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Old 11-13-2017, 08:22 AM   #81
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Hopefully he died a quick death.
Peter has been very rude to me lately and dissolved our friendship. So I hope his last minutes were slow enough for him to live thru that again and understand how wrong his insolence truly was.
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:05 PM   #82
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I've probably posted this before, but it comes up again time to time, so it's worth restating. I used to work for Siemens and was a "breaker guy" inside.

There are two "components" to a load center that need UL listing; the panel, and the breakers. Manufacturers have to spend a BUTTLOAD of money with UL to list a device, upwards of $50k per LINE ITEM. So when they test a panel, that line item cost has to be amortized over a relatively low number of products sold, compared to the cost of listing a breaker, which will be sold by the millions. Breakers must also be listed with specific panels as well, but because there is so much more volume, the costs, distributed among millions of devices, is relatively low. Save that issue in your mind for later...

So to get a panel listed, it must be listed WITH the breakers intended for use with it. When Siemens then goes to list their panel, they have ZERO incentive to list their panel with an Eaton circuit breaker inside of it. Their panels are therefor ONLY listed with their OWN breakers. So when doing new construction and getting a job inspected, technically if you install ANYTHING in that panel that was not listed WITH that panel, you have voided the UL listing.

But when doing RETROFIT work, where the panel has already been installed and inspected (presumably), ADDING a breaker to it then becomes a BREAKER listing issue, not a panel listing issue, because the panel is ALREADY there. So breaker mfrs make what are called "Classified" breakers where they TEST their breakers in a competitor's panel. So when Eaton wants to "classify" a breaker to work in a Siemens panel, they buy a Siemens panel and do a $50k destructive test with UL. If it passes, that Eaton breaker is now "Classified" to work in ANY Siemens panel that uses the same bus bar and mounting system. So remember that cost earlier? If you can sell millions more of a breaker by classifying it to work with competitor's panels, the cost of destructive testing of a competitor's panel becomes insignificant.

The caveat is however, that when you buy a Classified breaker, it comes with a SPECIFIC list of panels that it can be plugged into. There is no interpretation or deviation or guessing, it is very exact. So as an electrical professional it is incumbent upon YOU to know exactly what you are doing when installing a Classified breaker. An AHJ can in fact require you to produce documentation as to the suitability of a Classified breaker for your panel, so if you tossed the packaging, you may be stuck replacing it. Also, just because it will fit does NOT mean it is legally allowable, that has almost nothing to do with it. It must be TESTED and listed for the purpose. Anything else is hack work. As a side note, most GE THQP breakers will physically fit, but are NOT classified to work in other mfrs' panels. And then Tandem breakers add a whole other kettle of fish, because in some panels, you cannot use tandems even of the SAME mfr!

By the way, EVERY manufacturer has a letter similar to the one Sq. D put out, claiming how unsafe it is to use a competitor's breaker inside of their panel. They HAVE to say that, it's a CYA move pushed by their lawyers. If you put a Siemens classified QO replacement breaker into a Sq. D panel and it causes a fire, Sq. D can point back to that letter and say they "warned you"; it gets them off the hook. Siemens would technically be on the hook if the problem turned out to be a product defect.
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:51 PM   #83
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They advertise the classified breakers like that's all you need on the truck but I have quickly figured out that actual approved panel list is VERY limited.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:06 PM   #84
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When I first went into business I looked around for the classified breakers but no one had them locally. I looked online but they were very expensive. So I did what normal electrician do and stocked up on basic brands of breakers. They don't take up much space at all.

Five years later I have never been in a situation in which I wish I had a classified breaker on the truck.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:18 PM   #85
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Quote:
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When I first went into business I looked around for the classified breakers but no one had them locally. I looked online but they were very expensive. So I did what normal electrician do and stocked up on basic brands of breakers. They don't take up much space at all.

Five years later I have never been in a situation in which I wish I had a classified breaker on the truck.
About 10 years ago a small hardware store was closing down and selling a lot of stuff cheap. I picked up a total of 80 classified breakers they were selling for $1 apiece, including a few of the QO-style. I have long since used them. I haven't re-stocked them, because nobody has them readily available. I have no regrets.
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:07 PM   #86
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Peter, Delande is a full line sq D distributor and they sell Eaton BR breakers as well
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