Author Topic: High Quality A/C Breakers  (Read 887 times)

Offline mikeeastman

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High Quality A/C Breakers
« on: December 14, 2017, 09:46:59 AM »
I'm looking to upgrade the breakers in the sub panel for my dedicated circuits. I would prefer a Din rail type breaker as I've found them to make better connections. I found breakers made by Schneider Electric that look ok. Anyone have any other recommendations?
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Offline rollo

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Re: High Quality A/C Breakers
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 01:45:47 PM »
Hey Mike Siemens would be my reco. Non magnetic ones to start.


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Offline mikeeastman

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Re: High Quality A/C Breakers
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 07:53:32 AM »
I Googled non magnetic breakers and can't find anything on them. I settled on Sq D Qou breakers on reco of 2 techs at electrical supply houses. I thought about getting a fuse holder that goes in an A/C panel and using an audiophile fuse, I see how it goes after I install the SQ D breakers.
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Offline mikeeastman

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Re: High Quality A/C Breakers
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2018, 07:09:06 AM »
I replace existing breakers ( Homeline )in my dedicated sub panel with Din rail ones made by Schneider Electric. They've only been in for 5 days so they probably need more burn in, I also replace the wire going from my inverter to my dedicated sub panel. The  changes I've noticed so far is my bass has more punch and before if I played a blank track (one used to test floor noise in car audio) and turned the vol all the way up and laid my ear on my tweeter there was a slight bit of hash before, now it's dead quiet.
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Offline richidoo

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Re: High Quality A/C Breakers
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2018, 07:50:37 AM »
Din rail ones made by Schneider Electric.

What model breaker? Schneider has several DIN models
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Offline mikeeastman

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Re: High Quality A/C Breakers
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2018, 08:09:44 AM »
SQ D QOU115 and SQ D QOU120
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Offline richidoo

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Re: High Quality A/C Breakers
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2018, 11:34:20 AM »
Thanks Mike!

After reading a bit I have given up trying to understand the Square D universe of breaker options, or exactly what you did to upgrade. But it sounds like a cool upgrade.

I have Eaton panel (Cutler Hammer) so no upgrades for me.

I found this article full of helpful ideas about home power wiring for audio.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 12:38:17 PM by richidoo »
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Offline etcarroll

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Re: High Quality A/C Breakers
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2018, 05:45:30 AM »
Interesting MSB article Rich, looks like I'm off to the electric supply house for some new breakers, I have no doubt my McMansion has the cheapest breakers allowable.
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Offline richidoo

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Re: High Quality A/C Breakers
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2018, 09:17:35 AM »
Hey Gene
I had the same thought, but upon further research realized that most residential breakers are actually not upgradeable. Most residential panels are plug-on type, and there is only one breaker from the same brand that will fit the panel.

Mikeeastman is using rail mount breakers in his audio subpanel, which allows different width breakers, and his brand, Square D, offers 2 quality levels of breakers QO and Homeline (of different widths) that both can be used in his rail mount panel. If he had a plug-on Square D panel he could not do that because every plug-on panel requires specific width breakers.

I have Cutler Hammer panel, it has 3/4" plug in breakers. I have the old Cutler Hammer tan colored breakers. But since mine was installed Eaton bought out CH and now the black handled Eaton breakers can replace the old tan handled CH breakers, but most of what I read claims they are not as high quality as the old CH breakers which I already have.

If there was a particular breaker that was worth upgrading to, you'd need to install a new subpanel that would fit the breaker you want to use. But then you have an "unworthy" 50A breaker in the main panel that feeds the audiophile subpanel, so are you any further ahead? A "worthy" breaker in an audio subpanel doesn't reduce whatever impedance was added from upstream breakers, it can only minimize the impedance it adds. The plug on feet connections add impedance too.

I think I have a parallel outside panel at my meter that has big breakers for a gaspack and a compressor. Since they are such high current loads makes no sense to run long lines just to have the breakers in the main panel on other side of the house. I'd like to stick a 20A audio breaker in the parallel panel as it's only 20 feet from my stereo, then I could afford a short run of JPS romex ($25/ft) which does make a noticeable difference. Not sure how feasible this is, but at least the parallel panel is already installed and signed off, as parallel panel relies on an exception rule to NEC, so I might not get a electrician to attempt to get a new parallel panel inspected just for a couple of 20A receptacle for a stereo. Not important enough to invoke NEC exception. But the parallel panel is tan also, so it's Cutler Hammer breakers.

I'm certainly no expert on this breaker thing, I only know what I read on the web yesterday, fwiw. I hope Mike can shed more light and correct any of my errors. It's tempting to upgrade what we all view as a potential bottleneck.

It seems to me that no matter how awesome the breaker, you could always improve it by buttering the contacts and feet with a little SST. That should work with any breaker. I don't know how easy it is to get SST into the contacts, if possible at all.
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Offline mikeeastman

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Re: High Quality A/C Breakers
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2018, 09:29:11 AM »
My advantage is that I can connect my sub panel direct to the source of my power, my inverter. The only way you could do that on the grid would be to wire the sub panel before the main breaker, which I'm sure won't be code.
Mivera Superserver w/ Roon, Mivera superstreamer, Mivera Purestream 256 DSD Dac, Dodd balanced tube buffer, Mivera Purevolume pre, Mivera Ice amp, Serenity Acoustics Super 7s w/ upgraded xover.

Offline etcarroll

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Re: High Quality A/C Breakers
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2018, 05:51:42 PM »
Gotcha. Well, I'll file this way for the next house and have this investigated prior to moving in.

Pity, seemed like a quick 'win'.
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