Question:

What is a counterfeit Square D circuit breaker?

What is a Counterfeit Square D Circuit breaker?

A 2008 recall issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08151.html) warns buyers of Square D circuit breakers to look closely at their purchases to make certain they are legitimate Square D breakers. A series of counterfeits made in China hit the market between 2003 and 2006; the counterfeits pose a serious fire hazard. Unlike the genuine Square D breakers, the knock-offs will fail to trip when overloads are present.

When the counterfeit breakers fail, electrical fires can result. It is very important to look closely at your Square D breakers for the following signs of authenticity:

  • The amp rating is printed on the Square D breaker handle in white
  • A Square D insignia on the side of the circuit breaker
  • A "yellow chromate" mounting clip (half of the top of the clip should be visible)

If your circuit breaker does not match this description, it could be a counterfeit version. Fakes often have the amp rating printed in black instead of white, another telltale sign to look for. If you discover a counterfeit, stop using it immediately and replace it with a legitimate Square D breaker.

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