Today's FPE- Fake Circuit Breakers

mbrooke

Batteries Included
Location
United States
Occupation
Technician
Don't think there is much of a proliferation in the US (yet) but they are out there and sadly still being manufactured. Fake circuit breakers, some which are even counterfeit brands marked with forged NRTL labels. No coil, no bi-metal, no arc quench, and no legit (weld resistant) contacts. Just a switch with a snap action toggle. This video shows the insides in question perfectly:


 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Is that actually supposed to be a circuit breaker or is it simply a molded case switch?
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
Don't think there is much of a proliferation in the US (yet) but they are out there and sadly still being manufactured. Fake circuit breakers, some which are even counterfeit brands marked with forged NRTL labels. No coil, no bi-metal, no arc quench, and no legit (weld resistant) contacts. Just a switch with a snap action toggle. This video shows the insides in question perfectly:


There's a manufacturer out there in desperate need of an appointment with a firing squad. Or drawing and quartering; much more appropriate.
 

mbrooke

Batteries Included
Location
United States
Occupation
Technician
Let me guess, China?

Most likely. I've ordered Chinese breakers off Amazon just for the fun of it. Every single one of them has some major flaw ie several of them had a coil for short circuits but no bi-metal for overloads. Contact separation that was unlikely to break 10ka. Dissimilar metals touching. Copper braid over the trip mechanism essentially shorting it out. One of them was a convoluted switch mech with a glass fuse in series. At least they tried...
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
retired electrician
It is rare to find these counterfeit devices when you purchase from a reputable source.

They are typically only found on "grey market" sites...that is unofficial distribution sites.
 

mikeames

Senior Member
Location
Germantown MD
Occupation
Teacher - Master Electrician - 2017 NEC
Now they will catch on that they "felt light" and start putting a weight in them. WOW people who do this have no conscience.
 

jmellc

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
Occupation
Facility Maintenance Tech. Licensed Electrician
Hunt used to have these for FPE & Zinsco. I had thought they were legit, or as legit as nything for these brands could be. They were better than the originals. I used a few when customer wouldn’t replace panel.
 

garbo

Senior Member
Most likely. I've ordered Chinese breakers off Amazon just for the fun of it. Every single one of them has some major flaw ie several of them had a coil for short circuits but no bi-metal for overloads. Contact separation that was unlikely to break 10ka. Dissimilar metals touching. Copper braid over the trip mechanism essentially shorting it out. One of them was a convoluted switch mech with a glass fuse in series. At least they tried...
Never purchade or use ANY electrical equipment, test equipment, Safety equipment or tools from lying cheating lack of quality control china.
 
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