Is there a compelling reason to choose one type/brand of breaker & panel (Eaton CH, Eaton BR, Square-D QO, Square-D HOM, Siemens, GE) over another when putting a new electrical panel and breakers in? Or is availability (I am loading my panel with dual-function CAFCI/GFCI breakers on all 15 and 20A branch circuits, provided no shared neutrals turn up that is) the sole consideration I should take into account when deciding on one brand of breakers over another?

  • Question: WHY would you possibly need/want AFCI/GFCI breakers for ALL circuits??? Apr 9 '15 at 11:10
  • @SpeedyPetey -- I'm in a house with 50+ year old electrical wiring and want maximal protection -- GFCI throughout is needed simply to conform to Code due to the lack of EGCs in 99.9% of the wiring, and arc fault protection is mandated in several places (bedroom, kitchen, laundry, living/dining) and seems (to me) like a wise idea throughout. Apr 9 '15 at 22:09

I am of the strong opinion that for a residential application it almost does not matter what brand you choose. They are all nearly the same, even QO and CH series. Sure, copper buss is nice, but not mandatory. I have seen and installed pretty much every major brand in the last 25 years or so, they are ALL ok.

I would choose something that you can get breakers and parts locally and easily.


I seem to recall avoiding "Square D Homeline" due to possible issues with the copper over aluminum buss bars. I considered trying to get an "interchange/nonproprietary" brand having seen some folks with obsolete panels flailing to find breakers, but ended up with Square D QO as both available, affordable and with a solid copper buss. I hope it turns out to be "non-niche" enough that I don't have problems down the road.

Apparently it's possible that one has to specify copper buss even on QO (there seems to be an option for that) or it varies by model and even some homeline units have copper buss.

  • Unless you are in a highly corrosive environment, such as very close to a coastline, an aluminum buss is absolutely fine. Apr 9 '15 at 11:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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