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  1. #1
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    Default I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    But I like to be sure....

    1999 Cutler Hammer panel, A/C was added with a Squre D Tipo HOM double pole breaker, other breakers (Siemens) type QT and QP appear to be added since new. The manufacturer's label doesn't list either of these type as acceptable. What's giving me second thoughts is the city permitted the work.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    Matt,

    The city can be (and in my experience) often is wrong, or just does not catch certain items. If the panel instructions do not allow other brands of breakers then I would call it out as a repair.

    I have seen more than a few times where electricians do not have the proper brand breaker in their truck and instead of headin' to the supply house they just install what they have.

    Think voiding manufacturer warranty of the panel, among other possible issues with using a off-brand breakers.

    Eric

    Last edited by Eric Shuman; 09-08-2007 at 06:40 AM. Reason: spellin'

  3. #3
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    Well it might void the panel warranty, but what does that warranty cover? It only covers the panel, not the breakers, labor, etc. Not a big loss if the warranty is voided, plus most panels only have a year or so warranty anyway.

    Anyway those breakers are pretty much used as universal type breakers on any two pole panel. I don't see it as a major problem.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    Scott,

    I agree that it probably won't be a problem but if the panel does not list them as acceptable, why not note the issue. No harm done with calling it out and if there was to ever be a problem, no liability.

    Eric


  5. #5
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Well it might void the panel warranty, but what does that warranty cover? It only covers the panel, not the breakers, labor, etc. Not a big loss if the warranty is voided, plus most panels only have a year or so warranty anyway.
    The big problem come in when there is a problem, such as an electrocution, fire, etc.

    That's when the in$urance companies go alookin' for someone to lay blame on and get their money back, in this case they would go to the manufacturer of the panel, who would do an investigation and see the unlisted (not included in their listing) breakers in their panel and throw their hands up and say "Boys, that thar ain't our problem, lookee here at dees breakers ... dey ain't ours ... you in$urance boys need to go look elsewhere."

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    "Boys, that thar ain't our problem, lookee here at dees breakers ... dey ain't ours ... you in$urance boys need to go look elsewhere."

    Yep, like "Why didn't the home inspector catch this."

    Eric


  7. #7
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    Scott,

    I agree that it probably won't be a problem but if the panel does not list them as acceptable, why not note the issue. No harm done with calling it out and if there was to ever be a problem, no liability.

    Eric
    No harm in doing it what so ever. It is just something that I would not do, I live is the fast lane!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    ...I live is the fast lane!

    Me too, but I am usually the guy that is doing 50 in a 70 mph zone backin' up traffic!

    Eric


  9. #9
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    Smile Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    I've been to Tennessee, no one lives in the fast lane. In fact it don't exist thar.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    Bill,
    How Y'all doing up thare in Ingleside Ellynoise? Ain't Y'all between Duck and Long Lake.
    Pop. 10,307 folks. It don't look like the end of the world but I bet you can see it there.
    Get ready to retire come on down and spend a spell with us, Hear

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    There is no easy answer to your question. There are two diametrically opposed camps: Square D and Underwriters' Lab. Personally, I'll go with UL on this one.

    Breakers are listed (or classified) as to the panels in which they are to be uses. At one time, it was safe to assume that only Brand X would submit their breakers for testing in Brand X panels. This is no longer a safe assumption.

    Several makers now have borne the expense of having their breakers classified for use in panels made by someone else. In some cases, this is a competing panel maker (Cutler Hammer); in others, the breaker maker does not make any panels at all (UBC). As far as UL is concerned, there is absolutely no problem in placing a classified breaker into the (other company's) panel.

    Statements on the panel have no effect on this issue. Indeed, with the number of mergers / acquisitions / diversifications over the years, it is very possible that a "brand X" breaker will NOT fit in a "brand X" panel from another era ... and that the correct breaker os a "brand Y!'

    As for the warranty issue .... The bluster of Square D aside, I believe that Federal law trumps that assertion. Unless they want to supply free breakers forever, they will have to allow properly classified breakers into their stuff.

    So- how do you know if the breakers are proper? Visit the UL web site. UL has a cross-list of breakers and panels.

    In your case, I suspect that the Siemans breakers are correct, while the Square D is not classified for use in that panel.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    John,

    I went to the UL site but couldn't make the cross reference list you referred to come up. Knowing me and the computer that's not surprising. Can you help us out and focus our search so we can find that.

    Thanks


  13. #13
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    I'll go with the NEC.

    - 110.3 Examination, Identification, Installation, and Use of Equipment.
    - - (B) Installation and Use. Listed or labeled equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with any instructions included in the listing or labeling.

    That means, if it is not in the list of breakers listed for use in that panel, it is not part of the listing and labeling, and the equipment is no longer being use in accordance with its listing and labeling.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    "Listing and labeling" is determined by the listing agency .... not the sticker that was applied when the panel was made. That's why you need to check with the listing agency.

    Naturally, as a separate entity, the listing agency will sometimes be at odds with the manufacturer.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    "Listing and labeling" is determined by the listing agency ....
    At the time of the listing and labeling.

    not the sticker that was applied when the panel was made.
    That's what refers to the listing at the time of the listing and labeling.

    Naturally, as a separate entity, the listing agency will sometimes be at odds with the manufacturer.
    They should not be at odds with the manufacturer if the stickers and not fake stickers and the product was tested, listed and labeled in accordance with the testing requirements at the time, and in accordance with the listing requirements are the time.

    When new and more vigorous listing and testing requirements are created, everything previously listed previously is not automatically updated to the current listing. Not without the new testing.

    A product may perform to one standard, but not perform to a revised standard which includes more testing for things not thought of 'back then'.

    Standards not only have numbers, but dates, as those standards change, but previously listed items to the previous standard do not meet the current standard, they meet the standard under which they were tested, listed and labeled, i.e., the year too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    The difference of opinion between the listing agency and the panel manufacturer goes to the very heart if this thread.

    There "should" be no conflict between the two, in Heaven, perhaps ... but this is exactly the area where UL and Sq D are in direct conflict. Sq D continues to place statements on it's panels, and in it's literature, that are directly opposed to the position of UL.

    This situation will likely continue forever ... even should the warranty policies announced by Sq D be tossed out of court ... as I believe they would be.

    In short, UL says it's perfectly fine to place a properly classified breaker into an appropriate panel ... no matter that they are of different makes. The UL web site even has a table of interchangeable breakers.

    Square D is of the opinion that only Square D breakers should be put into Square D panels.

    So .... when UL says that certain Cutler-Hammer breakers are suitable for use in Square D panels, you have a conflict. This is the actual situation today.

    Nor does UL have any issue with old breakers in new panels, new breakers in old panels, etc ... regardless of how many times a standard may have been revised. If there is a concern, UL will insist that the pieces NOT fit together.

    Returning to the OP, I ask: What does UL say? We all have opinions ... but UL has the data to support theirs- and no ax to grind in the marketplace.

    Listing only good at the time of the original testing? Nonsense. That is the entire point of the continuing testing and inspections performed by UL personnel at the factories.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    Listing only good at the time of the original testing? Nonsense.
    Nope. *THE LISTING* is applicable to *THE PRODUCT* "as manufactured to that listing" "at the time of the listing".

    That is the entire point of the continuing testing and inspections performed by UL personnel at the factories.
    Nope. The entire point of continuing the testing and inspections is to verify that the manufacturer *IS STILL* manufacturing the product as listed and labeled. That's what tripped FPE up for a while - they made some short cuts, lost their listing, then had to re-establish it.

    Here is another example of what that continued testing and inspections are good for:

    About 10 years ago (my best guess) a manufacturer came out with a line of clear Lexan hurricane shutters. Relatively lightweight (compared to steel or aluminum), easier to handle and install, and did not block the sunlight out. The Lexan was 'extruded' in the flat corrugated shape of the panel. Those passed the air borne debris impact testing and received product approval, went on the market and the Big Box stores (HD) were selling them like crazy - about the same cost as the metal one, but lighter, easier to handle and install, and you were not in a cave.

    Along comes a hurricane and air borne debris starts breaking them and penetrating them - that's not good, what happened, they *HAD* passed all their "tests".

    After an investigation, it was found that while the original product used extruded Lexan panels, the mas produced product used flat Lexan panels which were heated and shaped into that flat corrugated shape. What this did was make each panel *thinner* are each bend where the Lexan was bent over the form. Those *thinner* folded areas failed, causing the Lexan to break and the panel to fail.

    THAT is what continued testing and inspections are for.

    You were describing continued research and development, which leads to improved standards, to which new product meets, but to which old product may no longer meet.

    Just because, say, a water heater met the ANSI standard when it was manufactured in, say, 1973, does not mean that same water heater will met the same ANSI standard of 2003.

    Standards have dates, products which are approved to standards put that standard date on their labels - THAT is the standard to which that product is made, THAT is the standard to which that product is listed ... NOT "the current" standard.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: I'm pretty sure this is wrong....

    Sorry, Jerry, you are absolutely wrong as to FPE losing it's listing. FPE never 'lost' it's listing - at least not the UL listing. Fell free to call UL to confirm- they are most adamant on this point.

    Ditto on the alleged falsification of testing results by FPE. Without any regard for what may - or may not - have happened at the FPE plant, the UL tests were performed outside of any possible interference by the firm. FPE samples continued to pass UL tests, without interruption, to the very end.

    As I've said in this thread twice ... the ONLY opinion that counts as to a products' listing is the opinion of the listing agency.

    We were asked a specific question: were the breakers appropriate to the panel in the picture. I suggested checking with UL. Play all the word games you like .... we all have opinions. I fail to see any support here to answer that original question 'yes' or 'no.' Without checking with UL, any opinion is little more than hot air.

    Has anyone checked with UL, and asked their opinion for the particular panel in the picture?

    Sure, there are other opinions on this question than the one of UL. On balance, though, I'll go with UL. Unlike some of the other parties in the 'great breaker debate,' UL has no ax to grind. They have no interest in who gets the replacement breaker business. They do not have a 'business plan' based upon exploiting patent law ... and could care less whether there is a monopoly or not.

    This is not to infer that I think the panel is good or bad. I have no op;inion on that particular panel. I have no desire to become a 'guru', a font of all answers. Rather than giving the man a fish ... I taught him how to fish. I told him where the answer is to be found.


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