Canada's Number One Circuit Breaker Specialist

Tag Archives: Circuit Breaker

The Only Circuit Breaker Resource You Will Ever Need

Fixing circuit breakers blog post with civid recycling logo

Time is your most valuable asset. You either get paid for that time or you don’t. It’s easy to be pulled away into tasks that eat up all of that valuable time for what seems like something simple, like searching for the right circuit breaker.

What’s the answer? Let someone else do that search and keep working. All it takes is a phone call or a quick visit to the online store on our website.

Your Circuit Breaker & Electrical Equipment Resource

Civic Recycling is your circuit breaker resource. We have an expert team loaded with Certified Breaker Technicians. Click here to make the call, let them know about the parts you need to get the job done and get an answer within minutes. Even better, have it all shipped to your project and get back to work with the right parts in hand.

The experts can help you with obsolete parts or hard-to-find electrical products from small residential breakers to massive mains big enough to run a large facility.

This includes new and top-quality parts, reconditioned by certified experts. Of course, the breakers and equipment come with a guarantee, so you and your customers can proceed with the peace of mind knowing you’re working with the best.

Add an expert electrical supplier to your team

You are paid for your skill as a professional contractor, not for the time you spend thumbing through multiple websites looking for a part. When you have a valuable resource at your disposal, such as an expert in supplying tough-to-find parts, use it.

  • Our experts know the parts you need and can get them in your hands.
  • You don’t need to do your own search. It’s already done.
  • One phone call or a search in our easy-to-use Online Store will give you the answers you need immediately, taking the guesswork out of acquiring parts.
  • All this adds up to you and your team getting back on the job.

The frustration of the wrong or low-quality circuit breaker parts

Want to double down on a time waster? All you need to do is spend time digging around for a part, order it and then learn it’s the wrong breaker. Want a complete disaster? Install that low-quality breaker and then return to the project later because it doesn’t work. No one wants to do the job twice.

No one can afford to do a search for a part, buy the wrong one and have it malfunction. It’s a serious risk to the success of your business. Hunting down the right transformer, motor control, fuse or receptacle can be an overwhelming task and a job you shouldn’t waste time doing when you have an expert at your fingertips – on the phone or online.  

Leave this job to the experts in the field of electrical supply and move forward with your project. For more about our electrical products click here or contact us for more information on your specific needs.

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History of the Circuit Breaker, by Civic Recycling: Part 2

History of the Circuit Breaker, by Civic Recycling
We began Part 1 with the inception of the circuit breaker, in Thomas Edison’s shop in the 1870s. The Boston Electric Company was the first to manufacture and install a circuit breaker, about 20 years later in 1898. But these early breakers wouldn’t be familiar to you – or to your parents, or even your grandparents.

The First Miniature Circuit Breaker

The miniature circuit breaker you would recognize was born in 1924. A Swiss company called Brown, Boveri & Cie (BBC) patented the design, which was based on an earlier patent by Hugo Stotz. Stotz was an engineer who had founded an electrical society in Mannheim, Germany in 1891. He sold his company and patents to BBC, and they developed and patented the miniature circuit breaker in Germany. Stotz is credited as the inventor, and thus the grandfather of the modern, thermal-magnetic breakers in every home, office, and industrial property today.

Meanwhile, BBC stayed in business under the same name for over 60 years. In 1988, it merged with the General Swedish Electrical Limited Company (ASEA), and became ASEA Brown & Boveri (ABB). ABB still manufactures Stotz circuit breakers, and in 2014 they celebrated the 90-year anniversary of the original patent.

Dangerous Times during the 1900’s

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From Home-Builders to Electricians: Civic covers most all electrical supplies

From home-builders to electricians: Civic has you covered for electrical supplies
When you need electrical supplies fast and for less, Civic Recycling has you covered. A single breaker has stopped working? Civic has you covered. Need to replace an entire service in a commercial building? Civic definitely has you covered. Jobs big and small, simple or complex, common or obscure: Civic has you covered.

Since 1995, we’ve provided high-quality equipment to electrical contractors, wholesalers, industrial suppliers. We serve the oil, manufacturing, and agricultural industries as well as the general public. Whether you are looking for a brand new 15-amp residential circuit breaker or an obsolete 3000-amp molded case breaker, a box of teck connectors, a custom-built motor control centre, or a complete service, we’re here to help you!

Not sure where to start? Feel free to give us a call at anytime. We’re Canada’s #1 new/used circuit breaker dealer. But circuit breakers are just the beginning!


Electrical supplies: What we sell

1. Circuit breakers

From 15-Amp residential breakers to 3000-Amp mains to run an entire plant. We stock new and reconditioned units from nearly every brand under the sun.

Need a European or Asian breaker? We have those, too! Even better, we ship anywhere in Canada, fast, from our massive warehouse in Calgary.

2. Transformers

You won’t find many shops selling transformers, and especially not at our prices. We stock single-phase and three-phase from 50VA to 750KVA. We’ve got distribution, auto, open type, epoxy potted, isolation type, control and current transformers, general purpose, indoor and outdoor. Odds are, we have what you’ve been searching for – reconditioned and ready to go.

3. Motor control units

We have Motor Control Centres in stock from all the major manufacturers. Need a replacement bucket, doors, operators, or handles? We’ve got you covered. What’s more, we can even build you a custom MCC, from 400 amp to 3000 amp, breakered or fused. Let us know!

4. Combination Starters

We stock combination starters from every manufacturer around the world, plus all the replacement parts you’ll need. Your manufacturer is out of business? We can help you out. Magnetic, Manual, Contactors: we have them in stock.

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Top 5 Electrical Safety Tips for Homeowners & Landlords

Electrical Safety Tips Homeowners home safety
Electrical issues need to be addressed. Not only can homeowners receive quite a shock from overloaded circuits or worn-out insulation (no pun intended), but an electrical problem, such as an outdated breaker, can lead to a fire. Homeowners need to be aware of how to keep their home safe from electrical problems and keep an eye out for a range of electrical hazards. It is also important to realize when to call for professional help.

Homeowners and landlords can address a number of these issues and avoid dealing with a potential fire hazard in their home. Protect yourself and your family with the following electrical five safety tips.


1. A Stubborn Breaker Should Not Be Forced

You reset the breaker. It then immediately trips. Do not attempt to reset it again. This problem could be due to one of two reasons. On one hand, the electrical load on that breaker could be too large. On the other hand, tripping could be a result of a severe electrical problem. Force that breaker again and you may be dealing with a fire in your home. Tripping of breakers is meant to protect the homeowner. Call an electrician to investigate the problem.

2. A Warm Outlet Could Be A Sign Of An Overloaded Outlet

Do not ignore a warm outlet. This does not always apply to dimmer switches, which are often warm and generally not a hazard. But as a general rule, never ignore a warm outlet. There can be a few reasons for a warm outlet. As a homeowner, you may be dealing with a loose electrical splice, undersized wiring or a large electrical load on a single outlet. Cut the power before checking into the issue. Keep an eye out for melted connections, burned insulation or a loose splice. In addition, evaluate the wattage of connected devices. It may be necessary to switch the device to another outlet.

An electrician may be needed if the issue continues after a basic assessment is made – electrical issues can be tricky, so don’t hesitate to call on a professional in cases where you may feel unsafe.

Better safe than sorry!

3. An Outdated Breaker May Cause a Fire

Outdated panels and breakers can overheat wires and lead to a house fire. Homeowners need to replace old, outdated panels and circuit breakers such as older FPE panels, Zinsco Panels, split-bus panels past their expected lifespan and modified fuse boxes. Modifications on fuse boxes can lead to blown fuses and compensatory changes like larger fuses can create a fire hazard.

A homeowner with an outdated panel and breaker should have it professionally inspected and in the most instances, replaced.

4. A Wobbly Outlet or Switch Receptacle May Have Come Loose

When outlets or switches are loose, this is generally an indication that the box is not properly affixed to the stud, or it could mean the device was improperly mounted. Cut the power, remove the faceplate and check mounting screws. You may need to tighten the mounting screw, shorten long screws to have them fully set, or tighten the box’s connection to the framing. This should address the issue.

Again, f you are unsure contact an electrician to inspect the outlet. Safety first!

5. Do Not Use Water to Put Out an Electrical Fire

All residents in the house should know how to put out an electrical fire. Water should not be used to address an electrical fire as the water will only help it get larger. A chemical fire extinguisher can be used on small electrical fires. If a fire has grown too large, exit the home and call the fire department once safely outside.


Keep Your Home Safe With the Right Equipment and Expertise

Not only is Civic Recycling the place for necessary electrical equipment, reconditioned breakers, tested components, and much more, the Civic Recycling team answers your questions, providing expert advice when it comes to identifying and addressing electrical malfunctions. Businesses and homeowners in and around Calgary have relied upon Civic Recycling, their supplier of new, used, and reconditioned electrical equipment since 1995.

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Circuit Breaker History from Civic Recycling: Part 1 (of 3)

circuit breaker history thomas edison breakers

Civic Recycling is a business based around products, delving into the history of circuit breakers is not something we do very often. But we thought it would be fun and informative to take a look at the history of circuit breakers, where they came from, who invented them, and where they’re going.

Parts of the story are incredibly interesting and there are some names that everyone will recognize from history who had a part in the creation of the modern circuit breaker.

History of Circuit Breakers

Being merely the introduction, today we’ll touch on a few of the notes that predated the modern circuit breaker and leave off with where things were headed at the onset of the 20th century. With that said, let’s jump into the earliest incarnations of the circuit breaker and why its invention was necessitated.

According to the book Edison’s Electric Light: Biography of an Invention, Thomas Edison, the vaunted inventor of the late 19th and early 20th century, had developed an early form of the circuit breaker according to a patent application from 1879. The purpose of his invention at the time was to protect lighting circuit wiring from accidental short circuits and overloads. Now, Edison’s version never quite took off to the extent he had hoped, as his invention was largely in sketches and the idea patented, without a true working product ever coming to fruition. But with these ideas out there, someone eventually picked up on the circuit breaker and brought it into a more commercial light.

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7 surprising ways breaker inspections are more refreshing than new socks

7 SURPRISING WAYS BREAKER INSPECTIONS ARE MORE REFRESHING THAN NEW SOCKS breaker testing voltage tes

Professionally Reconditioned Circuit Breakers

Peace of mind and quality service are refreshing in this day and age. With an increasing focus on speed, in communication and in service, quality can often be compromised for the sake of convenience. We feel that those two concepts don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Things can get done in a timely manner while being held to a certain standard of quality; a concept we firmly believe and actively subscribe to. With a little hard work and a commitment to our customers, we strive to do things properly AND efficiently.

Again, doing things properly is a refreshing way to do business; some might say better than a new pair of socks. We thought it best to take you through all the ways our unique testing and inspection process is extremely refreshing and why it makes us Canada’s number one circuit breaker specialist. With all of that said, here are the seven surprising ways breaker inspections are more refreshing than new socks:

7 points about Civic Recycling Certified Breakers


1. We provide In-depth breaker Inspections

Each circuit breaker we test goes through a thorough inspection that leaves no stone unturned. When it comes to electrical equipment, no corner should be cut and that’s something we pride ourselves on. Each breaker gets the in-depth treatment that it should, whether it’s one of our own that we’re selling or one a customer has brought in.

2. Certified breaker inspections & Testing

Each of our breakers, when tested, meet or exceed the standards set out by PEARL, NEMA, NETA, IEEE, and those laid out by the manufacturer. We don’t cut corners, as these specifics suggest. We want to keep our customers coming back, as well as attract new ones, and we believe the best way to do this is by offering quality service that we stand behind.

3. We Sell and Reconditioned

Since we’re merely not taking in others breakers and reconditioning them, we sell our own reconditioned breakers as well, we have to adhere to certain standards of quality. This also means we know the products inside and out. You don’t get to number one in the country without having an in-depth and complete knowledge of the products you’re dealing with.

4. Written Test Results

With every breaker we test and recondition, it comes a unique tracking number. This number corresponds to a written report that details the test results. This acts as a sort of insurance for the breaker you’re purchasing and offers peace of to you, your business, and your potential customers. It shows that we stand behind our work and have no issues letting you know what went into the breaker you purchased; complete transparency.

5. Testing as a Service

Not only do we recondition and sell our breakers, but we’re happy to take in and test any breaker that is brought in to us. It’s part of the service we provide and part of our greater goal, which is to ensure all breakers out there are safe for use. If you ever need some questions answered, don’t hesitate to bring in a breaker for our inspection.

6. Civic 36-point Visual Inspection

Part of the testing service we provide is a complete 36-point visual inspection of the interior and exterior of every breaker we take in after a thorough cleaning of the product. This ensures we take care of any issues with the breaker before the actual testing begins. It may seem like a large undertaking, but it pays dividends in the long wrong and allows us to guarantee all of our products.

7. 100% One Year Guarantee

We guarantee every breaker, new or reconditioned, 100% for a year after we sell it. The guarantee is not something we take lightly, but it’s obviously a testament to how much we believe in all of the products we sell. It’s a simple and straightforward statement and something we really believe in. We love breaker inspections!


Reconditioned Circuit Breakers from Civic Recycling

As always, we provide open lines of communication as well. If any questions need to be answered we can always be reached via email at [email protected], or by phone. Should the purchasing of a new or reconditioned product require our expertise, we’re always happy to answer any questions and to assist in the process. Thanks for reading!

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Circuit Breakers – When Amazon Is NOT The Best Place To Buy

square d circuit breakers yellow warehouse civic recycling switch on off electrical products shop
As the world changes, so do the ways in which we shop. With technology constantly evolving many people have begun to do a lot of their shopping online. When there is the option to shop from sites like Amazon, who seemingly carry any and every product available, it streamlines life and makes shopping for hard to find items a lot easier. Having the ability to get some of your groceries and clothes and a baby seat all in one place makes life a whole lot easier. It would appear, on the surface at least, that buying everything from a site like this is a no-brainer. So what about Circuit Breakers? Maybe safety is another factor we should consider as well.

Benefits of a Specialty Service

While there’s truth to a lot of what was just mentioned, occasionally purchasing a product that requires more thought from a place like this is a little risky. While a site like Amazon caters to everyone, it lacks the specific advice and personal touch some of these products require. Buying certain things, like circuit breakers for instance, require knowledge to ensure the right product is being purchased for specific jobs. Some buying circuit breakers know what they’re looking for, many others, however, do not. Going into Amazon and arbitrarily purchasing a circuit breaker in the hopes that it will get the job done is not a smart way to operate.

When purchasing circuit breakers, whether new or reconditioned, there needs to be a certain expectation that it’s the right product for the job and that it’s going to work to the levels expected. Where sites like Amazon fall short is ensuring that all of these prerequisites are met. Amazon does a lot of things extremely well, offering nuanced advice and guidance specific to circuit breakers doesn’t happen to be one of them.


Why Choose Breakers from Civic Recycling?

When purchasing a circuit breaker, doing so from a place that specializes in such products is the best plan of attack. There are a number of reasons why looking at sites like our own, Civic Recycling, specializes in circuit breakers and have an intimate knowledge the products, will bear fruit in the long run. There are a number of reasons why specialty sites will be beneficial when purchasing products such as these, and here are a few of them:

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