Load Break Switches – A History by Manufacturer

Westinghouse and Cutler-Hammer WLI Load Break Switches:

Westinghouse began manufacturing load break switches in 1950. 5KV- (is this & or through) 15KV units were their most prominent models on the market. Their earliest models were non-load break types, and were called Westinghouse LBF switches, while the next generation of switches were dubbed WLI load interrupters.
Cutler-Hammer began producing the WLI load interrupters as well and did so through 1980. Currently, Cutler Hammer manufacturers the MVS load break switch, available in 5KV-15KV and 38 KV.

ITE HPLC and ABB Load Break Switches:

Following the conclusion of the second world war ITE began manufacturing load break switches. Their most popular models were also 5KV and 15KV. ITE called their switches the HPLC Load Break Switch and they manufactured both fused and non-fused varieties for over 30 years. ITE was bought by Gould and then by Brown Boveri before ultimately resting under the ABB moniker. The HPLC load break switch was marketed and manufactured throughout these changes in ownership.
ABB produced their own load break switch from 1970-1980. They called it the ABB Versa Switch and it came in the standard 5KV, 15KV, and 38KV ratings.

Where and Why to Buy Load Break Switches and Parts:

As different engineering teams were behind the design of these various Load Break Switches mentioned, they all eventually need different kinds of maintenance when various components fail. For example, take the GE SE-100S Load Break Switch. The “whipper blades” tend to fail as a small contact on the blade often breaks off overtime as the blades whip into the arc chute. Then, if we look at the WLI switches produced by Westinghouse and Cutler-Hammer it is evident that the torque put on the mech during closing tends to eventually break key parts in the mech resulting in the need for repair. And ITE’s HPLC Load Break Switches as well as ABB’s Versa Switch have faulty push rods that call for frequent repairs.
This is where Circuit Breakers Sales Northeast comes into the picture. We stock thousands of standard and hard-to-find parts for these load break switches. The most common being the right 5KV and 15KV fuses needed both for replacement and spares, often found sitting in a “pocket” in the front door of the switch.
Our team is put together by a consortium of switchgear and circuit breaker experts. These experts put decades of knowledge, gained from working closely with the manufacturers and experience behind every job. We are well-versed in dealing with Westinghouse, Allis Chalmers, Siemens Allis, Federal Pacific/Federal Pioneer, General Electric, ITE/ABB, Cutler Hammer and others. We thoroughly understand the functions, types, components, voltage ratings, ampere ratings, ampere interrupting capacity, testing, electrical arc, effects of current flow, thermal energy, magnetic trip elements, and every other various detail behind the proper function of your circuit breakers and associated electrical equipment. Combine this expertise with our nearly 200,000 square foot of inventory, shop, and test space and we are you one-stop source for all your Load Break Switch needs!

Circuit Breaker Inventory – Bigger is Better!

At Circuit Breakers Sales Northeast we have one of the largest inventory’s of switchgear and circuit breakers in the world! This ensures that we are here for you no matter the issue with your breaker system.
Our huge inventory allows us to build custom switchgear to match a customer’s existing system if the job calls for it. It also allows us to assist customers that have issues with less popular systems such as 480v, 5kv and 15kv obsolete circuit breakers because we also stock Federal Pacific circuit breakers, Roller Smith circuit breakers and Allis Chalmers switchgear.
No matter the make or model of your system we are here for you. We can perform any sort of repair or maintenance necessary to your system and deliver it back to you equal to new condition! For more information visit our inventory page or contact us directly. We look forward to hearing from you!

Used Circuit Breakers

When an industrial circuit breaker or power plant circuit breaker fails the replacement costs are astronomical. When businesses and commercial industries have a circuit breaker that fails typically the men and women in charge figure their old circuit breaker is no longer manufactured and essentially useless and consequently believe they need to look into a new system. Circuit Breakers Sales Northeast (CBSNE) ensures you that this is not the case.
We can supply breakers and switchgear that date as far back as 1946. Purchasing a new circuit breaker in the 15KV range and up can cost tens of thousands of dollars. By doing business with us you will save money on your bottom line and your used circuit breaker will have the same functional output as a new breaker would. Or in other words, it will perform like new for a fraction of the price of buying a new system! CBSNE has helped refurbish old systems for a diverse array of clientele. Some of our clients that we have supplied remanufactured industrial circuit breakers, used circuit breakers and customized electric switchgear for a wide range of electric loads are industrial and commercial end users, utilities, municipalities and Fortune 500 companies.
CBSNE is made up of circuit breaker experts, with decades of knowledge and experience on industrial and power plant circuit breakers. We understand functions, types, components, voltage ratings, ampere ratings, ampere interrupting capacity, testing, electrical arc, effects of current flow, thermal energy, and magnetic trip elements. By working closely with the manufacturers themselves, our staff at CBSNE are well-versed in dealing with Westinghouse, Allis Chalmers, Siemens Allis, Federal Pacific/Federal Pioneer, General Electric, ITE/ABB and Cutler Hammer.
Whether you are involved with industrial circuit breakers, need used circuit breakers, or power plant circuit breakers CBSNE will provide the experience, professionalism and knowledge to accommodate all of your switchgear and circuit breaker needs. Please call 203-888-7500 to speak with an electric switchgear and circuit breaker expert now!

Circuit Breakers and Switchgear from 1945

During the war effort in 1945 the first air circuit breaker was manufactured. Prior to this innovation everyone had large fuses until air circuit breakers were the first re-settable fuse.
GE AL-2-50 breakers, ITE KC circuit breakers, WESTINGHOUSE DA-50 circuit breakers- which were 1600 Amp frame sizes, were part of an original switchgear family of breakers which featured air breakers from 600 Amp frame size to 4000 Amp frame size. The big breakers were mounted on slate back frames and had oil dashpot trip units. These oil dashpot trip units, while revolutionary at the time, had problems with the oil leaking out of the trip unit, or the oil getting too heavy.
Circuit Breaker Sales North East carries all the original breakers from this era including ITE circuit breakers, Federal Pacific circuit breakers, Westinghouse circuit breakers, and Allis Chalmers circuit breakers. These early companies paved the way for the power generation industry for years to come.

Ground and Test Devices for 5KF or 15KV Switchgear

Ground and test devices are made for all manufacturers switchgear, but the 5KV and 15KV ground and test devices are the most common. All generations of switchgear from 1945 to the present can accept these “ground carts” that are used primarily for safety when plants shut down and/or do plant maintenance.
“GE ground and test devices”, “ABB ground and test devices”, and “Cutler Hammer ground and test devices” are the primary test devices that Circuit Breaker Sales North East manufacture. All of these devices are manually operated as “three stab devices” or “six stab devices”, and go into existing switchgear.

GE Industrial Switchgear – A Piece of History

GE manufacturers some of the most reliable switchgear on the market. They were a pioneer in the circuit breaker industry, GE was the premier line of switchgear that founded much of the industry, which began during World War II. Circuit Breaker Sales North East houses all models of GE industrial switchgear from 1940-present. Our inventory of remanufactured and new circuit breakers and industrial switchgear is one of the largest in the country.

GE Throughout the Years

GE AL circuit breakers had older dash pot drip units and the GE 5kv and 15kv GE Magnablast breakers had heavy solenoid coils to close the circuit breakers. GE switchgear was a leader then and still is today in the circuit breaker industry. This is due to their innovative design and constantly evolving technology.
In the 1950’s GE had the GE AK circuit breakers. These breakers had an elector mechanical trip unit. Going into the 1960’s and 1970’s, GE solid state trip units were at the for-front of the switchgear industry. GE 480volt draw out AKR air circuit breakers feature the MicroVersaTrip pm solid state trip unit that can communicate back to a central pc. GE has pioneered the technology of communication within a circuit breaker unit. Industrial switchgear has developed rapidly throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, and GE’s innovative ideas were some of the first on the market and hold strong to this day.

GE Today

GE vacuum circuit breakers and vacuum switchgear are the most popular among large industrial manufacturers. GE VB1 vacuum breakers are known for their strength and reliability. These are two features that are essential to any industrial plant. Here at Circuit Breaker Sales North East we stock every make and model of GE industrial power switchgear.

The History of GE AL Circuit Breakers, GE AK Circuit Breakers and GE AKR Circuit Breakers

Following the end of World War II in 1945 GE sold the first resettable fuse, now known as a circuit breaker. The first circuit breakers, GE’s AL breakers were cumbersome pieces of machinery mounted on slate. They had dash pot trip units that were revolutionary at the time, though unfortunately overtime became very unreliable.
The 600 amp GE circuit breaker was called an AE-1-25. The 1600 amp breaker was a GE AL-2-50, followed by the GE AL-2-75 3000 amp frame circuit breaker, and finally the GE AL-2-100 4000 amp breaker. The constant revolution left a lot of used circuit breakers.

The Evolution of GE AK Breakers – 1955-1986

Come 1955 GE introduced their AK line of circuit breakers to the market. The new breakers in the AK line were smaller, lighter, and more reliable than their previous line of AL breakers. These models featured electro-mechanical trip units and plastic pole bases. These changes allowed for more reconditioned circuit breakers and remanufactured circuit breakers.
GE continued to make the AK circuit breaker for the next 30 years. These models included: 600 amp GE breakers AK-1-25, AK-2-25, AK-2A-25, AK-3A-35, AK-4A-25, AK-5A-25, AK-6A-25. 1600 amp circuit breakers manufactured over the same time period were: AK-1-50, AK-2-50, AK-2A-50, AK-2A-50S high-speed circuit breaker, AK-3A-50, AK-4A-50, AK-5A-50 and the AK-6A-50. At this time GE also introduced a 2000 amp frame size, the GE AKT-2-50. In 3000 amp sizes selection there was the GE AK-1-75, AK-2-75, AK-2A-75, AK-3A-75 AK-4A-75, and AK-5A-75. The largest circuit breakers made during this time period (1955-1986) were the GE AK-1-100, AK-2-100, AK-2A-100, AK-3A-100 and AK-4A-100.
Around 1985 GE introduced their AKR line of circuit breakers to the market, after decades of rebuilt circuit breakers. This was a major design change, and led to the GE AKR circuit breakers being able to communicate information back to a central pc. There were several variations on the AKR line of circuit breakers, mostly upgrades the solid state trip units and changing the racking mechanisms. The model numbers for these types are as follows.GE AKR-5A-30, AKR-5B-30, AKR-6D-30, AKR-7D-30, AKR-8D-30, AKR-9D-30, AKR-10D-30.
Fused models were the GE AKRU circuit breakers, and high interrupting models were always signified with an ‘H’ at the end of the serial number (such as AKR-7D-30H). 1600 amp frame sizes were the next size. 1600 amp AKR air circuit breakers are known for serial numbers that begin with “AKR’, some model types you might find are as follows: AKR-5A-50, AKR-5B-50, AKR-5D-50, AKR-6D-50,AKR-7D-50, AKR-8D-50,AKR-9D-50, AKR-10D-50. Around this time popular models included the fused 1600 amp air circuit breakers AKRU-6D-50 and H model high interrupting circuit breakers. Low voltage power circuit breakers in the 3000 amp frame size were GE AKR-5A-75, AKR-5C-75, AKR-5B-75, AKR-6D-75, AKR-7D-75, AKR-8D-75, AKR-9D-75. 4000 amp frame size circuit breakers followed a similar pattern, GE AKR-5A-100, AKR-5B-100, AKR-6D-100, AKR-7D-100, AKR-7F-100.
The GE AKR low voltage air circuit breaker line was very popular and reliable. The current GE line of circuit breakers is called the GE Wavepro Series. These circuit breakers have introduced a completely new technology to switchgear.
At Circuit Breaker Sales North East we have a complete line of GE from past to present along with an extensive parts inventory. Contact us at any time for a quote, consultation or a visit to your facility for an assessment!

CBSNE Partnership Rescues Utility

Circuit Breaker Sales NE, Inc. has been seeking out and collecting circuit breaker components since the 1950’s so they can replace parts quickly and reliably in any switch gear. Because of this Circuit Breaker Sales NE is able to respond to emergency calls, big or small regardless of the breaker thanks to this stockpile of breaker components.
For example, when an electrical fire at a nuclear power plant in the Southeastern U.S. caused a reduction of electrical output, CBSNE and its nuclear partner, ATC-Nuclear were prepared. The companies worked together to manufacture an exact match in form, fit, and function of the GE AKD-6 switchgear from our inventory, while the damaged unit was in transit. CBSNE stock every make and model of GE industrial switchgear
Upon arrival of the seven sections of damaged switchgear all wires were marked and tagged to prepare for transfer of the wire bundles to the new switchgear. All wire lugs were checked for integrity. The existing relays and meters were removed and repaired or replaced as necessary. Then they were individually tested and documented, with reports, prior to re-using in the new gear.
Next, the bus work was removed from the damaged switchgear and we cleaned, re-plated, and re-assembled it with new nuts and bolts. After the bus work was complete, the new switchgear was ready for the components to be mounted, including installations of all racking mechanisms. The relays and meters were remounted. Wire continuity was checked point to point by project personnel, then re-checked by the utility.
The final steps included inserting all of the utility’s breakers back into the switchgear, confirming the breaker operation in the switchgear, and bus work tests were confirmed by the utility personnel. Having the ability to test the switchgear before it was shipped saved valuable time testing and re-work did not have to be done onsite at the utility.
Customer service is a cornerstone of the way CBSNE does business. ATC-Nuclear was the first to receive the call shortly after the incident and the next day the utility had agreed to the quote and the gear was in transit to CBSNE. With our huge inventory of circuit breakers new and old we are prepared to help you at a moment’s notice!

GE Circuit Breaker Limit Switches CT# K-9921661-2 and CAT# K-9921661-1, now available at Electric Control

General electric supplied two different limit switches on their AK series power circuit breakers. These limit switches were used in electrically operated circuit breakers and were responsible for starting a motor –normally closed K-9921661-2, and stopping the charging motor-normally open switch K-9921661-1.
In all of their electrically operated AK series circuit breakers made from 1950-1980 GE used similar limit switches. This type of switch was made by Arrow Hart company years ago, and later by Tyco Company.
These switches are completely integral to the operation of General Electric electrically operated AK circuit breakers. The problem is the little contacts inside them, always wear down, and the switches stop working, rendering the circuit breaker unable to close electrically (thankfully there is a manual close option on these circuit breakers).
The bad news is that these switches are now obsolete, and cannot be purchased new any longer. Anyone remanufacturing these breakers, or using these breakers can’t get these limit switches any longer.
The good news is that Circuit Breaker Sales NE has just purchased a huge stock of these switches NEW from a large utility. Cat number K-9921661-2 and Cat number K-9921661-1 are now available again. Call us for pricing.

GE Magnablast Switchgear – Raise Lower Motors – 404 Error

Purchasing Low Voltage Circuit Breakers

Low Voltage circuit breakers are a popular type of breaker we carry here at Circuit Breaker Sales NE. We stock large breakers, 480 volt and 5KV/15KV circuit breakers from 1945 to the present. Also, we house different generations of GE, ITE, Siemens Allis, Westinghouse, Federal Pacific, and Cutler Hammer circuit breakers and all related switchgear. When it comes to purchasing a new circuit breaker, knowing the year your buildings was constructed is helpful, but there are several other various factors involved in order to obtain the correct system.

How to Purchase the Correct Low Voltage Circuit Breaker

One of the first things you want to note is the systems model and/or type. This does not refer to the manufacturer although knowing the manufacturer is a major factor. The model/type can be found on the name plate on the front of the unit. For example if you were looking at a GE AK-2-25, you would find the name plate on the front. In the center along the top of the plate you will find GE. Under this you would find, the first bit of information will be model/type: AK-2-25. If we have the model number, by referring to our vast inventory of breakers and breaker components we can identify the manufacturer if need be.

Draw In or Bolt Out?

Is your model “draw out” or “bolt in”? All air circuit breakers either draw out or rack out of their cells, or they bolt into the cells. Draw out breakers are much easier to handle because you can track the out of the cell with a racking tool. Bolt in circuit breakers, you need to go in unbolt the circuit breaker from the rear bus that connects to the back of the breaker. You can determine whether your system is draw in or bolt out by taking a look at it. If you are having trouble feel free to send us a picture and we will help you figure it out!

Electrically Operated or Manually?

There are electrically operated circuit breakers and there are manually operated circuit breakers. Most of the time circuit breakers are either one or the other. Manually operated circuit breakers always have a handle, similar to a large pistol grip. Electrically operated circuit breakers, usually have a charging motor, a protective relay, and a shunt trip unit. It is important to know the close and trip voltage, and also (if possible) a wiring diagram for the breaker that provides a wiring road map for the mechanism.

This is a very general guide to obtaining a low voltage circuit breaker. Whomever the manufacturer there is always information that can be easily detected. Using these steps will help you figure out what your system is. However, any expert at CBSNE can also tell you exactly what type of breaker you have and what components you might need. So, feel free to trust in our experience if not your own!

Interchangeability of GE Magnablast 15KV Circuit Breakers

An offer from Circuit Breaker Sales NE!

CBSNE offers an alternate solution to customers needing to rebuild their old MS-11 breaker; with the purchase of a similar interchangeable breakers with updated ML-13 mechanisms you can upgrade your system with a more reliable part.

Benefits of an ML-13 Operating Mechanism Upgrade

GE manufactured its main air circuit breaker the GE Magnablast in 5kv and 15kv medium voltage switchgear from 1950-1980. The breaker underwent several model changes as technology advanced.
The original breaker had a solenoid closing mechanism that was very reliable and made for about 10 years. While very stable, the mechanism tended to close very “hard” and caused wear and tear on the operating mechanisms and other internal parts. As technology advanced this operating mechanism was later improved and replaced by the stored energy motor operated mechanism, which would later become a standard in all medium voltage breakers throughout the industry.

ML-11 Mechanism

Introduced approximately in 1960, the ML-11 mechanism was revolutionary at the time, but soon became very unreliable, with most of the problems centering on a clutch mechanism, which when not working, was mostly replaced rather than rebuilt. GE, realizing problems quickly, halted production on this mechanism type, and learning from earlier mistakes produced the MS-13 mechanism. (It should be noted that the short production run on the ML-11 mechanism type, makes parts very rare and thus costly)

ML-13 Mechanism

The ML-13 spring charged/motor operated mechanism became the main stay for GE breakers for over 15 years. This breaker was part of a huge increase in our countries manufacturing capabilities from 1965-1980. It is reliable, easily repairable, with parts very available. Some would say it is the best breaker that GE ever made.

Industry Standard Circuit Breaker Replacements

CBSNE is offering to provide completely interchangeable GE ML-13 circuit breakers in lieu of repairing ML -11 breakers. We feel this will standardize on the ML-13 mechanism for these Magnablast circuit breakers, and be an upgrade in reliability and life extension to this equipment.

GE Medium Voltage Breakers

GE 5Kv and 15Kv medium voltage circuit breakers have been manufactured since 1945. These particular circuit breakers were all classified under the GE Magnablast name. The GE Magnablast circuit breakers in their earliest days were solenoid operated, an engineering function designed to close the breakers. Those types of breakers go by the names GE AM- 5-75, GE AM-5-150, and GE AM-5-250. The early 15 Kv GE Magnablast breakers were called GE AM-15-150, GE AM-15-250, AND GE AM-15-500.

Solenoid Breaker History

GE continued to manufacture solenoid GE Magnablast circuit breakers into the late 1950’s. The types were refined into the following categories: 5Kv to AM-4.16-75-75, AM- 4.16-150, AM- 4.16-250, and AM-4.16-350. The 15Kv Magnablast breakers were divided into GE AM-13.8-250 and AM-13.8-500. GE added larger breakers with greater AIC ratings: the AM-13.8-750 and GE AM-13.8-1000.

The greatest change in GE Magnablast breakers in the early 70’s was the change from the solenoid mechanisms to the motor operated spring charged mechanism. This device closed the breaker faster while putting less stress on the unit. The MS-13 solenoid closing mechanism was now replaced by the ML-13 spring charged motor operated mechanism. This breaker was in service for many years.

In the early 1980’s, GE introduced the GE vacuum circuit breaker. The GE powervac circuit breaker featured vacuum bottles in place of contacts and arc chutes. The GE powervac circuit breaker is the mainstay of the vacuum breaker industry. By the early 1980’s, there were two generations of vacuum circuit breakers. These were: GE VB4.16-250 / GE VB4.16-350/ GE VB1-4.16-250 and GE VB1-4.16-350.

The 15 Kv GE models are: GE VB 13.8-500 / GE VB1-13.8-500 / GE VB1-13.8-750 / GE VB1-13.8-750 / GE VB-13.8-1000 and GE VB1-13.8-1000. The amperages of all GE medium voltage circuit breakers 5Kv and 15Kv are 1200 amp, 2000 amp, and 3000 amp. GE also made 7200 volt medium voltage circuit breakers, type AM-7.2-500 and VB-1-7.2-500.

Circuit Breaker Sales NE houses many of GE’s products, and medium voltage breakers and breaker parts that can be purchased direct from our warehouse and retrofitted to your current unit.

GE 5 and 15 KV Indoor & Outdoor Switchgear

Vertical Lift Breakers

GE manufactured 5 and 15 Kv circuit breakers so they would fit vertically into a switchgear unit, specifically, where the unit disconnects. The stabs of the circuit breaker bushings were mounted straight out of the top of the Magnablast circuit breakers.

These vertical bushings required the breaker to be lifted up into the cubicle with an elevating mechanism on each side of the switchgear to engage itself. This design was complicated compared to other manufacturers who had breakers that would rack in horizontally, but even so, GE made the vertical lift Magnablast breaker for over thirty years.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Switchgear

The switchgear that these breakers went into was called M-26 GE switchgear which was for 5Kv circuit breakers and M-36 switchgear which was for 15 Kv Magnablast breakers. Both models, the M-26 and M-36, came in indoor and outdoor switchgear models.

Nema1 switchgear units are made for indoor use, and do not offer much protection from the elements. Other than being dust proof and offering general light protection for the gear; indoor gear does not shelter the 5Kv or 15Kv switchgear from the outside elements.

Nema3r switchgear came in several forms. There is outdoor non walk-in switchgear, which the operator stands outside the unit to operate it and is completely open to the outside elements. Outdoor walk-in switchgear allowed the user to be in an enclosure as he or she maintained the switchgear. This has the walk in section on one side, and the switchgear located on the other side.

Outdoor walk in protected isle switchgear had an isle down the middle and switchgear on both sides of the isle. This was attractive for people with a lot of space, or who have a large number of breakers in an outdoor space.

GE manufactured M-26 and M-36 5Kv and 15Kv switchgear for many years. It came in many different frames, and was very popular.

Circuit Breaker Sales NE can properly outfit any indoor or outdoor facility with the correct switchgear units; contact us for a free consultation!

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