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Mike Lamb

GE Breakers in Square D Panel

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What would you say, if anything, about GE breakers in a Square D panel? The breakers stick out 1/2 inch at the middle contacts, but other than that I saw no other problems. 20-year-old panel.

P5210077 GE.JPG

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Personally, I don't say anything about it unless the off-brand breakers interfere with the fit of the deadfront. 

I don't understand what you mean by "stick out 1/2 inch at the middle contacts." 

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On 5/22/2020 at 9:06 PM, Jim Katen said:

Personally, I don't say anything about it unless the off-brand breakers interfere with the fit of the deadfront. 

I don't understand what you mean by "stick out 1/2 inch at the middle contacts." 

What do you call the middle metal blades at the back of the panel that the circuit breakers snap onto? Anyway, the breakers are now sticking out a little like a "V" down the middle, so the front is not as snug as it should be.

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I call it the bus bar and the things that stick out of it are the stabs. (At least that's what I call them.)

If the breakers are sitting 1/2" proud of where they should be, I'd call that a real problem. The're not engaging with the stabs properly. If you're in a hurry and/or if you're not interested in screwing around, just note that the breakers are the wrong type for the panel, recommend that they be replaced, and move on. 

However, if you're interested in mucking around, I suspect that whoever installed the breakers just didn't push them all the way into place. Sometimes you've got to push pretty hard, even with Square D breakers in a Square D panel. Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to carefully push on one of the breakers - it would probably slip right into place. If so, I'd do all the others and move on. 

 

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8 hours ago, BADAIR said:

It's disturbing that Square D would lump counterfeit breakers in with classified breakers, which are specifically UL listed to fit into their panels. The thing that's particularly galling is that Square D makes classified breakers to fit into nearly every other panelboard out there, but they "prohibit" using other company's classified breakers in their panels. It's a racket and it's probably not enforceable under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, which specifically prohibits a company from requiring only branded parts be used with the product in order to retain the warranty. 

In fact, I seem to recall hearing that Square D took that bulletin off their website like 20 years ago. Did you find it on Schneider's website or has it just been re-posted on other websites since the early 2000s? 

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3 hours ago, Chad Fabry said:

I report it if they're not listed on the panel label. 

You might want to revisit that policy. While it's certainly the easy path, it's often not the right one. Classified breakers meant for that panel are perfectly acceptable, no matter what the manufacturer attempts to claim. 

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Right, if a professional electrician installed them, you could look like a gringo calling them out and cause unnecessary delays for a home buyer.. Ask local electricians if they use those subs. Just a thought.

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48 minutes ago, Jim Katen said:

It's disturbing that Square D would lump counterfeit breakers in with classified breakers, which are specifically UL listed to fit into their panels. The thing that's particularly galling is that Square D makes classified breakers to fit into nearly every other panelboard out there, but they "prohibit" using other company's classified breakers in their panels. It's a racket and it's probably not enforceable under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, which specifically prohibits a company from requiring only branded parts be used with the product in order to retain the warranty. 

In fact, I seem to recall hearing that Square D took that bulletin off their website like 20 years ago. Did you find it on Schneider's website or has it just been re-posted on other websites since the early 2000s? 

It's a business maneuver. Anything to get more market share. Reminds me of Nicky.

I don't have a dog in this fight anyway.  If I see breaker brands not listed on the panel, all that means to me is that the wrong hands have touched this system.  I look for what else those hands have done, for bigger fish, for the marlin, something better to put in my report.

Over 30 years in the electrical trades and I can't recall ever correcting an issue that was caused by an off-brand breaker. Course, the only consequence of an off-brand might be is that it won't protect the circuit when it becomes overloaded, or shorted.

JMHO

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On 5/26/2020 at 1:29 PM, Jim Katen said:

In fact, I seem to recall hearing that Square D took that bulletin off their website like 20 years ago. Did you find it on Schneider's website or has it just been re-posted on other websites since the early 2000s? 

had to have been transferred from my late '90s computer sometime after May 95 the date on the doc

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I call out all mismatched breakers, with the caveat that they may be classified. There are far too many permutations to remember them all. If sparky says they're fine ask him for the classification, or hire a guy that does what you ask. 

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