Square D Homeline Quality Issues
I know that Square D QO series generally gets good reviews, but I'm not convinced that the Homeline series is really that good. I think brickeyee can probably give me a good answer to this, but here's the problem. I've been talking about this subpanel on here on another thread, and it has been a headache. First, in early 2008 we had some electricians install a new 100 amp main panel. They used the Homeline series, and it's worked fine. Now, I decided to put the sump pumps, refrigerator, microwave, etc... on separate circuits, so I installed a subpanel. I thought it would be best to install a subpanel made by the same company as the main panel, so I purchased a Homeline subpanel. I installed it and decided to go with 6 awg wire 50 AMP service. I ran the 6 awg wire into the subpanel and screwed it down to the lugs just like every electrical book says to do. The cable came in from the top and each wire went to the proper lug. I don't have a torque screwdriver and from what I understand, 95% of electricians don't use them either. I can't even find one except online. I had an electrician come and check everything and he said it looked fine. I used 2 tandem breakers in the panel also, which it is designed to handle a maximum of 6 tandems (and yes, I used the right ones). I came back about 6 months later and found some major problems. First, the top hot bus bar had broken loose from the plastic. The left screw was completely loose and the right one was still tight. Obviously, the 6 awg wire had put enough pressure on it to break it loose. Now, this subpanel is rated to handle 2 awg wire. If 6 awg wire could break it loose, just imagine the damage 2 awg could do. Then, I noticed that the plastic tab that helps seat the breakers had broken off of one of the slots where a tandem breaker was seated. The breaker still held in tightly, but it was obvious that something was just not right with this subpanel. I had some other electricians come and look at this and they recommended replacing the guts of the subpanel. So, I went and bought another one and replaced it. I paid TWICE for this! At first, I thought maybe I did something wrong, but I read another threat on another forum about a Homeline panel's neutral bus bar breaking off (it was a main panel not a subpanel). This makes me wonder about the quality of Homeline. Since then, I replaced the guts and took out the 6 awg wire and replaced it with 10 awg and derated the subpanel from 50 down to 30 amp service. I also quit using Tandem Breakers and just combined some of the circuits under single pole breakers. I haven't had any problems since, but this doesn't make any sense. This subpanel is supposed to handle tandem breakers and 2 awg wire (100 amp service). I've seen several pictures on the internet of this subpanel loaded with tandem breakers. Any thoughts???