Tech Tips

Counterfeit Square D Circuit Breakers


Recently I was inspecting a Square D main service panel. I could see that there were two different types of circuit breakers. After doing some research I discovered that some of the breakers appear to be counterfeit. I have heard about counterfeit Square D breakers, but have not seen them until now. Personally I and many electricians I know like Square D panels and breakers. They have a great product. Unfortunately Square D had to file lawsuits against the makers of these counterfeit manufacturers. There is an estimated 500,000 plus Square D breakers. 3 distributors have issued recalls in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  The recalled circuit breakers labeled “Square D” or “SQD” have been determined to be counterfeit by Square D and can fail to trip when they are overloaded, posing a fire risk. So how can a home inspector determine if possible counterfeit circuit breakers are installed:


·         The counterfeit breakers are marked as Square D in the QO series

·         Genuine Square D circuit breakers have the following:

1.      The amp rating written on the handle in white paint on the front of the breaker

2.      The Square D insignia molded onto the breaker side

3.      A yellow chromate clip with half of the top of the clip visible.

·         Counterfeit circuit breaker models are: Q0115, Q0120, Q0130, Q0215, Q0220, Q0230, Q0240, Q0250, Q0260

·         Refer to the CPSC for more information   

·         Always have a master electrician evaluate and replace any counterfeit circuit breakers

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