Bull Dog "Push-matic" CB's


Old 11-02-16, 01:25 PM
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Bull Dog "Push-matic" CB's

I inspected a residential Service with a 200 amp., main-lugs Bull Dog panel because the owner had been informed that Bull Dog C-B's were "dangerous".

Replacing the Bull Dog panel because of the existing wiring arrangement would be very costly and very difficult. I assured the owner that although Bull Dog panels are obsolete, the Bull Dog CB's are reliable in operation, so "no need to worry"

Your opinions please ; was my advise correct or not ?. If not, why?

Thanks to all who reply.
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Old 11-02-16, 02:43 PM
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The switching mechanism does have a tendency to stick in the Bulldogs, but I do not believe it interferes with the breaker actually tripping. The little flag in the window may be in the wrong position so it requires a little more diligence on the part of the serviceman turning something on or off. Generally I've found these breakers and panels to have held up pretty well, and I keep a bucket of spares in my shop as they were very popular in my area.

The only major downside is that they are now functionally obsolete as you cannot add most new circuits without AFCI, which is of course not available in the Pushmatic format. Connecticut Electric / UBI still makes new replacement breakers for Pushmatic, so they are reasonable to maintain as long as the panel is in good condition.

Last edited by ibpooks; 11-02-16 at 02:47 PM. Reason: spelling
Old 11-02-16, 10:00 PM
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Inspectapedia has a whole section on the pushmatic breakers. I grabbed this excerpt...

Pushmatic & Bulldog circuit breakers use a thermal breaker design with no magnetic trip mechanism. Modern breakers incorporate both magnetic and thermal tripping mechanisms, increasing safety and the likelihood that they will function properly in the event of an overload or short circuit.

Operating difficulty: The design of the breaker is such that, over time, they become very stiff and difficult to operate or reset.

State of breaker On-Off unclear: Push-Matic breakers have an indicator flag showing whether the circuit is on or off. Many times, on old Push-Matic breakers, this on/off flag will stay fixed in either position, giving you a false indication of the condition of the circuit.

The bottom two listed problems are widely known. The top one is not as well known.

I have several customers with pushmatic panels. I have never seen any fire or overload problems from them.
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