Used Switchgear Market Growth Forecast


Traditionally, the used equipment industry and especially the market for used switchgear has been thought of as being counter recessionary. The common wisdom being, customers will spend money to maintain and upgrade old equipment rather than buy new to save money and to avoid the long lead times associated with purchasing and installing new switchgear.

Recent growth in manufacturing and our economy has changed this dynamic and now used switchgear, circuit breakers and parts have seen a surge in sales that looks to continue well into the future. We see the driving forces behind the growth as:

  • Increased demand for products pushes manufacturers to restart old production lines and push them to new limits.
  • Much of the switchgear that powers these lines are no longer supported by the original manufacturer because of the planned obsolescence. This creates increased demand for used and aftermarket solutions. NPE AFTERMARKET PARTS
  • Used and aftermarket solutions are typically 40-60% less expensive than purchasing new equipment, and they are available much faster and generally carry the same or better warranty as new. To add to this, the fact that personnel are already familiar with how this switchgear operates and you have a win-win scenario.
  • Increased cash flow from the economic upturn allows for maintenance and upgrades that had been previously deferred.
  • Regular maintenance and testing of switchgear and breakers will increase the life span of the equipment by decades. Older technology can be easily upgraded with options like arc flash protection, ground fault and communications. All these factors will reduce down-time and unscheduled outages.
  • For Field Service Specialist - servicing switchgear that has been obsoleted by the manufacturer will also serve as an opportunity for companies to provide other equipment and other services that field engineers can alert them to. Having your people in a plant, actively promoting your products is the best advertising you can get. 
  • Older switchgear can be repaired and upgraded to meet new demand. Many of the new products are sealed and unable to be repaired. As a result, repairs or upgrades that would cost a few hundred or few thousand dollars, and cannot be performed and users are forced to discard equipment and purchase new replacements for tens of thousands of dollars and potentially long lead times. 
  • Many customers are realizing that planned obsolescence will also render new installations of the latest whizz-bang technology obsolete, the same way their current equipment has been treated. Maintaining and upgrading current equipment just makes sense.

The bottom line is that just as a rising tide raises all boats, as the economy grows and thrives, so will the demand for used equipment dealers like National Power Equipment, where our motto is, "The right equipment, at the right price, right now!" Whether you are an end user, in the repair industry or a dealer, we strongly recommend you prepare for double digit growth in 2021 and the years that follow.

News from NPE's Product Improvement Center: General Electric Powervac




Today in our spotlight, is the GE Powervac Cell Side Secondary Mounting Kit. When replacing the cell side secondary mounting block, the metal bracket that it's mounted to, often needs to be replaced at the same time because one of the mounting tabs has to bent out of the way. This can cause misalignment and even strength issues in the final product.

NPE has a solution for that with our secondary block assembly kit NPE P/N 100003494. The kit comes with a brand new zinc plated bracket, springs, clips and washers. The locking tab is prealigned to minimize the amount of stress applie to it during installation. 



Why go through the effort of scheduling an outage just to replace part of the assembly? Do it right the first time with our hardware kit, secondary and new pins (sold separately). We also sell the pin removal tool. 

Powervac Secondary Disconnects have become an itrem that is becoming more and more of a regular maintenance item. As mentioned in previous blogs, NPE has a solution for that with its fiber reinforced secondary block.

This part and all of NPE's New Aftermarket Parts are available online at or through your normal purchasing channels. We have "The right part, at the right price, right now!" 

Part number used to reference original OEM's for identification purposes only. The are not manufactured, endorsed or warrantied by OEM.


"Don't Sweat the Small Stuff"


We've all heard that saying, the problem is it's usually the small stuff that gets in the way of getting a job done. The truth is, the devil really is in the details. Small stuff and details are what NPE specializes in. Whether it's a small detail that keeps something from working, or those small parts that you just can't find when you need them, that's what we are here for.

Small details like why a breaker or part, from way back when, will or will not work even though they have the same nameplate data. Big details, like how to get a two thousand breaker to you by tomorrow and be sure it's going to fit and work properly. In the real world, when time matters, it either works or it doesn't, and if it doesn't - you're up the proverbial tributary.

Fortunately, we have a paddle! We have the knowledge and experience to get you through it. We've honestly been doing this longer than we care to admit!

Our solutions are big and small and just the right size for you! After all, they are only big problems if you don't have a solution. Give us a call, text, email or even a fax -we still have one of those, too! 

As we like to say...NPE for the right equipment, at the right price, right now!






AM Pin Crimp Connectors                               AM ML-13 Bushing Kit                         HK/K-Line/MB Horseshoe


Making the Most of your Downtime

    While production has come to a halt due to COVID-19 shutdowns, the demand for most products has not. It's simply building up like a balloon that is ready to burst when we get the green light to return to work. Make the most of this downtime and take advantage of this great opportunity to do some unscheduled maintenance on your equipment.

     Many production lines shut down during the holidays when employees are not there. If your production has halted, now is a good time to call in contractors to test and provide preventative maintenance (PM). This will assure you that, when you are able to go back to work, everything will run flawlessly and you will be able to meet the pent-up demand that is building right now. In addition, many contractors are slow right now, so this a good time to negotiate lower labor rates!

     While NPE does not provide field service, we do work closely with contractors and maintenance departments nationwide and we stand ready to supply whatever is needed.





     After all, our motto is - The right equipment, at the right price, right now!


      (click for catalog)


Nameplates...they are only part of the answer and sometimes misleading.


     When confronting an issue with switchgear and circuit breakers, most people think that supplying nameplate information, for instance, the model and serial numbers, that it will be sufficient enough to get an accurate quote and spec on a replacement breaker or part. Often, this is not the case. Here is why:

  • Model numbers are often general designations for the product line and they do not detail things like manual versus electric mechanisms, continuous current or trip sizes and function. For example, these K-1600 nameplates provide the same basic information but the breakers they are associated with are not interchangeable, one is manually operated and the other electrically operated and neither addresses the fact that the trip units have been changed to an aftermarket AC Pro unit.



  • Serial numbers are rarely traceable by anyone other than the OEM, many of which have gone out of business. At best, it will take days or even weeks to trace and won't include modifications made in the field since it was manufactured.


  • Some breakers have more than one nameplate, a good example of this are the Allis Chalmers horizontal drawout air circuit breakers, (e.g. MA-250/FC-500). If the breaker is in the switchgear, the nameplate on the front only provides you with the model number and frame size. The second nameplate, which is located on the side of the breaker above the right rear wheel, provides the details of the mechanism type, the control voltage and the wiring information.




                                                                                               Breaker Nameplate                          Mechanism Nameplate



  • Often the details and accessories are not noted at all on nameplates. Bell alarms, undervoltage trip devices and other accessories are rarely detailed anywhere but on the wiring diagram which is often not readily available and could have changed since the original installation.


  • Sometimes nameplates are simply wrong. A recent customer called and asked how it could be that a 5kV breaker could have been in service on a 15kV line for years without a single problem. We told them that it did not sound possible. Further investigation showed that an incorrect nameplate had been installed at some point in the past.


      So what is the solution? Contact someone who has had years of hands-on experience and deals with these issues every day, like the team at National Power Equipment - Supply them with more information than you think is needed...model numbers, control voltages, frame sizes and photos...lots of photos with good resolution to retain clarity (1mb or larger). The front (with the door open), the back and the sides as well as photos of the nameplate and trip unit. You can also use NPE's handy mobile website, This website was created to guide you through detailed questions and answers or allow you to enter basic info and also enables you to upload photos. The RFQ's assure you that you will get the right answer to your problem as quickly as possible with the least amount of hassle.


NPE - where our motto is "The right equipment, the right price, right now!"