Mismatched breakers

This is a high end home built in 2004 in Prescott. It is built on the mountainside with a GE panel. The panel has a 200 amp GE main breaker and 3 or 4 other breakers that are manufactured by GE. All the other breakers are Siemens. The panel is almost full so we are talking about over 20 breakers. It seems like too many mismatched breakers to be a coincidence. You can see from the tag that GE only wants their breakers. All the siemens breakers are designated QP breakers and that is not on the list of acceptable breakers. Am I missing something?

On another note the a/c tattle tale is discharging above the panel.







The only blreakers that should be in the panel would be the ones listed on the label. There might be some not listed that are classified for use in a panel, but they are the exception.

The panel should be listed 3R so the drainage should not be an issue. Exterior panels are designed to keep rain out.

Code does say the tattle tale should discharge to a conspicuous place. I guess the main electrical panel is conspicuous enough.

The breakers will function as intended on their own but the panel warranty is void in the event of an issue.
Cant argue with a picture saying its wrong.

The panel warranty is a moot point IMO. The breakers should be replaced.

Has any one ever used a panel warranty .
Never have I heard about it happening.

I don’t disagree, but that’s one of the reasons for using brand specific breakers.

Probably the least important reason :slight_smile:

No Roy, but I am sure if your house burnt down due to a faulty panel (yours is a FPE if I remember), and you tried to sue the manufacturer I am sure it would make a difference if it was full of a different brand of breaker.
Plus I am sure when I reach your age I wont be hearing as much either. :smiley:

Why don’t you explain to me what another important reason is Juan? besides saying “the panel says not to.”

I guess you have seen like I have when they have no idea what caused the fire they usually say it was caused by an electrical fault.
By the way can you tell me what is wrong with FP panels ??

In my old house the other day and it still has the original Bulldog Pushmatic

You know I am just poking fun with you. We all know the Federal Pioneer ones are OK in Canada.
BTW Bulldog panels were the Cadillac of their time from what i have been told.

Why don’t you explain to me what another important reason is Juan? besides saying “the panel says not to.”

Still waiting for your answer Juan?
What if its a bryant panel with CH breakers? Will it work? We know the one bought out the other but you can’t go buy bryant breakers anymore can you?
What if the breaker has no markings or is a no name?
What if the panel is 30 years old and has a missing or weathered paper tag that’s not readable?

Are you going to write up that an electrician should review all the no name breakers and determine if they are universally compatible? Can you even find out if some breakers are compatible when they are 30 years old. Half the electricians I know would tell you to FO and say its fine since they are the ones who put the wrong breaker in to begin with.

The reality is while your running around writing up mismatched breakers, some tradesman will be coming behind you and telling everyone else your stupid and discrediting you.

We all know the right answer, but is it always that simple?

The UL listing / rating is more important than any “warranty”. Look at it this way. Should a fire result from this application, how much do you think your insurance company would pay in a claim? Maybe Jim Bushart can answer that better than a layperson.

I recommend the breakers be replaced and follow it up with: If an electrician claims this is not a defect, they should do so on letterhead, with their name and Washington State Electricians license number included. They will need to bear all liability for this issue.



It is that simple.

The reality is I couldn’t care less what you and your half wit electrician friends say is ok, and what they say about me. It’s a defect and needs to be reported as such.

The breakers may not function as designed or may not mount properly to the bus and cause damage to the bus.

First let me say to you and everyone else reading that I am not saying that a mismatched breaker is an acceptable practice. I also think in typical form I make mention of two aspects and everyone jumps on the opportunity to stand up and try to “little” my comment, including you Juan.
The fact still remains insurance/warranty issues are one of the reasons panels have the comment in their legend. The breaker all in itself will also function as intended, whether it fits or not. How well the performance no one knows depending on the specific type. Some I am sure will perform poorly since they don’t fit…

Some of the information I have researched has found even electricians cannot agree.

Your pictures and references to your article showing information on the subject are examples of breakers that obviously don’t belong or don’t fit, but that’s not always the case. I am also sure that your not removing breakers to try and identify them when I have had people jump my butt for “flipping” them. .

You still never answered some of my questions. What about a cutler hammer in a bryant?
I have personally looked at panels that may belong or look like they belong. Some, there is no way while evaluating the panel, to know without going home and doing research which still may not yield the answer.

but I guess just like everything else, if we don’t know we just pass it off to the tradesmen and let them figure it out. Maybe we should do more homework on the subject.

Here you go Juan, would you call this one out and end up being incorrect?

Unfortunately, we cannot give a cross-reference because no manufacturer has a functional equivalent of Eaton’s Cutler-Hammer Series Smart Breaker™—however, our devices have been UL Classified to be installed in their panels, and you can offer the benefits of Smart Breaker™ to your customers regardless of their installed base.

IMO unless 100% sure the breaker is not interchangeable, and your reporting it as improper, your providing inaccurate information.

A panel obtains its listing using the specified breakers. Even the screws must be the screws that came with the panel or the listing is void.

Forget about the warranty. It’s an unlisted piece of electrical equipment if it contains breakers that are not specified as appropriate for the particular panel. No different than a using a cigar box for a junction box.

WOW! have you seen what cigar boxes sell for now .
I expect you might get an electrician to come in and charge the service cheaper .