Do breaker panels carry warranties of any kind? Are those warranties voided if a generic type of breaker is used?
It all goes by the listing and labeling by the manufacturer. If they call for a certain type of breaker, and most of them do, and you use another type of breaker, you will void the warranty on the box and possibly the UL rating. This is usually stated right on the label (in the small print that you need a maginifing glass to see). You also void the warranty when you replace a fuse bus bar with one that holds breakers. There are a few retrofits that can be used, and for that you would have to check with eack manufacturer. Maybe Marc will chime in on that one.
So do you guys check to see if the breakers are the same OEM as the panel, and if you find they are different then what do you report?
I check the type of breakers. Ex. QD, QO, etc. and make sure they are listed for use on the panel label. If I notice the MFG of the breaker differs from the panel, I check the panel label again(if necessary) to verify if alternate MFG, not type, of breakers are permitted for use in that panel.
If I find an incompatible Type or MFG of a breaker, I write it up as a electrical safety and fire hazzard. Reccomend in need of Immediate repair or replacement by a licensed electrician.
Some interesting information I will pass on…Many times you will see these new Classified Breakers that are designed to work in other panels and they generally are approved for this application. What is interesting is most of the panels have no real warranty on them anymore so the new classified breakers actually have a better warranty than the panel…in that many of them are 5 years on the breaker.
I know Cutler Hammers Classified Series has a 5 year warranty on them and interesting to also know that the CH models have a lifetime warranty on both the panels and the breakers.