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Challenger Panel


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I'm wondering what's everyone's take on Challenger panels. I've read up on some known issues with them but not to the extent of FPE Stab Loks and such. The issues with Challenger panels don't seem as clear. 

The panel I inspected today was from a 1992 built home used mostly Westinghouse breakers. It did have a tandem breaker installed and Square D homeline AFCIs. The manufacturers label was missing so I could not determine the circuit total limit of the panel or get any other info. 

I also noticed some discoloration where the main breaker connects to the hot bus bar that I'm concerned about.

I've attached a few pictures of the panel. What do you all report if anything about Challenger panels? Are there certain breakers or issues to look out for? 

Thanks for the help,






Edited by palmettoinspect
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The panel is a 200 amp, which in '92 allowed 40 breaker poles. The tandem is not allowed in that panel. The discoloration looks more like some type of chemical contamination than heat damage, but still may be a concern.  There is some obvious paint overspray. I don't call out Challenger panels just because of their brand, particularly the newer ones like in your photo. There are many examples online of some failures of these panels. I have a pretty extensive photo library of failures on ITE, Siemens, Square D, Cutler Hammer, and others. The Square D breakers are not listed for use in that panel. AFCI breakers were not available in '92, so there really is no "listed" AFCI breaker for that panel that I know of......possibly Siemens, but doubtful. I think providing the AFCI protection is a positive safety upgrade that outweighs the non listed breaker issue.

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