Every house has breaker boxes that control the volume of current your home uses. Breaker boxes have breakers that protect you by tripping in the event of an overload, shutting the power off. Breaker boxes come in various brands. General Electric is one of the most prominent brands in the world. But if your GE breaker stops working, do you have to buy another GE breaker as a replacement? Can you rely on breakers from different brands?
Ge Compatible Breaker
GE breakers are compatible with Cutler-Hammer, Eaton, Siemens, Murray, Challenger, & Westinghouse
GE panels can work with other brands. The average contractor will encourage you to replace GE breakers with other GE breakers. But you can pair GE panels with breakers from other brands if you can locate compatible options.
1). Square D
Square D and GE breakers are not interchangeable. This is because square D does not make classified breakers. The term ‘Classified Breakers’ refers to breakers that manufacturers have made to work in panels from different brands.
The documentation square D has released thus far doesn’t encourage anyone to use their breakers in panels from other brands.
That hasn’t stopped people from using square D breakers in GE panels. But those who do so should know that square D doesn’t support their activities. In fact, interchanging square D breakers with GE breakers could affect your warranty.
Cutler hammer breakers are interchangeable, not only with GE but also Siemens, Homeline, and Murray, to mention but a few.
But you should check the cutler hammer manual to see if the manufacturer thinks that Cutler-Hammer and GE are compatible. Manufacturers usually provide a list of brands in whose panels their breakers can work.
Eaton makes classified breakers that work in GE panels. GE and Eaton breakers can fit in the same panel.
However, some discourage the use of Eaton breakers in GE panels because GE panels are not included in the list of brands with whom Eaton breakers can work. But many people have used GE and Eaton breakers in the same panel.
You can interchange Siemens breakers with GE. The brands are compatible with one another. But you have to interchange breakers with the same amp and voltage ratings. You could start a fire if you mismatch the size and voltage requirements, regardless of GE’s compatibility with Siemens.
Murray is interchangeable with GE breakers. Nail-On GE breakers can work with Murray.
If you have a challenger panel, you will probably look for breakers from different brands once your challenger breakers malfunction. Challenger replacements are difficult to find because the manufacturer stopped making the panels back in 1994.
Fortunately, the challenger is compatible with GE, Murray, and square D. If you want to use a legally acceptable replacement, your best bet is Cutler Hammer.
Challenger went through the hands of several companies after going out of business. One of those companies was Eaton/Cutler-Hammer. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that challenger is compatible with Eaton, cutler hammer, and square D.
Westinghouse breakers are compatible with Cutler-Hammer. This is encouraging because you can interchange Cutler Hammer with GE and square D. Therefore, you can comfortably conclude that GE is compatible with Westinghouse.
How To Check Compatibility of GE Breaker With Other Breakers?
Check The Panel
It should have labeling that shows the breakers that can work with the panel. You usually have a list of a dozen or more breakers that fit the panel. The manufacturer wants you to stick with the breakers they have listed. Using a breaker from the wrong brand can void your warranty in some situations.
Ask The Manufacturer
More often than not, the manufacturer expects consumers to use panels and breakers from the same brand. In other words, if you have a GE panel, GE wants you to use GE breakers.
GE has breakers that can work in panels from other brands. But they don’t want you to put breakers from those other brands in their panels. However, don’t assume that every GE breaker works in every GE panel. This is the mistake people make. Some manufacturers have models of breakers that will only fit specific types of panels.
Don’t assume that a breaker will fit any random panel if it is the same manufacturer. If you have queries, check the GE website. Better yet, reach out to them. Send them pictures of the panel, and they will show you the breaker that can work with it.
Use UL-Classified Breakers
Third-party breakers that work in GE panels are called UL-Classified breakers. GE did not make these breakers. Additionally, it did not commission other companies to make those breakers.
Those companies made breakers that can work in a GE panel. Then they sent the devices to Underwriters Laboratories, who tested them to prove that they could safely work in a GE panel.
Now, they are listed as compatible breakers for GE panels. The same thing happens with GE breakers. If Underwriters Laboratories has said that a particular GE breaker can work in your Murray Panel, you can interchange those GE and Murray breakers.
If the breaker in question is not UL-listed, you should approach it with caution. While it may work, you have no reason to trust it. Some companies will tell you that their panels will only accept breakers from their brand. But that is because they don’t want you to buy a competitor’s breakers.
That being said, you are better off using panels and breakers from the same brand. GE understands its technology better than anyone. Therefore, you can trust them to make the best breakers for their panels.
Is It Safe To Use GE Breaker With Other Breakers?
A GE breaker may fit in a panel from another brand, but that doesn’t mean they function the same way. Some individuals buy interchange brands because they want to save money. But if you fit a GE panel with a poorly made breaker, you could start a fire. GE manufacturers take every conceivable danger into account when making breakers for their panels.
You cannot trust a manufacturer from another brand to consider those same factors when making breakers that can fit GE panels.
Breakers from different brands have unique designs that can cause malfunctions if you fit them in the wrong panel. Some manufacturers won’t give you a choice in the matter. Their breakers have unique mounting mechanisms that are only compatible with panels from the same brand.
The people at The Spruce hate the practice of fitting panels with breakers from different brands. They want consumers to stick with the same manufacturer when buying breakers and panels.