QO vs. HOM circuit breakers: differences?


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Old 02-03-09, 08:38 PM
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QO vs. HOM circuit breakers: differences?

I'm having a surprisingly tough time finding an answer to this question, and want to make sure I'm not missing anything.

For all intents, Square D QO and HOM style breakers are *functionally* identical, other than the HOM lacks the little red "flag" that displays when a breaker popped. Correct?

The reason I ask is because I'm looking for a small box to use as a sub panel, and the HOM box is $15 whereas the QO box is $30 -- thought they both appear to have identical features.

The price of the breakers appear to be about equal.

Is there any good reason to choose one style over the other? I'm leaning towards QO, mainly because of the red flag.
 
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Old 02-03-09, 08:43 PM
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The QO series uses a copper buss in the panels vs the aluminum buss on the Homeline.

The breaker internals are the same. The difference is in the mounting, physical size and the Visi-trip flag.

If the QO breaker is the same price as the Homeline something sounds mis-priced. QO is normally about 2x the price of Homeline breakers.
 
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Old 02-03-09, 10:19 PM
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Thanks for that.

Due to space constraints between studs, I'm going with a fairly narrow box with 6 spaces. Six is probably all I'll need, but...

In the interest of future expansion, is there any reason NOT to go with tandem QOT breakers now? This could allow me to reserve one or maybe two slots for some silly project in the future.
 
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Old 02-03-09, 10:23 PM
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The QO breaker is the better of the 2 breakers, panel interiors of either one are cheap/cheesy plastic but one should use the same manufacturer & type for all panels in a building unless it's is a obsolete line such as Zinsco/Sylvania, FPE , ITE Pushmatic.
 
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Old 02-04-09, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Norcal View Post

...one should use the same manufacturer & type for all panels in a building...
Is that "should" as in "one should not walk through Christian Bale's line when shooting a scene on-set," or as in "the NEC says one should use similar types..."?
 
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Old 02-04-09, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by speede541 View Post
... is there any reason NOT to go with tandem QOT breakers now? This could allow me to reserve one or maybe two slots for some silly project in the future.
At least in my area (Chicago and suburbs) some AHJs don't allow them (big hassle for me as a home inspector, because I inspect it around 80 different communities) - the reasoning is that tandem breakers encourage people to create multiwire circuits with the ungrounded ("hot") conductors on the same phase.
 
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Old 02-04-09, 06:23 AM
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There is no code article that says all the panels need to match on the same site. But having all the same equipment makes it easy to be familiar with it instead of needing to know multiple brands.
 
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Old 02-04-09, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
At least in my area (Chicago and suburbs) some AHJs don't allow them (big hassle for me as a home inspector, because I inspect it around 80 different communities) - the reasoning is that tandem breakers encourage people to create multiwire circuits with the ungrounded ("hot") conductors on the same phase.
Roger that. I'll double check with a local electrician to cover my bases.

But operationally, there would be no reason not to, presuming it is permitted?
 
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Old 02-04-09, 09:58 AM
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Based on the NEC you can use the tandem breakers as long as you follow the manufacturer's specification. Sometimes the panels can only accept tandems in certain slots on the panel such as a 30/40. This type of panel can only accept tandems in the bottom 10 slots.
 
 

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