4

My understanding is that Challenger panels are safe, but some of their breakers may not be (or may even be recalled).

Panel

I have a family member with a Challenger SB10(20-20)CT panel that looks to be from 1987. It calls for Type C breakers. I believe it is, but is this panel safe?

Here's a picture of the panel label: Panel label

Breakers

It's filled with a bunch of Challenger E16248 breakers, a couple of Siemens type MH-T breakers, and a couple of GE Q-Line THQL breakers. I'm not even sure the Siemens or GE breakers are technically allowed in this panel.

Strangely, the Challenger breakers all have the SA symbol blacked out, and some have stars drawn on them. Not sure what that's supposed to mean but it seems sketchy.

Here are some of the odd breakers: enter image description here

I picked up enough Eaton BR breakers to replace everything ($250 worth), but my family member doesn't want to waste money if it's not necessary.

2
  • 2
    As Harper says, replace the breakers. The good news is that $250 in breakers is a lot less than a full panel replacement. Feb 24, 2023 at 3:11
  • I would guess that the markings on the breakers was from someone doing some sort of testing in the past. Instead of putting temporary labels on the panel cover (maybe they'd pulled the cover) or a bit of tape on the breaker to indicate that they'd done something, someone grabbed a marker and doodled some symbols as a "work has been done here" indicator. Great idea except that it leaves FUD in its wake for the next person...
    – FreeMan
    Feb 24, 2023 at 12:46

1 Answer 1

8

but is this panel safe?

Challenger panels are fine. Bryant picked up the bus design in the bankruptcy auction and used it for their BR line of panels, which is now Eaton BR.

It's filled with a bunch of Challenger E16248 breakers

Trash. Challenger cheated their UL testing and their breakers won't trip when they're supposed to. All need to go.

Siemens type MH-T breakers

Do not belong in this panel. Could burn up the bus stab.

couple of GE Q-Line THQL breakers

Ditto.

I picked up enough Eaton BR breakers to replace everything ($250 worth), but my family member doesn't want to waste money if it's not necessary.

It's necessary. I'm sorry people wasted money on Siemens and GE breakers when they could've bought BR if they knew what they were doing.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.