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Replacing Pushmatic Circuit Breakers

One and Two Pole Pushmatic Circuit Breakers: I need to replace Pushmatic UBIP230 Circuit Breakers.

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Pushmatic Circuit Breakers
Electrical Question: I need to replace Pushmatic UBIP230 Circuit Breakers.

Any advice would help!

This electrical question came from: Hugh, from Wichita, Kansas.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Hugh

Installing Pushmatic Circuit Breakers

Application: Installing or Replacing a Pushmatic Circuit Breaker.
Skill Level: Advanced – Licensed Electrical Contractor, Not Recommended for Homeowners.
Tools Required: Electricians pouch of hand tools, voltage tester and protective safety gear.
Estimated Time: Depends on the make and model of the panel and the condition of the existing electrical circuit breakers and wiring methods.
Precaution: For safety the main circuit breaker should be turned off or any other disconnect means that would deenergize the panel before replacing a circuit breaker, however turning off the main circuit breaker may not deenergize all of the areas of the panel components and wiring. This is an extensive project that requires experience and should be performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Notice: Making changes to electrical panel or electric circuits should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected

1 Pole and 2 Pole Pushmatic Circuit Breakers

Installing a 2 Pole Pushmatic breaker or an Approved Tie bar

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220 Volt Wiring Diagram
220 Volt Wiring Diagram

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Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how electrical outlets for the home are wired.

Wiring a Dryer for 3-Wire and 4-Wire Cords

3-Wire and 4-Wire Configurations for Clothes Dryers

See an electric dryer installation with a typical 220 Volt electric power cord wiring system. You may find yourself with either a 3-wire or 4-wire electric dryer, or a 3-wire or 4-wire outlet. Lets look a how the electric dryer is wired and what to do if your cord does not match the plug.

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Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
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Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

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The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

11 Responses to “Replacing Pushmatic Circuit Breakers”
  1. Mit says:

    I also have the circuit breaker with two one pole 30A. A note on the replacing circuit breaker had me concerned. It read “DO NOT USE IN SERIES RATED SYSTEMS WITH THOSE PANEL BOARDS SHOWN IN THIS COMPATIBILITY LIST _ PANEL BOARD LIST: SIEMENS, ITE, OR BULLDOG PUSHMATIC MODEL L250-PL14”.
    I looked but did not see where the model is on the circuit breaker panel. Since the original had these switches in series, does it mean that my circuit breaker model is not the L250-PL14 ? I don’t like to assume in this case, hence this post.

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Mit,
    Without knowing the exact make and model number of your panel I could not give an accurate answer, and it should be clarified what precisely the Series terminology is referring to. I would think that it has to do with a series configuration where more than one circuit breaker is used for the circuit where two circuit breakers are installed in two locations. The method of installing two 1-pole breakers to be used as a 2-pole 240 volt circuit is legal if a tie bar is installed across the two breaker handles when they are installed side by side and parallel to each other, however due to the style of the Pushmatic circuit breakers that may not be possible, therefore a 2-pole Pushmatic breaker will be required for a 2-pole 240 volt circuit.
    I hope this helps,

  3. Mit says:

    Hi Dave
    It is precisely as you described. They are two one-pole circuit breakers installed side by side with a tie bar across the handle. The circuit breakers are for the 240V dryer. I still don’t see the model of this circuit breaker which is a product of Bulldog Electric, Code No. 4910-0295 25M-12-53 (Instruction for Electrician). I replaced one and it seemed to work (dryer is working without tripping circuit breaker). Now should I replace the old circuit breaker in series with it or it’s ok to have a new circuit breaker and an old one in series ?
    Thanks again for replying

  4. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Mit,
    Where are the two circuit breakers located? Is one at the main panel and another at the location of the dryer?
    My point is that in a typical installation for a dryer circuit there is only one circuit breaker located at a distribution panel, and the receptacle at the dryer location where the dryer cord is connected.

  5. Mit says:

    Hi Dave
    The two one-pole 30A circuit breaker are side by side at the main (distribution?) panel with the tie bar across. I replaced one on the right side. Should I replace one on the left side also?
    And yes, there’s only the receptacle at the dryer location where the dryer cord is connected.

  6. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Mit,
    If the original problem was due to a faulty circuit breaker then you really only need to replace the circuit breaker that was bad. Otherwise, if the two 1-pole circuit breakers are tied together then your good to go. As always, it is best to install a 2-pole 240 volt circuit breaker rather than two 1-pole circuit breakers, and if you have the ability to do that I would highly recommend it. Be sure to check the circuit for the 240 volt output.

  7. Mit says:

    Hi Dave

    There’s a “lock bar” between the two one-pole circuit breaker that I haven’t figured out whether it can be removed or not. If I can remove this lock bar (it has to be removed completely from the panel) then I can replace two one-pole 240V with one two-pole 240V. To replace the circuit breaker, I tapped the lock bar gently. It slid up far enough for me to remove and install the circuit breaker. I checked the voltage across the bar and it is 240V. I have not checked the voltage at the receptacle yet.
    It is hard to say whether the circuit breaker is the original problem or not, but by replacing it, the problem is solved temporarily. I’ll check the 240V at the output as soon as I can.
    Thank you very much for your help/input.


  8. Angelina says:

    I have a Push-O-Matic circuit panel, I know clearly needs to be updated, but in the meantime I need to place a double pole 40 amp circuit in the panel. The top three breakers are double pole 30 and 50 amp circuits. Then the main breaker is below that (physically says Main Breaker) and below that are several single pole circuits that are 15 and 20 amp. I need to pull one of the unused 30 amp circuits and put in a 40 amp circuit for a new double wall oven. However, the main breaker only shuts off the 15 and 20 amp circuits. I know, from the wonderful world of Google, that the top Double pole circuits are 240 volts. But what I cannot seem to find on Google is how do I shut the power off to those 220 volt double pole breakers? I am a home owner and am not completely sure of the make of the box as it has no name on it anywhere but I am positive out it’s a Push-O-Matic. If I could figure out how to attach a picture I would do so.

  9. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Angelina,
    A picture may be attached when submitting a Detailed Question, as described above. However, the panel you have described might only be shut off by the main disconnect for the home, which is typically located near the electric meter, or where the electric service enters the home. Installing a circuit breaker into an electric panel is best done by a licensed electrician.
    Be Safe,

  10. Larry says:

    I purchased a home built in Lansing Michigan in 1962 with a Pushmatic Breaker Panel. The previous homeowner had a 220 power source removed from the 2 poll 30amp Pushmatic circuit in the breaker box, due to the reason for the power was no longer in use( pool pump). I have installed the new pool pump and found the wire that was removed from the box last year and I am unsure of how to connect the 4 wire line to the circuit

    Any ideas?

    I can send you a photo of the circuit, wire and circuit box.

    What say you?

  11. Dave Rongey says:

    The electrical circuit requirements for the new pool pump will need to be compared to the circuit you consider using, and the circuit and the components should be verified to make sure the circuit is fully functional and ready to be used for the new pool pump.