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I need to replace a circuit breaker in this panel, and I've read that it's important that I get the right breaker for the panel. How do I tell what brand and type of breaker I should get? The only thing I know right now is the ampacity and that it takes up a single slot (one phase).

I can't find anything stamped into the metal box at all. There is no cover panel, what you see in the pic is what I see when I walk up to it.

This is a sub-panel next to my main one, which also has no identifying markings. The only marking on the main panel is "MAIN" next to the main breaker.

enter image description here

Here is a close up of the label on the breakers. Would it be sufficient for me to show this to a salesperson at the hardware store?

enter image description here

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    On newer boxes, there may be a label inside the box front which tells you exactly what make and model your box is, and sometimes exactly which breaker types are approved for that box.
    – keshlam
    Jan 31, 2023 at 14:33
  • If by "hardware store" you mean electrical supply place, then yes, there's a very high likelihood the guy at the counter will be able to get you the right breaker. If "hardware store" means your local big-box home improvement center, then, no, don't count on it.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 31, 2023 at 14:50
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    @rothloup yes, that's what he's referring to.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 31, 2023 at 14:54
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    You're going to have to expose the internals eventually; start by looking now
    – keshlam
    Jan 31, 2023 at 15:00
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    ...Being, of course, careful. Which is the case of a sub-panel is (or should be) as easy as shutting off the breaker that feeds it in the main panel.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 31, 2023 at 15:12

3 Answers 3

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Those are Crouse-Hinds breakers, as it says on the bottom of the label. Crouse-Hinds bought Murray, and then Siemens bought Crouse-Hinds. And you can see that if you look at the top of the label, as they are Type MP breakers, an older Murray type. Because of this mess, the UL did some testing in 1993 and then again in 2002 to confirm the suitability of Siemens breakers for use in Crouse-Hinds panels. So following the path of history means putting Siemens QP breakers in that panel.

Eaton also makes a one-inch Classified breaker series that they list for use in Crouse-Hinds panels.

The panel may have a data label on the interior with language such as "Use Type MP, XX, YY and ZZ breakers" or words to that effect. In some instances, such as the photo below, Crouse-Hinds panels list certain Bryant breaker types such as BR and BRD. Eaton now makes those types.

Here's an example of the sort of label you're looking for. Note that this label specifies many type as appropriate for use, and shows file number E26095 as referenced in the above linked letters. This doesn't 100% confirm you can use the data on this label if yours is missing!

Label from inside Crouse-Hinds panel.

If you don't have the label you're going to have to guess a bit. In that situation I would happily use readily available Siemens QP breakers or Eaton BR. Both are commonly available. Lacking the label, you're stuck guessing at least a bit, but the QP follows the lineage perfectly and panels under the same file number indicate BR as suitable.

If you're really uncertain, Eaton CL is your option that the manufacturer and UL will stand behind, specified for anything branded Crouse-Hinds. You will likely have to order them in though.

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  • sheesh, glad I asked. What a mess to keep track of. Thank you.
    – rothloup
    Jan 31, 2023 at 16:19
  • Eaton makes the CL series precisely because there's a big mess of old 1 inch plug on panels that are actually fine to use, but with no listed breakers currently available.
    – KMJ
    Jan 31, 2023 at 18:37
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    -1 for taking the opinion that Eaton BR should be used, based on no evidence. This is my first downvote in a couple months. I'd love to retract it. Jan 31, 2023 at 19:46
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    The pic is nice to show OP what to look for... My problem with the last paragraph remains. Feb 1, 2023 at 0:12
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    I went ahead and added a bit more text to caveat where I'm going with this so people don't have to dig in the comments.
    – KMJ
    Feb 1, 2023 at 0:33
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The breakers are MP type (now called QP)

MP is a breaker family which has lineage right up to today. It became Murray MP, and in turn became Siemens MP, which for marketing reasons they renamed to QP. (Thanks, Siemens). This, with the letter KMJ nicely found, shows Siemens QP type is the modern equivalent for your breakers.

However, that only tells us about the breakers in your photo. They all match, which is reassuring since you'd presume right breakers were available when the panel was bought new. But who's to say the original installer used them? What if all 8 are wrong? LOL

The tiebreaker is a big data label on the interior.

You'd need to pull the panel dead front off. Therein, on a sufficiently modern panel, is a big sticker with a bunch of data about wiring, accessories, ratings and allowed breaker types. For instance language like

Use only Type WW, XX, XXD, XXGF and YY type branch circuit breakers

If this data label exists, that is the final word on the subject, with two exceptions. #1 is Siemens little MP/QP name game. #2 is that UL will certify breakers for a competitor panel, and when they do it's called "UL-Classified".

Eaton's compatible product line is Eaton CL, which is specifically made for certain obsolete/competitor panels and has a special treatment on the bus clip to mate with those panels. It is "UL Classified" which is UL's way of certifying for competitor products. Eaton CL is rare and certainly a special order unless you get lucky.

Do not confuse Eaton BR with Eaton CL. Not rocket science.

BR is not appropriate here. Unless...

...as said, unless the panel labeling specifically calls out Eaton BR.

However, that isn't likely. What has occasionally been known to happen is that when a manufacturer doesn't want to make a particular type, e.g. tandems or GFCI, they will work with a specific competitor who does, and calls out their specific model of tandem, for instance Type BD or BQ, or TH-GF. Those sub-types are in the BR family, but that is not the same thing as certifying all BR family breakers. Without seeing it with your own eyes on the label, do not use BR.

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    You are always on point with good information!
    – Ken
    Feb 1, 2023 at 0:37
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Crouse-Hinds breakers are available as Eaton "CL", a type specifically made by Eaton for obsolete/competitor panels.

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