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Old 10-06-2011, 05:25 PM   #1
ixlr8
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Default Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

I am having the breaker panel replaced in my house, I have an old FP panel and I need to add some breakers and I figure it is time to replace the old fire hazard. I have decided to put in a Square D panel, I was going to go with a QO panel.. my electrician is recommending I install a Homeline panel to save myself some money. So I have these questions, with the exception of the QO's being narrower and having a trip indicator...
Is there any difference in level of protection between the Homeline and QO breakers? Is it really worth paying 2x for the QO line vs the Homeline?

TIA
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

Quote:
Originally Posted by ixlr8 View Post
I am having the breaker panel replaced in my house, I have an old FP panel and I need to add some breakers and I figure it is time to replace the old fire hazard. I have decided to put in a Square D panel, I was going to go with a QO panel.. my electrician is recommending I install a Homeline panel to save myself some money. So I have these questions, with the exception of the QO's being narrower and having a trip indicator...
Is there any difference in level of protection between the Homeline and QO breakers? Is it really worth paying 2x for the QO line vs the Homeline?

TIA

no reason not to go with the Homeline breakers, they are fine for residential use.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:31 PM   #3
Alchymist
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

There's a reason for that price difference - the QO is a better quality panel.
The HO is an adequate panel, but I chose the QO. The HO panel has aluminum buss bars, the QO has tinned copper bars. One is considered commercial, and one is homeowner. For a onetime extra cost, I think it's worth the difference. YMMV.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

Then again, anything new is better than FP.....
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

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Originally Posted by Alchymist View Post
There's a reason for that price difference - the QO is a better quality panel.
The HO is an adequate panel, but I chose the QO. The HO panel has aluminum buss bars, the QO has tinned copper bars. One is considered commercial, and one is homeowner. For a onetime extra cost, I think it's worth the difference. YMMV.
neither one has copper buss. you would have to get into a QOB panel or a or a QO Panelboard instead of the Load Centers. none of which will be in a homeowners budget.

although SQD's website say they have tinned copper, pretty sure almost all of them i've installed were alum buss.

Last edited by Gooch; 10-06-2011 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:50 PM   #6
Alchymist
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

From Schnieder's website:

"The QO load center and circuit breaker family is designed to satisfy individual requirements with a comprehensive selection: Exclusive shielded copper bus features electro tin plated copper bus bars sandwiched between two rugged polymer shields to insulate and secure the interior".

It's here:
http://products.schneider-electric.u...-load-centers/

Guess I'll have to go check mine?
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

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Originally Posted by Gooch View Post
neither one has copper buss. you would have to get into a QOB panel or a or a QO Panelboard instead of the Load Centers. none of which will be in a homeowners budget.

although SQD's website say they have tinned copper, pretty sure almost all of them i've installed were alum buss.
Are there any QO combination meter main/load center that you have seen?
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

I've been selling Square D equipment for 29 years.... I'd take a QO Loadcenter over the Homeline anyday.. You should never have to worry about it. I would recommend installing a Surge Protector in the new loadcenter... hopefully the others will agree with me on this..
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

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Are there any QO combination meter main/load center that you have seen?
Just Homoline, the QO combos were dropped when the HOM frame breakers was introduced.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

QO is what I spec for my new builds, sometimes when the HO wants to save money we'll change to Homeline or Eaton BR, junk. For a one time expense, go wih the best.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:43 PM   #11
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

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Are there any QO combination meter main/load center that you have seen?
not used around here. Services here are a seperate meter box mounted outside the building, with the panel inside the dwelling.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:50 PM   #12
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

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QO is what I spec for my new builds, sometimes when the HO wants to save money we'll change to Homeline or Eaton BR, junk. For a one time expense, go wih the best.
Then you would have to use a Cutler - Hammer "Classic" panel, QO panels for the last 25 years have been cheesy.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

I have two QO panels at home and a Homeline in a barn at my farm. Both work well and no problems with either one. Yea, the QO is an upgrade. A Cadillac is an upgrade over a Chevy, but both get you where you are going. Want to go in style?
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:33 AM   #14
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

I have been in the electrical supply business since 1973. My family has owned the same supply house since 1936. We have been Square D distributors since the 1940's. While we are now a Square D premier distributor and only carry their load centers, we did carry Murray, Federal Pacific, Bryant, Challenger and Cutler Hammer years ago. While the Homeline is a fine breaker, the QO has the fastest trip mechanism of any breaker. Years ago we had a device designed to compare which breakers tripped the fastest. It tested all the major brands at the time, including GE and those mentioned above. It also pitted each breaker against a plug fuse. The plug fuse was always the fastest trip against any breaker mechanism due to it's simplicity. But hands down the QO tripped fastest among ALL of the circuit breakers EVERY time. QO, incidentally stands for "quick open" and it's not just advertising hype. Anyone who has handled hot wires and accidentally shorted a circuit and not had the breaker trip instantly as is typical with most brands know what I am talking about. So why skimp on a device that is designed to protect your life? I find it amusing that customers who have just spent tens of thousands of dollars on granite countertops, expensive cabinets, and other items for their remodel or building project will complain about the cost of a smoke alarm or circuit breaker.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

ixlr8. sorry I don't have anything to add to this thread. Just curious what steps it takes to replace a panel? Im guessing talk to the power company, have them turn off the power at the pole, then you can replace, then get it turned back on?
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:34 PM   #16
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

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Originally Posted by raley View Post
ixlr8. sorry I don't have anything to add to this thread. Just curious what steps it takes to replace a panel? Im guessing talk to the power company, have them turn off the power at the pole, then you can replace, then get it turned back on?
Basically, yeah. In most areas they actually disconnect the power at the pole.

Around here, the power company requires an inspection for most things before turning the power back on. My exterior service just failed and I had to replace it, in doing so I added a 100A outdoor breaker directly off the meter. Now, when I have to replace my panels in the house (which is on the to-do list) I can disconnect it outside.

I have a lock on both the main breaker (QO) and the enclosure, to be extra sure nobody turns it back on while I'm working (Or the house off while I'm not!)
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:53 PM   #17
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

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Originally Posted by climbabout View Post
I have been in the electrical supply business since 1973. My family has owned the same supply house since 1936. We have been Square D distributors since the 1940's. While we are now a Square D premier distributor and only carry their load centers, we did carry Murray, Federal Pacific, Bryant, Challenger and Cutler Hammer years ago. While the Homeline is a fine breaker, the QO has the fastest trip mechanism of any breaker. Years ago we had a device designed to compare which breakers tripped the fastest. It tested all the major brands at the time, including GE and those mentioned above. It also pitted each breaker against a plug fuse. The plug fuse was always the fastest trip against any breaker mechanism due to it's simplicity. But hands down the QO tripped fastest among ALL of the circuit breakers EVERY time. QO, incidentally stands for "quick open" and it's not just advertising hype. Anyone who has handled hot wires and accidentally shorted a circuit and not had the breaker trip instantly as is typical with most brands know what I am talking about. So why skimp on a device that is designed to protect your life? I find it amusing that customers who have just spent tens of thousands of dollars on granite countertops, expensive cabinets, and other items for their remodel or building project will complain about the cost of a smoke alarm or circuit breaker.
Tim
I believe the "quick open" feature is only on 15 and 20A breakers, and I don't believe that QO stands for quick open, though it may.

I'm surprised you are not aware that the Homeline and QO breakers are one and the same, at least for recent times. They will have the same trip curves and performance characteristics. I believe that they used to be different, as I used to have better luck with the QO breakers. I've had many CH and Homeline breakers fail over the years, not particularly frequently, but it has happened. Only one QO failure, and most of my panels are QO.

Both QO, Homeline and CH are great products IMO. I prefer the QO, and then the Homeline due to the layout and features of each.
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:17 PM   #18
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

dont go Homeline my old panle was that had 2 15 amp brakers melt into it. my buddy who has been doing wireing for years has relaced more Homeline ones then fp due to probs
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:31 AM   #19
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

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dont go Homeline my old panle was that had 2 15 amp brakers melt into it. my buddy who has been doing wireing for years has relaced more Homeline ones then fp due to probs

nope
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:34 AM   #20
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Default Re: Square D breakers- Homeline vs QO

I like the QO breakers because I find them in every store that carries any kind of circuit breaker. On top of that, if you need something odd, like a 50A single-pole breaker you can find it.

Even though the QO breakers are narrower, they do make tandem breakers for them, if that's a concern.
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