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I recently replaced our main load center with a larger one. I was planning to use the old, smaller panel as a sub panel in an addition we are building.

After removing the breakers from the old panel, I noticed some discoloration on the bus bar, where the breakers attach. The panel and all breakers were Square D QO brand. The contacts on the breakers don't seem to have this.

bus bars breaker contacts panel label

Is this panel still safe to use? What causes this? Should I use some electrical contact cleaner on the bar?

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    Are you sure that the brownish color is not due to some contact grease? It may have come originally from the breaker(s). Try to see if it will wash off with a Q-tip and some isopropyl alcohol. – Michael Karas Jan 20 at 23:17
  • Can you post a photo of the labeling on the old panel? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 20 at 23:28
  • Were the old breakers all Square D breakers, or Siemens type QD breakers? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 21 at 2:17
  • @MichaelKaras I will try that tomorrow in the daylight. – PhilippNagel Jan 21 at 2:54
  • @ThreePhaseEel Added photo, I will have to get to my shop to get a better one or if you're looking for a different label, this is what I had on my phone. – PhilippNagel Jan 21 at 2:54
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Are you sure that the brownish color is not due to some contact grease? It may have come originally from the breaker(s). Try to see if it will wash off with a Q-tip and some isopropyl alcohol.

Be careful to not scrape the bus bar with any sharp metal tool because the silver colored plating on them is quite thin and you risk exposing the underlying copper.

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