Great New Products- Cutler Hammer

Hey Guys,

In case many did not know this, Cutler Hammer has some great new products on the market you all will be seeing on your new home inspections and in older dwellings as well.

A.) New series of UL Classified breakers for use in a wide array of panel enclosures and they are fully compliant to the enclosure they are used with as they provide a inserted UL Sticker to ratify the enclosure’s acceptance of the new UL Breaker.

B.) You will see alot more of their new CHSP whole house surge protection systems that fit in the enclosure and provide ACTUAL surge protection to the house…great market for renovation electricians but you guys will see them also and start to say…what tha HECK.

C.) Also Cutler Hammer has a new system now that where you can remove the GUTS to another enclosure that is not Cutler Hammer and have a custom insert that will go into older style enclosures ( as long as they meet the panel rating of the existing enclosure )…but it will allow for a panelboard change and will meet UL Classification.

D.) Also just in case anyone did not know they also make AFCI’s and GFCI’s now that will work in older panels on systems that MAY NOT have had the option in the past and yes they are UL Classified.

E.) Also they do make AFCI’s for a shared neutral system so in older homes that have this happening you do have an option in the recommend of AFCI’s on the older dwelling.

Just figured i would bring them out so you are aware if you happen to run into them…they also make a panel for the remodel industry that has high placed terminal bars ( silver coated copper ) that allow an approved change over from AL wiring to CU wiring in older remodels…without the need for specialized connection devices.

Look out for them when doing new home inspections and remodels…they are approved for their use.

Disclaimer- No I am not placing an AD for Cutler Hammer. These products are going to be in many dwellings you inspect and hey could be called out if not aware of what they do and their intent…just making you aware and keeping the HI’s informed on changes.

Thanks Paul, good info!

I use those retrofit kits. In an email that I got the other day from an engineer at C (and the patent holder on the kit, by the way) he states that they are not UL listed, but the cover is UL listed as a panel cover. Interesting. I’ll use them anyhow, because they’re handy sometimes.

yeah I asked them…what if someone rips out the guts of a 150A panel and tried to replace it with the guts from CH that are for a 200A panel…what would that do the rating of the enclosure.

I got the reply of…I will ask the engineers on this subject so I think it is still a " work out the technical issues" type of thing.

But all good moves my Eaton…the UL Classified breakers thing on older brands is a great move…

There are still plenty of AHJs around who won’t accept classified breakers if the panel label specifies certain specific breakers that it accepts. (110.3(B))

As for the “guts” (panelboard) I suppose the real issue about the cabinet you install it in might be the space.
A normal load center will have a panelboard that is matched to the cabinet for wire bending space and fill with the prescribed mix of breakers. A panelboard that simply “fits” might overcrowd the cabinet once you pull in all the conductors to serve the breakers it can hold. I imagine that is why U/L is not in any big hurry to list them.
You are really depending on inspector judgement on this installation and most BOs are not real keen on turning this loose in the field so they might just say no. We used to see this all the time between C/H fans and the 110.3 leaning inspectors at IAEI meetings over the Challenger breaker vs SqD.

From Eaton’s Website -
New Options for Upgrading Existing Loadcenters and Panelboards
More and more customers need to upgrade their existing electrical systems to meet their growing power demand. The digital age coupled with the aging infrastructure is driving these opportunities. However, having to upgrade existing panelboards can present many challenges for facilities managers.
Many older facilities may have a panel flush mounted in plaster, concrete or even block walls. Replacing the entire panel would require significant wall repair that can increase overall downtime and consume project dollars. Another concern in removing a panel could be disturbing installation such as asbestos. This again, can add time in money to the job for specialized removal.

For the situations above, the preferred way to upgrade the panelboard would be to use the existing box. However, there can be additional obstacles that many people may think would prevent them from doing so, such as:

  • The box is too shallow or short to accommodate and upgrade
  • Mounting a new interior in the box may not line up properly with the cover and deadfront
  • Lead times can be too long for the project time line
  • It is not always easy for a contractor to determine if the existing box specs can accommodate the upgrade and therefore they may be hesitant to do a detailed take off of the existing box specs.
    The new loadcenter based solution takes advantage of its compact design to handle even the most challenging upgrade needs. It features an innovative field adjustable interior assembly that is adaptable between 4" and 6" of box depth, which relieves the pressure of the precise field measurement.
    To satisfy the need for quick lead times and the desire for easier selection, we have developed a kitted offering that the contractor selects based on the existing box size. This option will give the contractor the ability in a walk through to know whether an upgrade will work in the existing box.
    Our interiors are UL recognized under UL67, the panelboard standard, and the approved box sizes provide the contractor the right guidance to comply with current NEC wire bend space requirements.
    For more information on this solution and other capabilities of our Lincoln Flex Center please contact our support center at 800-330-6479.

Actually…I have never used one…but found them interesting.

The shallow box issue is being solved with phase 2 of their retrofit kit roll out. I’m not sure if it’s available for purchase yet, but they have an extension collar that you can get as part of the kit. I think it would be unwise to refit an older 12" wide panel, due to the bending space issue. Here’s a picture of the extension collar installed on a panel that is being refitted:

Right. That’s pretty much what I gathered, too. The interior is a UR component, and not a complete panel assembly. Personally, I have no problems installed a new UR panelboard (interior), a new UL listed cover, in an old can. The can was formerly a UR part or part of a UL listed assembly.

I’ll tell you where these kits really helped me out a few times. Once was an apartment building where each tennant panel in each unit was a flush mounted Sylvania panel in the plaster wall. Changing these out with a whole new panel, while certainly possible, would have been time consuming. One or two, maybe. For the dozens I was looking at, the kit was the cat’s meeow. Another was an old elementary school being rennovated into a large home. The big old Westinghouse panels took expensive breakers that weren’t available anymore, except as new old stock. Refitting these beasts with the retrofit kit was the way to fly, because the existing cans were in concrete block walls (flush) and piped in RMC and EMT. No brainer, in that case.

I certainly don’t promote these kits for every situation, but every once in a while, it’s the way to fly.

Thanks for the heads up…it is great that you are willing to share this important information, as it seems that changes are coming faster than ever before and it is not easy keeping up with them.

I will add to Greg’s post about the “Classified” CB issue… be careful, as the different jurisdictions, and even the different inspectors within the jurisdictions all handle this topic differently. Always ask the inspector on the job what his response will be.