Square D QO (vs) Seimens

tom_in_scJuly 31, 2006

I had decided to use Square D QO panel and breakers until someone at the electrical supply house suggested using Seimens instead. Then I priced them - Wow! Square D QO is about twice the cost for both the load center and breakers. Is the Square D equipment really that much better? What would you recommend? What do you professionals actually use?

Thank you!

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Try doing a search on this forum for Siemens or Square D and you'll come up with quite a few threads that discuss this. It seems to be a personal preference with no concensus one way or the other.

Here is a link that might be useful: search

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 11:53AM
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Square D is like buying a Suv; Safe, Nice, but expensive. Seimens is like buing a Geo Metro; Cheap but can be deadly.
I prefer using Square D but thats just because i stick my face in a panel every day. If price is an issue go with seimens they do the exact same job.

Here is a link that might be useful: M8 Electric Solutions

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 4:28PM
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"Here is a link that might be useful: M8 Electric Solutions"

How is a link to an electrician and his company in Minneapolis useful unless you need an electrician in Minneapolis? Isn't this just called free advertising on a help forum?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 5:52PM
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Did you get quotes from multiple supply houses? It is possible that if you only got a quote from a single supply house they may not carry Square D as an "A" line.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 6:14PM
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Square D is like buying a Suv ...

Dunno that I agree with that. I definitely don't agree with the implication that Siemens makes unsafe panels. I don't see any evidence for that. (I also don't buy the contention that small cars are unsafe, but this isn't the place to get into that discussion!)

I'd say Square D (despite the American name) is like a VW - big name, a pretty good rep for some elements of design, and somewhat overpriced considering it's made in Mexico. Siemens (despite the European name) is more like a Ford - serviceable, competitively priced, and not spectacular in any way.

I like Square D and I use their products, but I'll admit that they are rather overpriced.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 6:53PM
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I pretty much agree with DavidR, although I do NOT prefer Sq D's QO series panels.

I do STRONGLY disagree with harvey79's statements comparing Siemens to a cheap tinny unsafe car. This is WAY/> off base. I'd like to see one REAL electrician who agrees with him. I'd also like to see some real documentation supporting his claims.

Bigbird, I agree with you!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 9:27PM
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Isn't it against the rules on this forum to advertise for your business? I always thought it was?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 9:50PM
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If that actually is his business, why would some big shot Minneapolis based union outfit need to advertise on a gardening web site.
Business that slow?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 10:12PM
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Man you guys are harsh. The guy asked for an opinion and I gave him one. My choice is based off of experience with both panels. As for the link, I thought my friends link could help him if he wanted to talk to a contractor directly. Do you know were this guy lives? I thought if he were in MN he could be of some benefit.Sorry for upsetting some people these are just my professional veiws, and yes Square D is Expensive.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 11:20AM
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Do you have any facts to back your trashing of a reputable company (Siemens)?

What do you think the chances are the OP is in Mn?
He IS talking to several contractors at the same time by coming here, and other sites like this. You don't get a more diverse collection of opinions and experience.
And yes, it did seem like advertising.

We are not being harsh, just realistic.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 11:44AM
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I'd say the chances are about 1-in-50 :-) However, look at my userid. My name is Tom and I am in SC. I very much appreciate the diverse opinions and experience.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 11:54AM
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tom_in_sc. Makes sense.

Ok, duh. I'm real alert today.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 12:20PM
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Yeah, but you have probably forgotten more about electrical stuff than I ever knew. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 12:35PM
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Your friend's website? Why did you sign your name:

M8 Electric

in another thread (linked below) if it is just your friend's website? Admit it ... you were just advertising your own company and got called on it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Another thread with Harvey's ad

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 12:46PM
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I was installing circuit breaker panels before the QO series was introduced. The previous SqD breakers were the XO, which was direct interchange with the same series from CH. The QO was big improvement in many ways. My involvement in the trade conntinues to this day. It is my experience that the Seimens (formerly ITE) are more likely to lose proper contact with the buss bars in the panel than are the QO breakers. I have experienced the fewest problems with the QO and the Cutler-Hammer CH series.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 12:50PM
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M8 Electric"


    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 1:11PM
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Just last week I had my panel upgraded...had two estimates. One guy used Sq D QO and the other GE Powermark Gold, each one swearing they were "the best". Since both estimates were fairly close in price, I decided to go to my local electrical supply house which carries 5 brands to compare. I liked the GE better. The mounting rails inside were steel, not flimsy plastic like the QO panel. Also the QO had a strange layout inside whereby the neutral tie bar was on top directly under the hot incoming main lines....didn't look like a very smart design to me. Also the GE panel and breakers were American made and the QO was made in Mexico.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 4:15PM
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Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I'm basically in the same situation trying to decide between Square D QO and Seimens, and Square D Homeline is also an option. QO is clearly more expensive but not ridiculously so. Is there really little to no difference in these from a consumer's standpoint? I saw some people noted above that Square D is made in Mexico, where are Siemens made? Most of the hardware places I go to don't seem to carry anything from Siemens. For long-term maintenace or additions is any one better than another? There must be some kind of difference between the QO and Homeline otherwise what would be the point having two models.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 8:41PM
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Now that this old post is back from the dead I'll add my two cents. For the homeowner it really shouldn't matter too much what panel your electrician uses provided it is appropriate for the application. It's more personal preference of the installer... which panel he is used to and likes to work with. I'd say that all products form the major manufacturers are of good, safe quality.

I wouldnÂt tell an electrician who has been installing CH for his entire carear to use QO just because of what someone else has to say about it

If you trust your electrician... trust his choice of product.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 9:09PM
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The later versions of QO have the trip indicator- an orange flag shows in the window if the breaker trips. Homeline does not have that feature. I have found far more instances of breaker failure with Siemens than with the QO. Homeline and Siemens are about the same quality in my opinion along with Cutler Hammer BR series. Cutler Hammer CH and the QO are my first choices.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 7:13AM
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Thanks for the feedback, if there's more, I'd still be glad to hear it. The electrician I am working with said that those are the three he's comfortable working on, and as was already said, I'm starting to realize that they are all about equally safe products. I was digging around on the Square D website, and it sounds like the QO breakers are smaller and they have a greater variety of types than the Homeline (not that those things probably matter much for my application). I haven't had the chance to browse what Siemens has yet.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 1:30PM
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I am not an electrician just a homeowner that has done some tinkering around. in my last house that was 20 some years old I had squareD QO breakers. I liked them mostly because of the little window that showed bright orange so you could find a tripped breaker quickly. I did have a problem with my A/C and the hot wire getting just a bit loose where it screws on to the breaker. it would cause the breaker to trip untill I figured it out. after I tighened it I never had an issue for a few years untill I sold it.

My new house is a 2 unit thats 100 years old. the services have been upgraged to 100 amp seimens panels and seimens QP breakers before I bought it. I have done a little work on them and they seem ok to me. I only miss the little window the QO series had.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 8:32AM
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I personaly think we are talking about 2 differnt things For some price rules. I have been wiring for about 30 years. Here we have SqD, Westinghouse, Frank Adams, GE, Siemans and a couple of other names I dont use. I bought a home with a new GE panel and removed it to install a SqDQO before we moved in. SQD if any thing may be a little touchy with tripping quick. Rather that than not at all. And my wife likes the red window identifying the triped breaker. At our local parts house we had a demo a few years back that had a receptical fed by several name brand breakers. The point was to stick a paper clip into the recep and check the reaction time of the breakers. The SqD triped immediatly. The GE, Westinghouse and others fed the current to the point the paper clip burnt in 2. I thought that was a fluke and returned with 3 breakers from my truck. All tested the same. I buy SqD. I have been involved in other instances where GE fed the short and did not trip. With the new SqDHOM series you get the same tripping characteristics with out the red window and price competative with the others

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 10:27PM
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aww heck with all this.

square D QOB breakers. Never have to worry about the pinch overheating and getting loose. If money is not object, that's the way to go for me.

I actually prefer square D products over the others. They "feel" better generally. They tend to be more definate in their actions although I can;t really badmouth the others too much. It is more a personal preference. I have had an experinece similar to genr8rs experience although it was with GE. Always had my doubts about them since then.

For a homeowner most of them all will do just fine.

BTW: you might check the big box stores. Around here some of the Lowes carry a good supply of Square D and because of their size and purchasing power, there prices can sometimes beat our "special dealer" pricing we get at our main Square D dealer. (you get a better price at your registered Sq. D dealer than you do at other Sq D dealers)

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 11:58PM
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The comfort is in knowing that all of these products are CSA, UL, etc. approved. So if a breaker does not trip and the house burns down. You can relax knowing that the devices were fully compliant. Roast a weenie for me!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 8:03PM
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