I have a new compressor. It is 15 amp 240 volt. I have an old Sylvania panel. What are make and model options?

  • make and model options of what? – jsotola Jun 9 '19 at 16:08
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    Can you post photos of the labeling on the panel? And are you trying to get a breaker for your panel, or...? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 9 '19 at 16:21
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    Does it have a lot of red and sky blue breakers that are quite thin? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jun 9 '19 at 16:29
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. We'll need (a lot) more information before we can help you; please edit it (including, say, a picture of the breaker panel, and the make/model of the compressor) into your question. – Daniel Griscom Jun 10 '19 at 1:18

"Sylvania" had a couple of different types of breaker panel systems during their forray into that business. One of them was called "Zinsco", the other was "Bryant" panel and breaker system. The Bryant version was eventually taken over by Eaton / Cutler hammer and is now called their "BR" Series (BR for Bryant). Zinsco breakers were / are a disaster waiting to happen and in the opinions of most people, should be ripped out and replaced as they had a tendency to not work and/or catch on fire. Zinsco as a stand-alone company went bankrupt ages ago because of this and Sylvania was unable to rescue them, so they too got out of the business. There are some aftermarket companies selling redesigned versions of the Zinsco breakers, but before wasting money on them, check to make sure your homeowner's insurance policy doesn't have a rider saying that they will not cover any losses from failures of Zinsco (and Federal Pacific Stab-lok) breakers. Some do, and in some jurisdictions you cannot make any alterations or repairs to these panels, you must rip and replace.

  • Actually, you're mixing up Bryant with Challenger :) BR was a Westinghouse thing – ThreePhaseEel Jun 11 '19 at 3:52
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    For a while, as Sylvania struggled with the failures of Zinsco, they brand-labeled the Bryant breakers from Westinghouse before Westinghouse went belly up. So when Eaton bought Westinghouse, they inherited the Sylvania contract but Sylvania sold out to Challenger, then eventually Eaton just bought Challenger too. It was all a big mess for a while back then... – JRaef Jun 11 '19 at 14:27
  • Ah! That explains quite a few things, thanks! – ThreePhaseEel Jun 11 '19 at 22:30
  • An update: the Sylvania panel requires bolt on breakers. I plan to put in a 20 amp circuit. Eaton has a bolt on breaker QBH series; the local dist #QBH220 (SKU 622588003815) Thermal Magnetic; 2 pole; 120/240V AC: 20A. Is "Thermal Magnetic" a new standard? It is to me anyway. The breaker is expensive $ 80 US. – Joe Jun 12 '19 at 0:56
  • Thermal-Magnetic is just the official term for a basic standard breaker, as opposed to something more exotic like an electronic trip version that would be even more expensive (although not available for these type). – JRaef Jun 12 '19 at 1:14

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