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Old 08-11-2008, 03:43 PM   #1
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breaker box and breaker brand


How important is it that the box and breakers are the same brand?

I was looking at my box the other day and read a warning saying something like: "Using any other brand circuit breakers voids the warrenty and may void UL listing..."
Just after that I noticed that I had more than one brand of breakers in this box. Is this warning for real or is it just a marketing ploy to force people to buy "their" breakers? Is their any danger (all the breakers seem to work just fine), would this fail an inspection?

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Dax

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Old 08-11-2008, 07:20 PM   #2
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breaker box and breaker brand


Pictures make up for a Thousand words.

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Old 08-12-2008, 09:27 AM   #3
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breaker box and breaker brand


I have the same curiosity.

I have a Square D box, but when my Central AC was installed, the HVAC tech slapped in a different brand of breaker. By apearance it looks fine.

BTW it passed the HVAC inspection. But I still think its technicaly a fill violation.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:31 AM   #4
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breaker box and breaker brand


The breaker needs to be listed for use in the panel it is installed in. That doesn't mean that an off-brand breaker can't be used in someone else's panel, but it needs to be listed/labeled for use in that panel.
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:17 AM   #5
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breaker box and breaker brand


is it physically possible for an off-brand breaker that isn't listed/labeled to fit correctly and make the proper connections? Or are circuit breaker mfgs smart enough to make it so a "dangerous" installation isn't physically possible?
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:03 PM   #6
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breaker box and breaker brand


There are a lot of breakers that will "fit" various panels. The real key to this being code complaint is, as kcTermite has said, they must be listed as a "classified breaker" for the panel. This usually means they have a rejection feature (CTL) that will not allow them to be installed on a buss rail in a panel that they are not listed to be installed. For example Cutler Hammer has breakers that are ul classified for several panels as the below diagram shows...
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breaker box and breaker brand-classified-breaker-list.jpg  
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:39 PM   #7
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breaker box and breaker brand


Most breakers are generally inexpensive ($4 to $6 more or less), unless you're dealing with AFCI's. For what it costs, I'd recommend getting the correct breakers just to be safe.

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