your GE Magne-Blast Switchgear with NPE’s Bottle Repotting Program

General Electric produced tens of thousands of Magne-Blast breakers in various sizes.

While most maintenance programs focus on rebuilding the original air breakers or retrofitting them to a more modern vacuum technology, there are other components to the system that need to be addressed to maintain safety and reliability.

Why Magne-Blast Bottles Need to be Repotted

The main component that needs to be addressed is the “bottle,” the critical link between the draw outcircuit breaker and its connection to the line and load side buss. The bottle consists of a porcelain cylinder mounted in a cast aluminum plate that is aligned and attached to the switchgear cabinet. Within that bottle is a silver-plated copper “tulip” that the line and load side conductors mate with for a solid reliable connection.






That connection is mounted in a filler material and supported by potting material that was originally designed to fill the upper void in the bottle and hold it in place for proper alignment. However, that material, commonly described as a tar pitch like filler, dries out and cracks over time. This allows moisture, dirt, and other contaminants into the bottle that cause that old reliable mating connection to loosen and eventually fail.

Those failures can be catastrophic, causing untimely loss of production and collateral damage, and can occur regardless of the care and maintenance of the breaker and the rest of the system. The question then is, “How do I maintain the reliability of this system”? Should I spend the capital for upgrades and replace the whole system?”

The answer is simple: Call NPE. We have the material and experience to eliminate this issue and help you extend the life of your Magne-Blast switchgear through our special repotting process.

NPE’s 8 Step Procedure: 

  1.      Examine the bottles in a fixture and conduct a wipe test to assure that they are candidates for rebuild.
  1.      Remove the outdated “tar pitch” potting right down to the filler.     
  2. Re-align the connecting tulip and lock it in place so it doesn't move and cause future failures.
  3. Secure the joint between the copper and seal.
  4. Insulate the buss with modern shrink tube insulation.
  5. Replace the old potting with a new 2 part system that is thermally stable which will last far into the future.
  6. Clean and silver plate all mating surfaces to increase conductivity at critical joints.
  7. Re-test alignment and conductivity to assure a quality trouble-free replacement in the field.

Sound simple? The devil is in the details and NPE focuses on details. This whole procedure may sound easy but there is typically little opportunity to schedule downtime to shut down production while these critical components are sent out for work. That process can take one or two weeks.

NPE stocks replacement bottles that can be matched to your system and swapped out in hours rather than weeks. Once we've provided identical replacements, we can evaluate the bottles that were taken out and either provide a credit for the "core" or we can recondition/repot them for replacement in other cells or to have on the shelf for spares for other GE circuit breakers.

Contact us online or give us a call at 216-898-2680 to discuss our Magne-Blast Bottle Repotting Program today.       

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

NPE specializes in having what you need when you need it

Aftermarket parts are designed with modern materials and design enhancements 

      Stronger materials

      Enhanced designs

      in stock and ready to ship

fExtend 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!

Just email us at or use our mobile ap NPE on the Go!

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 and personel. 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.



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 or try our Mobile Ap- NPE on the Go  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.

A type AK or AKR 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 line marked a huge step up from simple fused protection. Sometime later, technological improvements prompted a redesign. GE iresponded by ntroducing 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 AKRdesign 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.

As products and technology continue to evolve through the Wavepro and AKD 10 up through and including Entelliguard and AKD 20 switchgear. These changes make it very important for users to be able to read breaker numbers to identify which type of breaker model they need.

How to Read a General Electric Breaker Number

Almost all the digits in an AK or AKR model number identify important characteristics of the breaker. It is important to either understand these details or be able to relay that information so that your supplier does.

When it comes to reading and understanding an AK or AKR breaker number, let’s start by using 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:

4 Steps to Identifying GE Circuit Breaker Model

  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.
    1. One could be a “U” which would indicate the addition of current limiting fuses.
    2. Another could be an “F” which designates a special field discharge option.
    3. 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.
    4. 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 into your breaker from the factory and which, if any, will need to be changed or upgraded.

 A guide on how to understand what each letter or digit of the GE circuit breaker model number means


Other Questions to Ask When Identifying Type AK and AKR GE Circuit Breakers

In addition to knowing the brand and product number you’re looking for, here are some other questions to help 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?

To download this chart click here: flowchart for AK and AKR circuit breakers  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.