Sunday, October 30, 2005

Square d motor control centers

Square d model 5 and square d Model 6 motor control centers played a part in my favorite job. There was plenty of transformers and lots of square d I line panels but the motor control centers are what got me to the job and everything else fell into place. It was in the mountains of Georgia at an old textile mill that was right on the river. It was hot everywhere else and that job came along and it was almost like working in air conditioning. The people were pleasant to deal with and once we agreed on price gave me a key to the plant. There was a restaurant about two miles from the plant that served food so good that it was all I could do not to gain weight on that job. The best part of the deal was buying the used copper which turned out to be a great deal more than anybody suspected and helped pay for the job.
The verticals of Motor control centers had circuit breakers with them which made them more valuable that ones that are fused. It was nice that there where larger starters in the buckets. Not just a line up of size 1 starters but size 4's and size 3's and size 2's unfortunately no square d size 5 starters but you can't have everything. Once I started showing the owner how much stuff he could remove that ran machines that where no longer there I realized that I had ran into a treasure chest of used electrical. I wish I had one a month like that.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Used Electrical Web Sites

It's interesting to see all the sites that are popping up as resellers of used electrical. Circuit Breakers get a huge paid ad content on google, yahoo, and msn search. What has become so interesting is the people who do not have big inventory but sell out of the other companies. If you can get the customer then you can find the breakers and make the money. So more people are creating sites that have incredible web abilities but no actual inventories.
The other trend seems to be starting new web sites that have the same parent company but do not clearly say this. I think this is to get more organic search hits and to make themselves look more popular with the search engines through a linking strategy.
These are all neat ways of making money but if you're buying or selling used electrical the web site should not be the deciding factor for buying. Do they warranty there product? How long have they been in business? Do they have knowledgeable salesmen and and a good price?
All in all Buying used circuit breakers and starters is a tricky business but it doesn't have to be. Find out how long they've been in business and if they guarantee there work I think that it will be worth the effort.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Allen Bradley Motor Control Centers

I've just bought a bunch of Allen Bradley MCC's and it is an interesting dilemma. Do I take the buckets and the doors or do I take the whole thing. Once again I do not have to load them so it would be easier to take all the verticals but it is not fun to ride down the road with a truck load of verticals. This would be an easier decsion to make make if they where old Westinghouse or GE Motor Control Centers. Fortunately for me they are 509 Starters with Circuit Breakers. A Size 4 Allen Bradley Starter with a 150 amp Circuit Breaker is a nice bucket to sell.
I've got some verticals of Westinghouse Advantage series Motor Control and I've never sold any of these before. They are really good looking with Circuit Breakers as well. The last Westinghouse starters that I sold where the grey faced ones so these newer style should bring a nice price.
I think that I'll take everything it's just easier to give one price and then have a bunch of stuff to sell than cherry pick and not get that extra money

Monday, May 23, 2005

Buying and Selling used Breakers

Circuit Breakers are relatively easy to buy and sell. If they are in good condition you can presell them before you buy them. Of all surplus equipment they are the easiest to pick up and sell. If they are installed that's a different matter. The power has to be turned off, is it worth taking the whole panel or just cherry picking the best breakers. When you have a panel say a 800 amp Square D panel with with 200 amp circuit breakers and 400 amp circuit breakers then you are talking about one heavy panel. If you are by yourself this is not an easy panel to get on the ground or into the back of a pickup. It can be easier to take the circuit breakers out off the panel and sell the Circuit Breakers. The company that buys them wants that panel but if it is only worth another hundred dollars then it's not worth the labor.
Air Circuit Breakers are a different matter I'll talk about them in my next post.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Standard Terms

Standard Terms


The product was purchased through the manufacturer's normal distribution network.
The product is in its original factory packaging and is subject to the manufacturer's

Surplus, New Surplus

The product has not been put into service and is in the original factory packaging.
The product has been purchased through sources other than the manufacturer's normal
distribution network. The product is not covered by the original manufacturer's warranty. It is
at the sole discretion of the seller as to what testing is performed and what warranties are granted on "New Surplus" product.

Unused, Unused Surplus

The product has been inspected and determined to be "unused".
The product may or may not be in the original manufacturer's packaging materials. The product
is not covered by the original manufacturer's warranty. A product that has been installed as a
component of an electrical or mechanical system that has been energized but not put into service
will not be considered "Unused".


The product was used previously and has undergone reconditioning to determine that it will operate under namplate rated load and normal usage and conditions with proper installation.

These are terms that will help you understand some of the equipment that is out there and hopefully help you when you buy it.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Buying used electrical retail

I've talked about buying electrical from a wholesale stand point but now is the time to talk about the retail aspect of it. Basically the same principles apply. You want to know who you're getting the material from and what kind of guarantees come with it. The best companies have been in business for years and guarantee there work. It helps if you're getting a used circuit breaker to know that it has been tested before it goes out the door. The Professional Electrical Apparatus Recyclers League or PEARL is an association that sets standards among electrical surplus dealers. PEARL promotes the distribution of safe, high quality recycled power equipment, electrical construction materials and apparatus. A primary goal is to bring certainty, conformity, consistency and accountability to the used and surplus electrical marketplace. To this end, PEARL develops information, networking and other services for the proper recycling and reuse of electrical power equipment. This is an excellent source for companies that are working for your business and your trust.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Square D Bus Plugs

The hardest job I've done recently was buying Square D bus plugs. The factory had been shut down for several years and the problem was the county that had the tax liens and the bank that had all the outstanding loans where arguing over who had the right to sell the stuff. I made my deal and I think that the people assumed that there would be no way to get the bus plugs out in the time period that I was given. Bus Plugs are well marked and tell you everything that you need to know on the manufacturers name plate. This involves voltage and amps and whether it has a ground. Usually however the bus plug is ten feet in the air hooked to the busway. This makes it difficult to not only get the information but also to take the bus plugs down. Once you get them down it's fairly simple to crate them and ship them to the buyer. Another way to do it is to sell the busway with the plugs still on and then you take the sections down in without the additional work of taking the plugs off in the air. If you want the quick money you can just take the higher amp bus plugs and leave everything else but if you have the time, sell every thing.