The Complete Guide To Buying Surplus & Used Circuit Breakers | NRI

Buying Surplus & Used Circuit Breakers

Posted: 2021-03-08 21:33:28

Used circuit breaker buying guide
Whether you are sourcing equipment for a new project or performing an overhaul of existing machinery, electrical parts will often dictate what your budget will be. Circuit breakers are a key driver of that cost as they can be expensive to source, have long lead times for delivery and hard to find as they are very specific to their applications. So finding the right breaker can take a long time.

Fortunately, there is a large market of good quality, surplus and used electrical equipment. Many people who are buying used equipment for the first time are often surprised by the selection and prices. We have put together a guide on how to source surplus and used circuit breakers on the second market and some tips to how to make the process fast and simple.

You need the Brand and Model Number to get started

Knowing exactly brand and model number you need will make the process much simpler. In fact, certain systems and equipment may rely on a particular brand or model of circuit breaker or part. Knowing the circuit breaker brand and catalog number will ensure that you get exactly what you need or find a comparable alternative. If you are replacing an old unit, this information can be found on the circuit breaker itself or on the the inside of the circuit breaker panel box.

Where to search
  1. Amazon: Amazon features a wide range of different circuit breakers, mostly for home application.
  2. eBay: eBay features a many options for home and industrial-application circuit breakers.
  3. Aucto: An online auction and surplus platform that specializes in industrial and equipment auctions
  4. Sells both new and used circuit breakers for a number of applications at a variety of price points.

How to find the right Circuit Breaker

There are four main types of circuit breakers, each with varying specifics and sub-categories:

Molded-Case Circuit Breakers
Commonly used single or three pole circuit breakers that are typically used in distribution panels, disconnect panels or in stand alone applications. Molded case circuit breakers can handle most low voltage applications and can handle amperage capacity of 2000 amps.

Miniature Circuit Breakers (MCB)
These breakers are used in distribution panels or mounted in electrical panels on DIN rails. Each brand may have a proprietary mounting type, so it's important to know your application.

Air Circuit Breakers
Typically used in distribution switchgear, these breakers are specific to the type of switchgear they will be installed. Air Breakers are typically shipped via freight due to their size and weight.

Vacuum Circuit Breakers
Vacuum breakers are the newest style of breakers and can be very expensive to source new. Huge savings can be had when buying these breakers from the second market.

Find a reputable seller

There are many used equipment marketplaces to choose from. That's why it's important to find a reputable reseller.

While finding a reputable and trust seller may be difficult, it isn't impossible. Things to look for include:

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