Choosing 200amp breaker box

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Old 04-22-16, 02:16 PM
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Choosing 200amp breaker box

I'm not sure if this is considered a dumb question or not, but here it goes...There are different options on breaker boxes. Are their certain options other than the amount of spaces that are important to have when choosing a 200 amp breaker box for a shop? Do you recommend copper bus bars?
 
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Old 04-22-16, 05:07 PM
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Most name brand panels are good. I do like certain panels over others. Ones I like are (in order of preference):
Siemens
Square D Homeline
Square D QO
Cutler hammer CH

Ones I tend to stay away from:
GE
Cutler Hammer/Eaton BR

Copper buses are better then aluminum. I like to go with larger panels as one of the most common question here is "I need more spaces, how do I do it"? Some panels will say 30 space 40 circuit or 30 space 60 circuit, spaces are more important then circuits because if you are using AFCI or GFCI breakers they require a full space. This might not be an issue in your shop though.

Lately I have found some Siemens panels lacking a neutral bar on one side of their panels. I find this to be a very poor cost cutting decision by the company so watch out for that.
 
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Old 04-22-16, 07:21 PM
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Thank you, Tolyn! I am so glad I found this forum! You guys are a great source of information!
 
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Old 04-24-16, 12:03 PM
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I actually like the Eaton/Cutler-Hammer BR series panels with the copper bus option. Not all catalog numbers have the copper option, but quite a few do. The Square D Homeline falls near the bottom of my preferences because it only comes with standard aluminum bus with no copper option. Overall I tend to also avoid Square D because of the way they have done business since they were acquired by French owned Schneider Electric. I used to swear by Square D, but now I mostly swear at them. I like Siemens, but also watch carefully to be sure I am getting their copper bus panels and not the aluminum. Overall, I believe the best constructed panel is the Eaton/Cutler-Hammer CH series. This is the only panel that comes standard with silver plated copper bus.
 
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