Mismatched circuit breakers?

I inspected a house that had a main panel that looked OK, except that a few of the circuit breakers (indicated) appeared that they may have been of the wrong type of the panel – though they were well seated, and appeared to fit very well in it.

Is there any problem with this, and if so, what is it?

Panel make/model?

Breakers make/model?


Yeah, I forgot to mention that the panel is a common Siemens panel, for which QP breakers are recommended. The pertinent info on the different looking circuit breakers was unreadable, but they did appear to have been installed with the original job.

And the photo quality is limited by sizing constraints for posting. I could get it a little better, but that would not add anything to the value of the pic.

The breakers installed in the panel should be the ones listed by the manufacturer, otherwise it is incorrect in most instances.

unless of course they are " Classified " breakers made by Eaton…they have UL Approved replacement breakers for many panels on the market today…be aware guys that you will see alot more of the " Classified " versions and they meet UL for the enclosures to which they are in…they are 3rd party tested and approved by UL…and no they do not void any manufactures warranty…Magnesson -Moss Act prohibits manufactures from making that claim about warranty being voided…

However…in the case of the ones in your photo…which I can’t see…it would be a problem unless the enclosure lists them…otherwise just because they fit does not make them approved…

Thats the difference with " Classified " breakers…they have been formally approved for many older styles like ITE, Gould, Crouse-Hinds, T & B, Square D ( both QO and Hom )…and a few others…

Those in the picture are not classifieds…

Bye Bye…just got back from Jacksonville, FL doing a seminar…and I am off to Danville for another one…later guys…see ya Monday.

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Here’s what I often say: “The panel is equipped with breakers manufactured by a company other than the panel manufacturer. Panel manufactures warn that the use of other types of breakers “voids the warranty, may void the UL listing, and could result in property loss and personal injury.” An evaluation of the acceptability of the breakers is recommended.”

If you read the label inside the panel, that’s the language often used.

hey…back from Danville…wanted to chime in again on this. If a manufacture ( like Square D) tells someone even on a sticker that using a breaker other than theirs violates a warranty…they are in BIG trouble due to the Magnesson-Moss Act…if the replacement breaker is 3rd party tested and approved it will NOT void the warranty…This is against the law to make that statement…“Classified” breakers are UL listed…they are approved for the replacement in many enclosures…but ONLY breakers that are 3rd party tested…

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Joe, I agree and here’s why:

See the UL Panelboards Marking Guide


38. A panelboard to which a unit, such as a circuit breaker, switch, or the like, may be added in the field is
required to be marked to identify the units that can be added. Units made by different manufacturers or of
a different style are not identical in all details and therefore may not be interchangeable.

Plug-in clips and blades must be matched if poor connections and overheating are to be avoided.
Additionally, over-surface and through-air electrical spacings, between live parts of opposite polarity and
to grounded metal, often depend on the proper mating of units and the bases into which they are plugged

or bolted.

Circuit Breakers Marking Guide](http://www.ul.com/regulators/clicks.cfm?ID=15&table=TechLibIndex)
Commercial Cooking Equipment Marking & Application Guide
Dampers Marking Guide
Dead-front Switchboards Marking Guide
Electrical Heating and Cooling Equipment Marking Guide
Luminaires Marking Guide
Panelboards Marking Guide
Swimming Pools and Spa Marking Guide
Wire and Cable Marking Guide


That why I love ya. Great info.

Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act** prevents manufacturers from making ****warranties contingent upon the use of their replacement parts, as ****long as the third-party part is safe. Since UL has proven safety, the ****panelboard manufacturer’s warranty is still effective when using CL ****or CHQ breakers. **

  • Designed and tested to be mechanically and electrically interchangeable with circuit breakers manufactured by General Electric, Thomas & Betts, ITE/Siemens, Murray, Crouse-Hinds, and Square D.

  • Tested in numerous panels manufactured by other companies.

  • Can be used in place of the breakers specified in other loadcenters.

  • Meet all code acceptance regulations governed by the National Electric Code and UL.

We are not here to create CODE…we serve to enforce it…and “Classified” breakers do not void any warrantys…in fact in many cases the warranty from the company that makes the replacement exceeds the warranty of the original manufacturer as well…like the case with Eaton Classified Breakers…they have a 15 year warranty by themselves…

For years, consumers were screwed by automakers voiding warranties because non-OEM replacement parts were used. Good to see this trickled down to common consumer products.


Here are the rules:

Hey Joe…as a side note…did you get your approval letter from MAINE today…I did and i did not even know I had applied…lol

I did speak with the Jacman Group about doing some NFPA 70E events but that fell thru on my end because of my Eaton schedule…are you doing anything for them and does American Trainco have concerns about that…I know with my agreements i have signed limits me in some areas because of contractual agreements…found it funny to get it today and see mine and your name on it…lol

Yes, No, and No

Thanks for the responses, everyone. What I said in my report was similar to Joe’s suggestion.

Practically speaking, I really think any problems are highly unlikely. It’s all about the qulaity of contact, ultimately.