Which Circuit Breaker Brand Should I Buy?
- May 30, 2017
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Let’s say you need a new electrical panel.
New construction, replacement of an older system like a fuse box, or expanding beyond the capacity of an old circuit breaker are just a few reasons homeowners or contractors shop around for a new brand of circuit breakers and electrical panels. Here are the steps for researching and selecting the right brand for your project.
When Selecting Breakers, Start with the Panel
Before you explore different brands of circuit breakers and load centers, identify why you’re purchasing a new breaker. If it’s to replace an old unit in an otherwise complete system, adhere to the manufacturer’s specifications and breaker type and buy circuit breakers to match. If you truly believe a different brand of breaker is superior to your existing brand in performance and functionality, you may want to consider a full panel replacement – although in most cases, this is not necessary.
Breaker Panels 101: Common Brand Comparisons
Not all breaker brands are equal.
Depending on your needs, the age of your system, required amperage, your budget, and more, different brands may better suit your needs. Residential vs. commercial systems, for example, will require very different systems depending on the configuration and types of breakers you’ll need. An industrial warehouse with circuits in damp conditions has very different load and protection requirements than that of a small one-bedroom home.
Let’s take a look at some common brands alongside their advantages in various electrical systems and configurations:
1. Square D
Breaker panels by Square D are available for both commercial and residential systems. These panels are excellent for projects with tight deadlines thanks to their plug-on configuration. High-end Square-D systems are more expensive but offer exceptional quality.
These panels are popular with contractors because of their user-friendly layout, easy bar access, and copper bus bar. Backed out terminal screws also win approval for their easy installation, and sub-panel or neutral bar conversions are easier than many other models based on the panel configuration. Many of these panels are also very cost effective.
Similar to Square D, GE panels are commonly designed for quick and easy installation, featuring knockouts as well as simple wire hookups with the turn of a screw. Rather than a bare copper bus bar, GE uses a copper-coated bar, which offers a balance of quality and value.
Cutler Hammer breakers have a nice feature for homeowners that assists in detecting which breaker has been tripped, called “trip to off.” In addition, all these breakers (and panels) come with lifetime warranties. However, these panels can be more expensive.
Of course, many other brands are available that may have specific advantages for your unique project or requirements. No matter what brand you choose, always ensuring you are purchasing guaranteed and UL-tested equipment will improve both safety and functionality for you or your clients.
Don’t forget – you can always speak to an expert at Circuit Breaker Wholesale to discuss all appropriate options.
No matter what brand you need to complete your project, Circuit Breaker Wholesale has the parts and components to complete your system. Whether you’re looking for reconditioned circuit breakers or a brand-new system, contact us today and we’ll quickly match you to the right part hassle-free.