circuit breaker and service panel mismatch

An electrician told us that our circuit breakers (ITE) doesn't match with our service panel (Westinghouse). He said it's a violation of code. He recommended that we should have them replaced.
I was trying to get some information on this. But couldn't find much from the web, e.g.,
1) Is the mistmatch a serious problem? 2) What brand circuit breaker can match what brand panel?
Any information on this is appreciated.
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My 200 amp panel has a sticker on the door listing all compatible breakers and it is a long list. They all seem to have a 3 or 4 letter model like gfcb, hcb etc. which are various mfgr's models that are essentially square D clones, if they fit and work, I fail to see the problem, but I'm not a code writer.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Talk to your local code enforcement office or better yet write them wiht a clear concise explanation of your question. IFF the breakrs fit properly and are entrapped sufficiently, there should not be a problem. What did he indicate as a reason for them not being the right breakers? In other words, how did he determine it? That might tell you a lot. Me made the statement, let him justify it for your own understanding.
Then let us know, OK? <g>
Pop
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

What you need to find out is if the breaker is "classified" to be used in that panel.
A good site to learn more is http://www.mikeholt.com/code_forum/showthread.php?ti718
Good luck
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Sounds like bullshit to me. For many name brand panels there are generic breakers made to fit.
cm

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Yes it does sound like that but the truth of the matter is that if the breaker is not rated for the box it will not pass inspection and does not meet code.
That doesn't mean they won't plug into the box and work properly. They may very well do that. But if they don't and there is a problem you could be on the short end of the stick.
Colbyt
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Eaton seems to have the license to produce the former Westinghouse breakers, I know because I have 3 Westinghouse panels. Look for a code on the back of the panel face plate.

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On 7 Jul 2006 08:51:22 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Yes, if the manufacture has not certified any other breakers for their panel, other than their own, there might not be any UL testing.
Rather than spout cryies of fire, electricution, or doom and gloom. Give your home insurance provider, and ask them, is it ok to use NON-UL tested/listed component combinations, and will they NOT null & void your coverage for loss of life and/or property damage associated with such actions.

Tyically the own manufactures make and model breakers will work with their own make and model breakers. Example, Square-D QO Panels use Square-D QO breakers.
Some manufactures have tested 'partner' components and have an aproved list. Contact the manufacture, and find out what they 'approve'.

imho, and always follow all electrical codes.
tom
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

This is a frequent topic of discussion on electrical and home inspection boards, see for example:
http://www.mikeholt.com/code_forum/showthread.php?tX878&highlight=mixing+breakers
http://www.inspectionnews.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000074.html

where IMO it is a matter of concern. Some examples:
1)The AHJ wants it a certain way. For example on new work the city inspector in a nearby community says: "Breakers must be from the same manufacturer as the panel." Agree in theory or not: "End of Story".
2a) The panel manufacturer labels the panel as requiring that only breakers from that manufacturer be installed in the panel. The issue here is: do you want to knowingly court even a small possibility that you might find yourself in a fight with the insurance company and/or electrical if contractor there is a electrical-related fire?
2b) Same issue if the manufacturer lists acceptable replacements, and yours is not listed.
3) There is an obvious issue with a factor such as mechanical fit, for example the breaker does not appear to be seating fully as it releases with unusually low effort. (There is at least one panel/breaker combination where the breakers have a nasty habit of pooping out as the deadfront is removed.)
4) The breaker is third-party replacement for a breaker in a panel no longer manufactured and regarded by some in the industry as suspect (for example some Federal Pacific products). The issue here is the debatable reliability and safety of the entire panel/breaker assembly - you have to decide if you wish to run what some industry sources regard as an unacceptably high risk.
5) There is a economic incentive to replace rather than repair. An example would be one of several older brands of panels for which replacement breakers are quite expensive; if a breaker fails and you decide it's prudent to replace the others at $30-50 each replacement with a modern panel and breakers may be an attractive option.
Michael Thomas Paragon Home Inspection LLC, Chicago IL mdtATparagoninspectsDOTcom
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