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Discussion Starter #1
A bit of background ...

HVAC had a 60Hz buzz sound on each startup of heating system. The sound happened for just a second, then went away. Sometimes, the lights would flicker to where most wouldn't notice. But I do. Not objectionable, but I wanted to get rid of it, if possible.

Electrician said it sounded like an HVAC problem. HVAC came right out. Couldn't find anything.

Have a sqaure D panel and inside were two breakers that weren't square d. Always bugged me cause I tend to be a bit OCD. These breakers, coincidentally, fed power to the interior HVAC unit. Had a hunch and replaced them with proper square d's.

Sound is pretty much gone. Can hear a little bit when comes on in aux heat. But I'm happy, again.

So, here's a picture of those breakers that I pulled out.



My question is, should I be angry about this, or just shake my head ruefully?

What's going on with these breakers? It looks like he used a drill to make them fit.

Not a problem at this point. It's only my curiosity. Problem is fixed. I'm not using this guy again.
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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Those look like GE THQL or ITE breakers that were modified to go in the Square D (obviously Homeline) panel.

They were modified because of Square D's rejection system to disallow tandem breakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, what a hack!
Right-on!

I went to home zero, got a couple of square d's. They were only a few bucks. Threw the main breakers. Swapped out the crap in the picture.

Only a few bucks. A half hour of my time (cause I'm a frikkin idiot with electricity, and it scares me witless, otherwise it would have been five minutes). And, done. Why the h### couldn't he have done this in the first place?

I'm totally angry. Wondering if I'm over-reacting? I read that this is something that is done. But WTH? Brand new panel. I'm paying him with American currency and I don't think I'm a total loser. Guess he didn't have the proper stuff on his truck and he didn't want to be inconvenienced????? WTH????
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cause that's what he had on the truck.
And I'm even cool with that. But when i said there was a problem, then why did he blame it on the HVAC guy? Why didn't he just own up and say that he got lazy and he will be right out and make it better? What's wrong with that?


Seems like there is this repeating pattern. Get the job. Okay. Here we go ...

It's all rainbows and unicorns and stardust. We are such good friends! Joy. Smiles. Handshakes. Happiness.

Later ...

Something isn't on his truck. Hmmm. This is an inconvenience. Well then. F that. I'll just use this S##E$.

What is it with this pattern?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cause that's what he had on the truck.
Oh, and I'm with you. Not against you.

Not trying to negate your answer. Or counterpoint it.

I'm trying to understand the psychology of this whole frikkin thing. Tell me whatever you have, please? What is on this guy's mind?
 

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Electricians and plumbers would have to drive semis to have all the items needed in stock all the time. This electrician was just lazy. In the time it took to grind off the rejection plastic, he could have just driven to Home Depot and got the right breakers. Parts runs are part of every job.

If this so called "electrician" showed this type of disregard for procedure, I can't imagine the other potentially dangerous messes he has created.

Time to get a new electrician without a doubt.
 

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I believe it even specifically states on most panels not to use other manufacturers' breakers. Not sure if it is a code violation?
 

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I believe it even specifically states on most panels not to use other manufacturers' breakers. Not sure if it is a code violation?
I don't know if it's a code violation to use different brand breakers but it better be a violation to modify them like that!
 

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I don't know if it's a code violation to use different brand breakers but it better be a violation to modify them like that!
It is a code violation (here) under the 110.2 & 110.3 of the NEC.

110.2 requires an "approved" installation, 110.3 expands on the "approval". Under none of the "approved" methods would this install be compliant. The panel is "listed" using breakers from the same manufacture, use of other manufactures breakers violates the code.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm wondering if there could be another 'violation' other than code?

I'm probably going out on a limb to say the following because I'm only thinking in generic terms ...

Inspectors often pass something that a manufacturer says is safe in its application --- IF it is installed per the manufacturer's instructions. A zero clearance fireplace comes to mind, as an example. A metal exhaust duct for a stove comes to mind as another example. Etc.

So, if an inspector sees a panel that isn't installed per the manufacturer, that should automatically be a problem, regardless of code. True?
 

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John the Builder
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I'm wondering if there could be another 'violation' other than code?

I'm probably going out on a limb to say the following because I'm only thinking in generic terms ...

Inspectors often pass something that a manufacturer says is safe in its application --- IF it is installed per the manufacturer's instructions. A zero clearance fireplace comes to mind, as an example. A metal exhaust duct for a stove comes to mind as another example. Etc.

So, if an inspector sees a panel that isn't installed per the manufacturer, that should automatically be a problem, regardless of code. True?
Are you going to have "manufacturer's instructions" at the ready for the inspector?
 

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I'm wondering if there could be another 'violation' other than code?

I'm probably going out on a limb to say the following because I'm only thinking in generic terms ...

Inspectors often pass something that a manufacturer says is safe in its application --- IF it is installed per the manufacturer's instructions. A zero clearance fireplace comes to mind, as an example. A metal exhaust duct for a stove comes to mind as another example. Etc.

So, if an inspector sees a panel that isn't installed per the manufacturer, that should automatically be a problem, regardless of code. True?
Following manufacture specs is code compliant in the NEC.

Tom
 

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It is a code violation (here) under the 110.2 & 110.3 of the NEC.

110.2 requires an "approved" installation, 110.3 expands on the "approval". Under none of the "approved" methods would this install be compliant. The panel is "listed" using breakers from the same manufacture, use of other manufactures breakers violates the code.

Tom
Not the case here, but CH makes breakers that are listed for use in other panels.
 

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Those look like GE THQL or ITE breakers that were modified to go in the Square D (obviously Homeline) panel.

They were modified because of Square D's rejection system to disallow tandem breakers.
Often done to overstuff a panel. One of the stupidest things an electrician can do, as ignorance or accident are impossible to claim.
 

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Electrical Contractor
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I have seen hundreds of off brand breakers work perfectly well for 20 years or more. In this case the guy bastardized the breakers and the connection was obviously very weak so you had some arcing going on. I hope it didn't damage the bus bar.
 
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