Best residential load center

MRI

Member
Hi all.....I am building a new house, hopefully my last one. I am looking for recommendations on the load center, I was initially intrigued with Leviton’s newest panel but I think I will pass on this unproven equipment.

So, if you were (or are) wiring your own home, which load center would you install and why? Does one manufacturer have less nuisance AF trips than Others? Right now I am strongly considering Cutler Hammer CH.

TIA,

Mark
 

jeff48356

Senior Member
Square-D Homeline, hands-down! That is the ONLY panel I ever install when I do service upgrades, and I have done hundreds! I have installed a Siemens before, but only when the customer requested such. I consider Siemens to be second-best. But I don't like G.E. or any other brand of panel available. I consider them to be of poor quality.

Keep in mind that Michigan doesn't require AFCI breakers at all, and many other states only require them for bedroom circuits. I have worked in such a state, and never had any problem with nuisance tripping on Square-D ones.
 

growler

Senior Member
Right now I am strongly considering Cutler Hammer CH.
The old Cutler CH panels that were installed 50-60 years ago are holding up well. I have never had to replace one. I don't remember any recalls on any of their breakers.

If cost is a factor I would go with Square D Home-line because the breakers are much cheaper when buying a lot of them.
 

electrofelon

Senior Member
I'm with Jeff. I like homerline. I like Siemens too. Homeline has the plug on neutral which is nice, but that cancels out with their annoyingly long afci's. IMO QO is overpriced and not worth the money. The breaker guts are the same, other than the red trip indicator.
 

electrofelon

Senior Member
Ya know, i just complained about QO being too pricey, but if you really want the best, put in a real panelboard. I like Siemens panelboards. I was on the verge of doing that in my house, but went with homeline. Ill def be putting a Siemens panelboard in my shop though.
 

Knuckle Dragger

Master Electrician Electrical Contractor 01752
I was Square D electrician, I started use the Eaton BR series a few years ago. I like the smaller AFCI CB's, they are easy to work with and readily available in 90 perscent of the supply houses in my area. Square D seems to now only be available in the box stores so not much choice.
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
I almost always install Eaton BR products. CH is fine, but the one thing I don't like about it is that it trips to "off" instead a center "tripped" position. Makes it harder to tell what happened.
 

curt swartz

Senior Member
I'm in the process of a major remodel on my own house. I installed a SquareD 200 amp meter/main. I installed a SquareD 400 amp main lug panelboard next to the meter-main. I went with 400 amp to have the ability to install PV and battery back feeds in the future. The panelboard supplies (2) 100 amp feeders and a couple other heavy loads (ovens, future EV charger, etc.).

I was originally going to go with HOM load centers since I could not justify the cost increase for QO load centers and breakers. I had my power guy at the wholesaler add the QO load centers with breakers onto the panelboard quote to see if it helped with the pricing. The pricing for the QO came back less than I get HOM even with the contract SPA pricing set up on the account. I went for the QO.

Over the years I have used pretty much all the manufactures. Back in the mid/late 80's Challenger was my primary line. GE was the secondary line. Between then and now have I used a lot of Siemens and Eaton BR. Basically use which ever brand the wholesaler can get me the best SPA price on.

I was using Eaton CH for a short run and it seemed like good equipment but my supplier dropped the line and not many local suppliers carry it.

From my experience I would rank the manufactures in the following order.
(1) QO (its #1 due to copper bus and thinner breakers)
(2) HOM
(3) Siemens and Eaton BR are tied
(4) GE

As others of said my biggest complaint against SquareD is the size of the AFCI breakers. I'm told they need to be this big to fit inside the thinner QO body but wish they would make a different smaller circuit board for the HOM.

I know GE AFCI's have a following due to having fewer "false" tripping issues. The GE AFCI's don't have the GF component. I feel if an AFCI breaker is tripping do to a GF condition the issue should be found and not covered up by a breaker that doesn't look for the problem.

For commercial panelboards and switchboards I rank.
(1) IEM (best construction)
(2) SquardD (best breakers)
 

norcal

Senior Member
I'm in the process of a major remodel on my own house. I installed a SquareD 200 amp meter/main. I installed a SquareD 400 amp main lug panelboard next to the meter-main. I went with 400 amp to have the ability to install PV and battery back feeds in the future. The panelboard supplies (2) 100 amp feeders and a couple other heavy loads (ovens, future EV charger, etc.).

I was originally going to go with HOM load centers since I could not justify the cost increase for QO load centers and breakers. I had my power guy at the wholesaler add the QO load centers with breakers onto the panelboard quote to see if it helped with the pricing. The pricing for the QO came back less than I get HOM even with the contract SPA pricing set up on the account. I went for the QO.

Over the years I have used pretty much all the manufactures. Back in the mid/late 80's Challenger was my primary line. GE was the secondary line. Between then and now have I used a lot of Siemens and Eaton BR. Basically use which ever brand the wholesaler can get me the best SPA price on.

I was using Eaton CH for a short run and it seemed like good equipment but my supplier dropped the line and not many local suppliers carry it.

From my experience I would rank the manufactures in the following order.
(1) QO (its #1 due to copper bus and thinner breakers)
(2) HOM
(3) Siemens and Eaton BR are tied
(4) GE

As others of said my biggest complaint against SquareD is the size of the AFCI breakers. I'm told they need to be this big to fit inside the thinner QO body but wish they would make a different smaller circuit board for the HOM.

I know GE AFCI's have a following due to having fewer "false" tripping issues. The GE AFCI's don't have the GF component. I feel if an AFCI breaker is tripping do to a GF condition the issue should be found and not covered up by a breaker that doesn't look for the problem.

For commercial panelboards and switchboards I rank.
(1) IEM (best construction)
(2) SquardD (best breakers)
IEM using GE, or Eaton/ C-H guts? Seen them with both.
 

ritelec

Senior Member
Was a Square D only electrician but not so much after replacing this panel (actually replaced this with another Square D)..... have only been installing Seimens lately
 

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mbrooke

Senior Member
Was a Square D only electrician but not so much after replacing this panel (actually replaced this with another Square D)..... have only been installing Seimens lately
Classified breakers will do that. Not sure that was the case here, but I've seen plenty of burnt QOs with none Square D breakers.
 

ritelec

Senior Member
They were QO breakers in a QO panel. I still think they're great and believe in the equipment, just came down a notch and realized they are just another panel board and breaker.
 

mbrooke

Senior Member
They were QO breakers in a QO panel. I still think they're great and believe in the equipment, just came down a notch and realized they are just another panel board and breaker.
Keep in mind that all brands, even bolt ons and DIN rails can burn up. Don't let one QO sour your preference. :)
 

growler

Senior Member
They were QO breakers in a QO panel. I still think they're great and believe in the equipment, just came down a notch and realized they are just another panel board and breaker.
Did you figure out why those breakers burned that bad. I have never seen a panel in that bad a condition unless there was a reason.

I have seen a panel in a pool house that was like that after all the chemical ate away the bus.I have panels exposed to moisture and one in a restaurant where flour dust was getting into the panel so bad it was forming a coating on the bus. I have seen panels in apartments where some idiot painted (over sprayed) the bus causing poor connections.

Think maybe someone had that panel in the back of a pickup during a rain storm before it was installed?
 

ptonsparky

Senior Member
We’ve replaced QO loadcenters similar to the damage shown. Ours were on grain bins and I suspect the vibrations of the fans complimented the failures along with the moisture and dirt.

CH then QO would be my preferred followed by the CH BR and Homeline for dollar conscious projects. CH has been consistently available in the area throughout my business years.
 

peter d

Senior Member
I can't stand Square D QO for several reasons. The bus/breaker connection is not good because the metal clip on the breaker loosens up over time and makes a poor connection. It's very common to be able to pull a QO breaker off the buss with barely any force, and sometimes if you're working in a panel you can accidentally dislodge an adjacent breaker because it's so loose. I hate the stacked neutral bar. The size of the AFCI's is ridiculous (this applies to Homeline as well.) Also, the terminals on the AFCI's are a joke. Square D needs to seriously look into redesigning their AFCI breakers to catch up to their competitors with normal sized breakers. I would still use a Homeline as long as no AFCI's are required for the aforementioned reason but these days I steer clear of Square D. I would not ever recommend a QO panel to anyone, for any reason.

My new personal favorite is Eaton Cutler Hammer BR (and sometimes CH). Now that Eaton has a plug on neutal with a normal sized AFCI breaker, they are the clear winner. I don't use GE but would be fine with them, since their regular AFCI's do not include GFPE.
 

norcal

Senior Member
I still consider the BR line Zinsco II, when Westinghouse bought Challenger, their loadcenters became the BR panels, and the BR breakers were listed and branded for Challenger, plus used Zinsco mains in 150A plus main breaker panels, so Challenger, and Westinghouse BR, were the same, when Eaton took over the Zinsco mains went away, but being advertised as "Engineered Value" is just newspeak for cheap. I prefer CH loadcenters, they are the last quality residential/light commercial panel, 2nd choice is Siemens, 3rd would be QO, after that, anything but a Zinsco II. After the end of Zinsco/Sylvania/Challenger somebody has to be at the bottom, Eaton BR fits it well as the garbage line.
 

peter d

Senior Member
I still consider the BR line Zinsco II, when Westinghouse bought Challenger, their loadcenters became the BR panels, and the BR breakers were listed and branded for Challenger, plus used Zinsco mains in 150A plus main breaker panels, so Challenger, and Westinghouse BR, were the same, when Eaton took over the Zinsco mains went away, but being advertised as "Engineered Value" is just newspeak for cheap. I prefer CH loadcenters, they are the last quality residential/light commercial panel, 2nd choice is Siemens, 3rd would be QO, after that, anything but a Zinsco II. After the end of Zinsco/Sylvania/Challenger somebody has to be at the bottom, Eaton BR fits it well as the garbage line.
:roll::roll:

There are literally billions of 1" plug on loadcenters in this country, none of them I would consider true garbage. They serve the purpose for the residential market, which is huge. Any trace of Zinsco influence is long gone with the Cutler Hammer products now.
 

growler

Senior Member
I don't use GE but would be fine with them, since their regular AFCI's do not include GFPE.
But Pete the GFPE function of the Arc Fault breaker is probably going to be the only part of the whole system that may actually work.
 

peter d

Senior Member
But Pete the GFPE function of the Arc Fault breaker is probably going to be the only part of the whole system that may actually work.
I certainly understand that. But what is worse - lack of GFPE, or losing untold money from callbacks? The contractor I worked for certainly lost a lot of money over the years from nuisance tripping AFCI's. And besides, the GE AFCI is still UL listed. :roll:
 

growler

Senior Member
:roll::roll:

There are literally billions of 1" plug on loadcenters in this country, none of them I would consider true garbage. They serve the purpose for the residential market, which is huge.
How many panels have you ever changed out that are not at least 30 years old and more likely over 40 ?

For many years a lot of jurisdictions didn't even require a permit to change out a panel because it was considered normal maintenance . With a new panel and all new breakers you could be pretty darn sure it would work as designed. All the connection are now tight and probably good for another 30 to 40 years.
 

peter d

Senior Member
How many panels have you ever changed out that are not at least 30 years old and more likely over 40 ?

For many years a lot of jurisdictions didn't even require a permit to change out a panel because it was considered normal maintenance . With a new panel and all new breakers you could be pretty darn sure it would work as designed. All the connection are now tight and probably good for another 30 to 40 years.
I'm not sure I get your point. I'm all for changing out old panels. I'm simply saying other than truly bad designs like Zinsco and FPE, the regular 1" plug on loadcenter is a good, reliable product that is time tested and proven, even if it's considered a "cheap" brand.
 

growler

Senior Member
I'm not sure I get your point.
Pete I was agreeing with you on this point. Most residential panels last as long as you could reasonably expect them to. The same goes for receptacles and switches. They were never designed to last forever.
 

curt swartz

Senior Member
IEM using GE, or Eaton/ C-H guts? Seen them with both.
IEM manufactures their own guts. Much more robust than anything Eaton/SquareD/Siemens/GE.
They do use GE breakers as a standard but you can specify Eaton. For a short while they were using Siemens.

A few years back I walked though a major school remodel near my house. All new panelboards were IEM with GE breakers but all the switchgear had SquareD breakers.
 

mbrooke

Senior Member
:roll::roll:

There are literally billions of 1" plug on loadcenters in this country, none of them I would consider true garbage. They serve the purpose for the residential market, which is huge. Any trace of Zinsco influence is long gone with the Cutler Hammer products now.
Have you seen Millbank meter mains along with certain Siemens meter mains?
 
I have not seen any failures due to the Zinsco-ness of the Milbank main breaker. Do you suppose they worked the bugs out of it by now, 50 years or more later?
 

peter d

Senior Member
I have not seen any failures due to the Zinsco-ness of the Milbank main breaker. Do you suppose they worked the bugs out of it by now, 50 years or more later?
I'd say so, Milbank makes excellent equipment and there's no way they would put a substandard breaker in their meter main products. IIRC Milbank actually bought Unicorn which had some relation to Zinsco, and that's where Milbank got their main breaker line.
 

jmellc

Senior Member
Square-D Homeline, hands-down! That is the ONLY panel I ever install when I do service upgrades, and I have done hundreds! I have installed a Siemens before, but only when the customer requested such. I consider Siemens to be second-best. But I don't like G.E. or any other brand of panel available. I consider them to be of poor quality.

Keep in mind that Michigan doesn't require AFCI breakers at all, and many other states only require them for bedroom circuits. I have worked in such a state, and never had any problem with nuisance tripping on Square-D ones.
Dittoes on GE. As nearly worthless as any product out there. Only marginally better than Zinsco and Federal Pacific.

Homeline has also been a favorite of mine but I got mad at them the past year or so. They came out with the stab on AFCI breakers and now some suppliers don't always have both types in stock. If you don't think to spec pigtail type, they give you stab ons and they don't work on existing panels. Bad enough we got AFCI's forced down our throats and then Sq D had to further complicate the issue. Hooray for Michigan not requiring them. I think Indiana doesn't either.

Also, many Homeline new panels now come with those confounded plastic slot inserts at top and bottom. They are a major pain on a rewire, as different size cables don't always meet them in the right places. I've see a lot of QO panels with them too recently.

I have been leaning toward Cutler Hammer BR more in recent times. Usually available and reasonable priced. I've seen no major issues with them. I like CH but it is really pricey and many of the breakers trip to off position with no trip indicator.

I used to like Siemens OK but I got really angry with them. Supplier sent us a panel with GFCI breakers not rated for personnel. I think Siemens is the only manufacturer to queer this up. Failed inspection and supplier made us pay for new breakers. Same job, they were going to charge us $400 for a switchgear plate about 4 x 24 inches, 1 breaker opening. I used a blank we already had and cut it with a jigsaw.
 
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norcal

Senior Member
:roll::roll:

There are literally billions of 1" plug on loadcenters in this country, none of them I would consider true garbage. They serve the purpose for the residential market, which is huge. Any trace of Zinsco influence is long gone with the Cutler Hammer products now.
I specifically mentioned the BR line, that leaves out Siemens, Murray, GE, & SQ D Homeline, any of them I would use over Zinsco II.
 

peter d

Senior Member
Also, many Homeline new panels now come with those confounded plastic slot inserts at top and bottom. They are a major pain on a rewire, as different size cables don't always meet them in the right places. I've see a lot of QO panels with them too recently.
I completely forgot about those. I think they are an epic fail and another thing to add to my list of why I dislike Homeline. Those "quick wire" slots are great for new construction but indeed a major pain for panels changes as you pointed out.

I have been leaning toward Cutler Hammer BR more in recent times.
That is exactly the brand I have chosen and I have not been disappointed at all. :thumbsup:
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
I still consider the BR line Zinsco II, when Westinghouse bought Challenger, their loadcenters became the BR panels, and the BR breakers were listed and branded for Challenger, plus used Zinsco mains in 150A plus main breaker panels, so Challenger, and Westinghouse BR, were the same, when Eaton took over the Zinsco mains went away, but being advertised as "Engineered Value" is just newspeak for cheap. I prefer CH loadcenters, they are the last quality residential/light commercial panel, 2nd choice is Siemens, 3rd would be QO, after that, anything but a Zinsco II. After the end of Zinsco/Sylvania/Challenger somebody has to be at the bottom, Eaton BR fits it well as the garbage line.
It's BR because it came from Bryant. I don't think you have the history correct.
 

jmellc

Senior Member
I completely forgot about those. I think they are an epic fail and another thing to add to my list of why I dislike Homeline. Those "quick wire" slots are great for new construction but indeed a major pain for panels changes as you pointed out.



That is exactly the brand I have chosen and I have not been disappointed at all. :thumbsup:
I still consider the BR line Zinsco II, when Westinghouse bought Challenger, their loadcenters became the BR panels, and the BR breakers were listed and branded for Challenger, plus used Zinsco mains in 150A plus main breaker panels, so Challenger, and Westinghouse BR, were the same, when Eaton took over the Zinsco mains went away, but being advertised as "Engineered Value" is just newspeak for cheap. I prefer CH loadcenters, they are the last quality residential/light commercial panel, 2nd choice is Siemens, 3rd would be QO, after that, anything but a Zinsco II. After the end of Zinsco/Sylvania/Challenger somebody has to be at the bottom, Eaton BR fits it well as the garbage line.
I've only seen a few Challenger panels or breakers and didn't like them but didn't recall they were part of the CH/BR line at all. But I can't keep it all in my head. I've had OK luck recently with BR. I consider GE the bottom of the barrel.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Keep in mind that all brands, even bolt ons and DIN rails can burn up. Don't let one QO sour your preference. :)
We’ve replaced QO loadcenters similar to the damage shown. Ours were on grain bins and I suspect the vibrations of the fans complimented the failures along with the moisture and dirt.

CH then QO would be my preferred followed by the CH BR and Homeline for dollar conscious projects. CH has been consistently available in the area throughout my business years.
QO had some panels in the 70's that had aluminum bus bars, those were more prone to failure, especially in outdoor panels. Tin plated copper bus bars that are still common today do not have the same kind of failure rate.

Dittoes on GE. As nearly worthless as any product out there. Only marginally better than Zinsco and Federal Pacific.

Homeline has also been a favorite of mine but I got mad at them the past year or so. They came out with the stab on AFCI breakers and now some suppliers don't always have both types in stock. If you don't think to spec pigtail type, they give you stab ons and they don't work on existing panels. Bad enough we got AFCI's forced down our throats and then Sq D had to further complicate the issue. Hooray for Michigan not requiring them. I think Indiana doesn't either.

Also, many Homeline new panels now come with those confounded plastic slot inserts at top and bottom. They are a major pain on a rewire, as different size cables don't always meet them in the right places. I've see a lot of QO panels with them too recently.

I have been leaning toward Cutler Hammer BR more in recent times. Usually available and reasonable priced. I've seen no major issues with them. I like CH but it is really pricey and many of the breakers trip to off position with no trip indicator.

I used to like Siemens OK but I got really angry with them. Supplier sent us a panel with GFCI breakers not rated for personnel. I think Siemens is the only manufacturer to queer this up. Failed inspection and supplier made us pay for new breakers. Same job, they were going to charge us $400 for a switchgear plate about 4 x 24 inches, 1 breaker opening. I used a blank we already had and cut it with a jigsaw.
Never seen one yet but BR supposedly has plug on neutral now, so you may end up with same dilemma - supplier only stocks one or the other and you find yourself needing what they don't stock.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Also, many Homeline new panels now come with those confounded plastic slot inserts at top and bottom. They are a major pain on a rewire, as different size cables don't always meet them in the right places. I've see a lot of QO panels with them too recently.
I hate those! :rant:
 

kwired

Electron manager
Originally Posted by jmellc

Also, many Homeline new panels now come with those confounded plastic slot inserts at top and bottom. They are a major pain on a rewire, as different size cables don't always meet them in the right places. I've see a lot of QO panels with them too recently.
I hate those! :rant:
Never used one, don't look like something I have much interest in though.

Seems you need to ask for product you want, or at big box store at least pay attention to what you grab, which is good idea anyway. I usually order from supply house by catalog number, if I give wrong number it is my fault. Did that once and ended up with single phase panel instead of three phase on a quote - that was a little costly, but was only a 125 amp panel so not horribly costly.
 

peter d

Senior Member
Eaton encompasses these legacy products: Cutler Hammer, Challenger, Bryant and Westinghouse.

Siemens = ITE Gould, Crouse Hinds, Murray, and Furnas.

GE has always been GE, and likewise with Square D.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Eaton encompasses these legacy products: Cutler Hammer, Challenger, Bryant and Westinghouse.

Siemens = ITE Gould, Crouse Hinds, Murray, and Furnas.

GE has always been GE, and likewise with Square D.
Eaton has had Cutler Hammer for a long time, Westinghouse took over Bryant, not sure exactly where Challenger fits in but also absorbed into Westinhouse AFAIK at some point, Eaton eventually acquired Westinghouse though.

I don't ever recall seeing Furnas breakers/loadcenters, but yes Siemens did take over items that formerly were known as Furnas, mostly controls devices.

GE has always been GE, but the low voltage power distribution is now a part of ABB, but AFAIK still has the GE name, so far.

Square D has always been Square D, is a division of Schneider now, and has been for some time, So far still kept the Square D name on a lot of products, though there are some that have Schneider name on them. Some miniature relays that once were Square D are now just labeled Schneider - but I think they are more less what used to be produced under the Magnecraft name, that is now also part of Schneider, and I think the previous Square D versions of same product are no longer made.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
I understand the thinking, but it backfired. Much like Square D trilliant.
Besides being difficult with in-wall replacement, as mentioned above, there are almost no KOs suitable for larger cables, which don't fit in the plastic slots.
 

mbrooke

Senior Member
Besides being difficult with in-wall replacement, as mentioned above, there are almost no KOs suitable for larger cables, which don't fit in the plastic slots.
Yes and Yes. Square D does not think at times it seems as to what electricians look for or really need.
 

JohnE

Senior Member
I

My new personal favorite is Eaton Cutler Hammer BR (and sometimes CH). Now that Eaton has a plug on neutal with a normal sized AFCI breaker, they are the clear winner. I don't use GE but would be fine with them, since their regular AFCI's do not include GFPE.
Same here, Peter.
 

electrofelon

Senior Member
One other comment, that granted gets beyond the thread title of "residential" is another thing that really annoys me about square D is their lower cost homeline line is not available in three phase so you have to use overpriced QO. The other guys offer everything in three phase.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
One other comment, that granted gets beyond the thread title of "residential" is another thing that really annoys me about square D is their lower cost homeline line is not available in three phase so you have to use overpriced QO. The other guys offer everything in three phase.
Well, it does say "home." :)

That's where BR shines for me.
 

kwired

Electron manager
One other comment, that granted gets beyond the thread title of "residential" is another thing that really annoys me about square D is their lower cost homeline line is not available in three phase so you have to use overpriced QO. The other guys offer everything in three phase.
When they came out with Homeline it was for the purpose of having a product that is competitive in the residental market. I honestly don't think three phase loadcenters or three pole breakers would be significantly less if they made them for that line, so why not just stick with QO for those applications? I doubt if they made a bolt on version it would be significantly less either.

Eaton acquired the BR line from someone else, and chose to continue with it pretty much as is. Had they decided to make their own series that would be competition to Homeline, something tells me it would have been only single phase as well.
 

curt swartz

Senior Member
I was a test contractor for Homeline when it was introduced. I was told that the reason for having 2 lines was to allow sales of QO at a higher price point for commercial/industrial markets and use the HOM to compete with the residential market. If they were to offer 3 phase HOM it would defeat the purpose of having 2 lines.

QO and HOM breakers have the same internals, only the case is different so SquareD's build cost is the same. The load center boxes are the same except for QO's are slightly shorter since the breakers are 3/4" instead of 1". The HOM busing is slightly cheaper since its AL vs QO which is copper. Basically SquareD could offer an aluminum bused version of QO and their cost would be essentially the same as HOM. They want to be able to market a higher priced line of equipment.

Also wanted to add:
For those posting they don't like HOM loadcenters with the new wire entry design. This is just an option, you can still get standard KO's. All of the load centers I purchase come with KO's.
 

kwired

Electron manager
I was a test contractor for Homeline when it was introduced. I was told that the reason for having 2 lines was to allow sales of QO at a higher price point for commercial/industrial markets and use the HOM to compete with the residential market. If they were to offer 3 phase HOM it would defeat the purpose of having 2 lines.

QO and HOM breakers have the same internals, only the case is different so SquareD's build cost is the same. The load center boxes are the same except for QO's are slightly shorter since the breakers are 3/4" instead of 1". The HOM busing is slightly cheaper since its AL vs QO which is copper. Basically SquareD could offer an aluminum bused version of QO and their cost would be essentially the same as HOM. They want to be able to market a higher priced line of equipment.

Also wanted to add:
For those posting they don't like HOM loadcenters with the new wire entry design. This is just an option, you can still get standard KO's. All of the load centers I purchase come with KO's.
Other than it wasn't offered in the three phase versions it was like purchasing a Buick instead of the Cadillac. 3/4 inch wide breakers instead of 1" wide breakers has some space advantages. Now that 42 circuit rule is gone 60, 72, 84 circuit panels are possible and not as tall with QO as they are with any 1" wide breaker Those are more common with "panelboards" than they are with "loadcenters" but still something to consider. Though you are not supposed to work things "hot" I'd rather work in a live QO panel than a live Homeline panel, less bus is exposed on unused spaces.
 

ptonsparky

Senior Member
One of the Custom Home ECs in the area quit QO and switched to CH because of the response he got from QO over their AFCIs random tripping.
 

electrofelon

Senior Member
I honestly don't think three phase loadcenters or three pole breakers would be significantly less if they made them for that line, so why not just stick with QO for those applications? I doubt if they made a bolt on version it would be significantly less either.
l.
I disagree. A qo320 is about $70. A Siemens q320 is half that. HOM breakers are half the price of the QO version. QO is overpriced.
 

Frank DuVal

Senior Member
I'm an old CH type guy.

But I've worked with QO, Homeline, Siemens, GE, Bryant (many versions) etc etc.

Still a preference for CH even if I cannot state what that is....:D
 

peter d

Senior Member
Same here, Peter.
:thumbsup:

I think Eaton CH BR is going to take over here pretty soon. The major suppliers are carrying it for their main line now, and Square D still has limited distribution as they always have. Unless you're on a buying program getting really good pricing on QO, it's definitely overpriced.

Speaking of that, is anyone on a BR buying program? What kind of quantity do you have to commit to?
 

Knuckle Dragger

Master Electrician Electrical Contractor 01752
There was only one electrical supply house in the area that carried square d. I was told that they couldn't carry other brands or square d would shut them off.
The supply house just closed it's doors (nothing to do with SD) they just retired.
 
Siemens

Siemens

If I was putting one in my own home I would go with Siemens. It's personal taste. You can get a 40/80 with a copper bus for around 160 bucks. They come with the ground bars included in case you are putting it after a disconnect which is nice.
 

mbrooke

Senior Member
:thumbsup:

I think Eaton CH BR is going to take over here pretty soon. The major suppliers are carrying it for their main line now, and Square D still has limited distribution as they always have. Unless you're on a buying program getting really good pricing on QO, it's definitely overpriced.

Speaking of that, is anyone on a BR buying program? What kind of quantity do you have to commit to?
Can you post pics of these new BR load centers?
 

jeff48356

Senior Member
If I was putting one in my own home I would go with Siemens. It's personal taste. You can get a 40/80 with a copper bus for around 160 bucks. They come with the ground bars included in case you are putting it after a disconnect which is nice.
The 40/80 Square-D Homeline sells for $127 at Home Depot, and comes with some breakers. That's always the panel that I install when wiring a new house.
 

kwired

Electron manager
I'm an old CH type guy.

But I've worked with QO, Homeline, Siemens, GE, Bryant (many versions) etc etc.

Still a preference for CH even if I cannot state what that is....:D
One kind of gets used to something they use a lot and just feels good about it because of it's familiarity I think. I am a little biased toward Square D in general, partly because I am so familiar with their products and know how to navigate the catalog when needed. But my main supplier is a Square D distributor and can get anything out of the catalog if needed, and they don't have Eaton, Siemens, or GE power distribution products. Other suppliers that do have those don't necessarily have great ability to get anything those others offer either. One place stocked GE loadcenters, but if you wanted motor controls and such stocked Siemens. Makes sense, right?

There was only one electrical supply house in the area that carried square d. I was told that they couldn't carry other brands or square d would shut them off.
The supply house just closed it's doors (nothing to do with SD) they just retired.
I think that may be more common for the smaller supply houses, but those are disappearing or at least being bought out by larger companies. Those larger companies still purchase enough volume that Square D isn't as particular about it. I know my nearest Square D distributor once was one of those small companies and they had to get rid of the CH-line they used to sell or Square D wouldn't give them dealership status. That store is still open, been sold to bigger company, and then eventually sold again. The current owner has places nationwide, and still owns competing stores in some places that are right across the street from one another but with different names, and different product lines in certain aspects.
 

Knuckle Dragger

Master Electrician Electrical Contractor 01752
I was a "square D only" about 20+ years ago. One time I needed to do a service replacement on the fly. The closet distributor carried Siemens. The design was so much more practical than the square D with the full length neutral bar. Eventually Siemens backed away from the full length neutral bar and now square D has it.
I now use mostly Eaton BR for the residential jobs.
 

MAC702

Senior Member
One other comment, that granted gets beyond the thread title of "residential" is another thing that really annoys me about square D is their lower cost homeline line is not available in three phase so you have to use overpriced QO. The other guys offer everything in three phase.
I've tried Googling them and can't find them now, but I know I used 3-phase Homeline breakers/panels when I worked in Colombia in 2005. One of them I took new out of the factory sealed box and gave myself a 3-phase shock through the three fingers that were touching the screws as I installed it. I've never seen before or since a breaker in a factory box in the "on" state.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
I've tried Googling them and can't find them now, but I know I used 3-phase Homeline breakers/panels when I worked in Colombia in 2005. One of them I took new out of the factory sealed box and gave myself a 3-phase shock through the three fingers that were touching the screws as I installed it. I've never seen before or since a breaker in a factory box in the "on" state.
"[FONT=ArialRoundedMTforSE_Latin]Square D Homeline load centers are ONLY available in single phase constructions, so 3-pole OR 3-phase branch breakers are NOT available."

From: [/FONT]
https://www.schneider-electric.us/en/faqs/FA175909/


I have made it a point to always turn breakers off before installing them.
 

MAC702

Senior Member
Yes, I'm aware that a US website says they are not available.

Yes, I'm aware that a breaker should be off when you install it. That's why it's an anecdote.
 

kwired

Electron manager
I've tried Googling them and can't find them now, but I know I used 3-phase Homeline breakers/panels when I worked in Colombia in 2005. One of them I took new out of the factory sealed box and gave myself a 3-phase shock through the three fingers that were touching the screws as I installed it. I've never seen before or since a breaker in a factory box in the "on" state.
So they sell homerline in three phase in other countries?
I can see that being a possibility.
 
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