What is a classified circuit breaker?
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
“Classified” circuit breakers are made by one manufacturer to be installed as replacement breakers in a panel produced by another manufacturer. They are officially called “UL Classified,” meaning that Underwriters Laboratories has tested and approved them for installation in particular manufacturers' panel boards—often for companies that are no longer in business and replacement breakers would be otherwise not available, but also for currently available breakers.
Eaton, for example, manufactures UL Classified breakers that are approved for multiple different brands of panels. Download EatonClassifiedBreakers for the full list.
Just because one manufacturer's breaker snaps into place in a different manufacturer’s panel does not mean it is safe or acceptable. Sometimes we see five or six different brands of breakers in a single, older panel. You can be sure that most, if not all of them, are not approved to be there. Also see our articles What is the difference between specified and classified circuit breakers? and Can you add circuit breakers by different manufacturers to an electric panel if they fit? and How do I find out the manufacturer of an electrical panel? for more on this issue.
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