Classified Circuit Breakers- Good to Know

Hello All,

While the link I attach below is obviously one companies attempt to make you aware that the Classified Breakers do have some limitations in it’s use I do find it helpful to know the information because not all “Classified Breakers” are acceptable in all panels. The reason the manufacturers of the “Classified Breakers” supply a list is because the selection is limited.

While many in both the HI industry and the electrical industry have come to openly accept a “Classified” circuit breaker in a replacement situation, it is less known that you really do need to check the list before accepting it so that you truly know that it is acceptable on that panelboard ( or loadcenter).

Whats also important to note and I found it well documented in the literature posted below, that it is nearly impossible to achieve any sort of “series” ratings on “Classified” circuit breakers since they are not tested in combinations required to meet this rating. That can only be achieved by an OEM who tests them for such an application.

Anyway it is a very nicely done (be it to serve a competitive purpose mind you) document.

Thanks Paul.

Thank you!! :smiley: That link is gold. I see classified Square D breakers in QO panels, but technically you don’t know if it will work. As always, if a breaker fits, it doesn’t mean it will fit electrically. A poor connection can over heat and burn up. Well worth knowing what breakers are compatible and which aren’t.

Thanks again! :slight_smile:

Paul, I hear you, and I respect you, but that brochure is put together by a manufacturer that tries to protect its turf, and therefore their opinion is extremely biased.

I hear your point about the series ratings.
But, the whole thing looks and sounds like a propaganda piece, rather than something aimed at educating the public.
The very opening paragraph reeks of cheap scare tactics:
“During a catastrophic failure, hot and conductive plasma gasses can be generated in the branch circuit breaker”.

Catastrophic! Plasma! Run for your lives!
Gee golly, plasma gasses are the very thing that arc flashes are made of, and those go hand in hand with short circuit condition, against which these very breakers are made to protect.

Schneider and other manufacturers always try to have NEC interpreted in their favor when it serves their interest.
But NEC is not the supreme law of the land either – it is always amended by local jurisdictions or is enforced selectively via AHJ’s allowances and approvals based most of the time on the common sense.
And, certain aspects of NEC can conflict with other laws, such as Magnusson-Moss act, which runs contrary to 110.3

Schneider can dangle 110.3 all they want, but if the jurisdiction or the utility do not require 22 kA ratings, and if the classified breakers are listed by their manufacturer for that panel, then any “catastrophic failure,” if it ever happens, is covered by the classified breaker’s manufacturer’s warranty.

Just my 2 cents…


Did you not actually read my post?

Did you not notice how I said it was more than NOT SHILL from the manufacturer? ( I know you did…just pickin on ya)

However, it does bring valuable information to be considered, hidden away inside the manufacturers propaganda material…well noted as I spoke about this all the time as the NEMA Field Representative as well as prior to that as the Eaton Certified Contractors Network instructor…who pushed Classified Circuit Breakers all the time…

Again however…their is a message in that brochure that is important and it has to do with the series evaluation of circuit breakers to which Classified Circuit Breakers can’t be held up against.

Also the MM Act was for replacement and warranty issues and I support that Act and what it stands for but that again is only for replacements, not the use of Classified Circuit Breakers in new installations and the list is very incomplete when it comes to ALL of the panelboards out their by each manufacturer so it is important to have the list, check it twice just to find out who is naughty or nice.

If the model of load center and panelboard is not listed then the Classified Breaker can’t be used because it was never evaluated and most certainly in a situation that needs to maintain a “Series” rating the use of a Classified Circuit Breaker would not have been evaluated for the use.

With that said…again it was clearly a one sided message in the brochure, its the hidden messages inside of the message I want everyone to take away.

Thanks Paul.

For those of you who LOVE legal stuff…here is a GREAT description of the Magnusson-Moss Act we are referring too. Enjoy !

you were too nice, that’s why I didn’t hear the “shill” part :wink:
As for the new vs. replacement – I did read that part, but I missed your point.
I truly agree there, although I haven’t yet seen a brand new panel stuffed with classified breakers right from the get-go. Yeah, that would come off as “hack” to me…
Maybe it’s rare, because sparkies stick with one given brand of panels for new installations, and they usually have the same brand of breakers for those panels.

Interesting enough I did see a few. What happened is the installer purchased a new loadcenter and installed it. Since he was also big into the “service call” business, instead of carrying around all different models, brands and makes, he would just keep the classifieds on the truck.

Well as a cost savings approach he installed the new loadcenter but then used classified circuit breakers in the entire panel. His argument was that I had them on hand, they were already paid for…might as well use them.

To that end the “list” did not include that loadcenter on it so strike 1, he had an attitude about it, Strike 2 and Strike 3 was that he was saying that the loadcenter manufacturer will warranty their panelboard and everything in it…STRIKE 3…not on the new installation they wont with Classified Circuit Breakers in them and that come straight from the source.

The sad thing is this…I like the Classified Circuit Breakers…WHY…because i hate to see electrical contractors running around doing service calls with old and used circuit breakers that “FIT” but came from a pervious job and thats is indeed a “HACK”. Maybe in an emergency for a midnight call but they tend to charge the customer for the old and used equipment and that is wrong. At least with Classified Circuit Breakers we do know some testing was done at some point when specifically listed on their list.