General Electric produced tens of thousands of Magne-Blast breakers in various sizes.
While most maintenance programs focus on rebuilding the original air breakers or retrofitting them to a more modern vacuum technology, there are other components to the system that need to be addressed to maintain safety and reliability.
Why Magne-Blast Bottles Need to be Repotted
The main component that needs to be addressed is the “bottle,” the critical link between the draw outcircuit breaker and its connection to the line and load side buss. The bottle consists of a porcelain cylinder mounted in a cast aluminum plate that is aligned and attached to the switchgear cabinet. Within that bottle is a silver-plated copper “tulip” that the line and load side conductors mate with for a solid reliable connection.
That connection is mounted in a filler material and supported by potting material that was originally designed to fill the upper void in the bottle and hold it in place for proper alignment. However, that material, commonly described as a tar pitch like filler, dries out and cracks over time. This allows moisture, dirt, and other contaminants into the bottle that cause that old reliable mating connection to loosen and eventually fail.
Those failures can be catastrophic, causing untimely loss of production and collateral damage, and can occur regardless of the care and maintenance of the breaker and the rest of the system. The question then is, “How do I maintain the reliability of this system”? Should I spend the capital for upgrades and replace the whole system?”
The answer is simple: Call NPE. We have the material and experience to eliminate this issue and help you extend the life of your Magne-Blast switchgear through our special repotting process.
NPE’s 8 Step Procedure:
- Examine the bottles in a fixture and conduct a wipe test to assure that they are candidates for rebuild.
- Remove the outdated “tar pitch” potting right down to the filler.
- Re-align the connecting tulip and lock it in place so it doesn’t move and cause future failures.
- Secure the joint between the copper and seal.
- Insulate the buss with modern shrink tube insulation.
- Replace the old potting material with a new two-part system that is thermally stable which will last far into the future.
- Clean and silver plate all mating surfaces to increase conductivity at critical joints.
- Re-test alignment and conductivity to assure a quality trouble-free replacement in the field.
Sound simple? The devil is in the details, and NPE focuses on details. This whole procedure may sound easy, but there is typically little opportunity to schedule downtime to shut down production while these critical components are sent out for work. That process can typically take one or two weeks.
NPE stocks replacement bottles that can be matched to your system and swapped out in hours rather than weeks. Once we’ve provided identical replacements, we can evaluate the bottles that were taken out and either provide a credit for the “core” or we can recondition/repot them for replacement in other cells or to have on the shelf for spares for other GE circuit breakers.
Contact us online or give us a call at 216-898-2680 to discuss our Magne-Blast bottle repotting program today.