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Why is there a purple test button on the circuit breaker?
Saturday, September 5, 2020
If the breaker is made by Square D and has the “D inside a square” logo, then the purple test button indicates that it is a Dual Function (GFCI and CAFCI) breaker. A yellow test button means it’s a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) breaker, and a white button means the breaker is an CAFCI (Combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter). Square D breakers that are more than about 20 years old with a red ‘TEST’ button are GFCI, and AFCI breakers (an earlier version of CAFCI) had green test buttons. Other brands, like Siemens and Cutler Hammer, use their own color code, most often red or white.
There is very tiny print of the front surface of the breaker, but concealed under the metal dead front when it is in place, that states which type of breaker it is; however, we do not recommend removing the dead front to check. The photo at the top of the page shows Dual Function breakers with the dead front removed and manufactuer’s description circled.
Eaton breakers are different. They are color coded AND have the type of breaker clearly printed on the surface of the breaker where it is visible with the dead front in place. Here’s an example below from one of the newer type plug-on neutral panels. Blue = Dual Function (CAFCI+GFCI), White = GFCI, and Green = CAFCI.
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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about AFCI and GFCI RECEPTACLES AND CIRCUIT BREAKERS:
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