I have a cutler hammer breaker box with a cutler hammer breaker that will be fed to a disconnect box with a GFCI before going to the hot tub. Does the disconnect box necessarily have to be a cutler hammer brand with cutler hammer breakers. I wouldn't think so but want to be sure.

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    Two completely opposing answers. If there is a code in the NEC that forbids the use of diffent mgf breakers from the box, where is it? I am not asking to argue, I just want it pointed out to me. I have a 2014 NEC in front of me and cannot find the ref. When I was a manager at The Home Depot I had two licenced electricians tell me that it didn't matter as long as they were comparable. I have told people this for years and if I am wrong I need to know but just telling me I'm wrong isn't enough. If it's in the NEC I want to know where. Thanks – user37576 May 15 '15 at 18:19

Generally, the breaker has to match the manufacturer of the box. But you do not need to match manufacturers between separate boxes.


The other answer is incorrect. Breakers are standardized. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is a good, honest group. Below is from NEMA

It is NEMA’s belief that standards play a vital part in the design, production, and distribution of products destined for both national and international commerce. Sound technical standards benefit the user, as well as the manufacturer, by improving safety, bringing about economies in product, eliminating misunderstandings between manufacturer and purchaser, and assisting the purchaser in selecting and obtaining the proper product for his particular need.

Hats off to the NEMA. It is great to find an organization that is honest.

  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. First, we're all here to help, so please don't call people names. Second, the page you link doesn't answer the original question; yes, there are standards, but do the standards address whether breaker A, that's the same form factor and rating as breaker B, can be used in manufacturer B's panel. – Daniel Griscom Feb 3 '18 at 22:32
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    This really doesn't answer the question. It's bashing the other answer and then praising NEMA (unclear why). Without any explanation behind the assertion they're standardized, this reads more like a comment – Machavity Feb 4 '18 at 2:55

There is no code in the NEC that requires you to use matching breaker to the panel box. Generally there are some that are universal. i.e. Square D Homeline, GE, many Siemens, Murry, ITE and others. A few are brand specific...i.e. Square D QO series, Cuttler Hammer Tan Handles. But you may certainly use an ITE breaker in a Murry panel...and so on.

But to answer your question. No you can use any brand disconnect box that you so desire.

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    This is not at all true. By code you MUST use approved breakers for the panel. You CANNOT simply put a Siemens breaker in a BR series panel just because it fits, etc. Is it done? Sure. Is it code? Definitely not. There is recent talk on electrical message boards that some inspectors are really cracking down on this. There are breakers however that have been classified to legally fit into many panels. The Cutler-Hammer "CL Series" is an example. – Speedy Petey Oct 14 '14 at 23:29
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    Breakers which "fit" in other panels are specifically assigned UL listings to be used in similar panels. Some breakers look very similar but do not fit in another manufacturers panel. Please do not give negative marks to a person without citing sections and subsections of code. – Kevin Oct 15 '14 at 2:31
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    First off, I'll give negative remarks to any answers I deem necessary and to wrong answers, and your answer is wrong. Just because a breaker fits into a panel does NOT mean it is code complaint to do so. There is a list on the panel label as to which breakers can be used, aside from aftermarket thrid-party classified breakers. Check it out some time. – Speedy Petey Oct 15 '14 at 11:04

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