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Old 01-11-2013, 09:19 AM   #1
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Is one brand of panel better than another?


I'm replacing the main 200 amp service panel and was wondering if those you that deal with this on a more regualar basis have a preference in brand. The only big difference I can see is that the Square D QO breakers have the orange trip window. Other than that and the way they hook in I see no difference....

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Old 01-11-2013, 09:28 AM   #2
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Is one brand of panel better than another?


If you stick with a Square D you will be able to find the breakers anywhere.

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Old 01-11-2013, 10:29 AM   #3
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Is one brand of panel better than another?


If you do Square D you want QO, not Homeline. My house has Homeline and Square D doesn't make as many accessories and options for Homeline as it does QO.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:27 AM   #4
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Is one brand of panel better than another?


Panels are like cars. Everyone has a favorite and usually have a good reason. For me its usually cost. I used GE here at home and it has served me well. It was cheap compared to Square D.
The best panels have a copper buss and cost the most. I guess I recommend the panel with a copper buss and the more spaces the better. JMHO.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:36 AM   #5
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Is one brand of panel better than another?


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I recommend the panel with a copper buss and the more spaces the better. JMHO.
Absolutely. If it physically fits in the space, get a 40-slot panel for sure. That way you don't have to fool around with tandems.

And if for some reason a 40-slot absolutely won't fit, make SURE that the panel you get will accept tandems in ALL slots, not just a couple of them. (I'm glaring at you, Square D .)
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:05 PM   #6
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Is one brand of panel better than another?


Many of the panels will only accept tandems in certain slots, if they accept them at all. This is not just a Square D issue.

The internals of a Squared D QO and Homeline are identical. Homeline is just the less expensive line from Square D.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:11 PM   #7
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The internals of a Squared D QO and Homeline are identical. Homeline is just the less expensive line from Square D.
Quality may be the same, but you can't get Square D interlock kits for certain Homeline panels. Like mine.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:56 PM   #8
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Is one brand of panel better than another?


At the store(s) where you shop, look at the breakers and panel accessories they carry. And WHICH panel most of those are for.

You might need an extra grounding bar, various sizes of breakers, space saving breakers, GFCI breakers, AFCI breakers, a whole house surge protector which plugs into a double slot, etc. Some stores will carry those items, but for just one brand panel.

It is nice to be able to go to a store and find the accessory you need - not have to order it.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:14 PM   #9
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Is one brand of panel better than another?


Attached is a pic of my new Square D QO panel / breakers. Another good thing with Square D is you can double tap the breakers, legally.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:25 PM   #10
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Is one brand of panel better than another?


Cutler -Hammer CH can accept two conductors also in the smaller ampacities.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:36 PM   #11
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Is one brand of panel better than another?


The last few panels I've installed (shop, garage, studio, and pool subpanels) have been Eaton (Cutler-Hammer) panels for BR breakers. They're cheap and common, accept tandem and quad breakers, and have enough accessories available. I chose them based on price and availability.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:42 PM   #12
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Is one brand of panel better than another?


I've narrowed it down to either Square D QO or GE, leaning toward the GE for the simple fact of cost and it has a copper buss. I like the QO for the fact it has the orange trip indicators but I don't see the benefit of that for twice the cost... even the breakers for the QO are over twice the cost of the GE and even the sqaure D Homeline. GE's whole house surge protector is half the price too. Yep just talked myself into GE... Thanks for all the input guys!!

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Old 01-11-2013, 03:18 PM   #13
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Is one brand of panel better than another?


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I've narrowed it down to either Square D QO or GE, leaning toward the GE for the simple fact of cost and it has a copper buss.
QO also has a copper buss. Even so I cannot justify the added cost, and I HATE QO's neutral bar arrangement.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:39 PM   #14
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Is one brand of panel better than another?


I really like the murray/siemens panels with tin coated copper bus. Even the milbank meter mains I like to install have siemens tin coated cobber bus in them.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:08 PM   #15
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Is one brand of panel better than another?


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QO also has a copper buss. Even so I cannot justify the added cost, and I HATE QO's neutral bar arrangement.
I know what you mean about the neutral bus. My service conductors come in on the side right next to the neutral bus blocking the upper half of the bus.

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