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If read carefully you can see that these web sites discuss US issues from the 1975 to 1982 period. The US agencies involved dropped the issues on lack of hard evidence.
The author of the web sites suggest that the tooling used to make the US Stab-lok breakers 20+ years ago is now used in Canada - let me assure you that no equipment was transferred from the US to Canada. At the time there were two seperate companies (Federal Pioneer Ltd in Canada and Federal Pacific Ltd in the US) manufacturing in seperate countries and under seperate design and engineering departments. Even though the beakers were similar in design, components were not interchageable from one to another.
Further the article suggests that our 1996 recall was some how related to the 1980 problem - let me assure you again it was not. In 1996 we introduced a product design change. Even though the product met and exceeded all of the testing requirements of CSA, we found some anomilies in the mechanism that could if all conditions existed, which was a very minute possibility, cause a safety hazard. We as a company voluntarily recalled all of the product from the market to eliminate any potential damges to our customers.
Every person we have had contact with in the US has indicated that the Inspector who recommends changing out his Stab-lok panel based on the info in these web sites is also associated with a contracting business and for a fee, quoted as $1500 to $3000 US, they will remove this "hazard" from their home. There have also been residents contact us, who get an inspection done in advance of selling their home proving it's in top condition and the Inspector writes up a report about the "bad" panel and are then essentially blackmailed into removing the panel because it's now in a written document as dangerous and will decrease the value of the property or render the propery unsalable.
Here is some information on out testing procedures:
- Our Circuit Breakers are designed to the applicable CSA standards and are tested by CSA as well as ourselves on a regular basis.
- Our circuit breakers are fundamentally designed to protect the building wire that connects the circuit breakers to the supply. The design is based on the fact that the energy that is passed through the breaker during an overload or short circuit must be limited by the breaker's tripping operation, to a level that will not damage the conductors.
The CSA test program as well as our inhouse test program confirms compliance with the regulatory requirements by conducting the following tests:
Initial Trip time confirmation
- The breaker is "over loaded" to a value of 135% of the current rating and the breaker must trip within one hour.
- The breaker is then "overloaded to a value of 200% of the current rating and the breaker must trip in typically in less than two minuets.
- The circuit breaker is overloaded to a current value of 6 times the rating ( but not less than 150 amp.) and switched 50 times.
- The circuit breaker is then placed in a 40 deg. C. ambient temperature and forced to carry 100% of the current rating until the circuit breaker reaches thermal equilibrium. Temperatures are recorded and must be below the maximum temp. limits of the requirements.
- The circuit breaker is switched 10,000 operation and is then subjected to a short circuit current of 1,500 amp.
- After completing the switching operations and the short circuit test the circuit breaker is subjected the Trip Time Confirmation test again.
Short Circuit Tests
- The circuit breaker is subjected to at least two short circuit tests as applicable to the current rating of the circuit breaker.
- Typical short circuit levels are 5,000 amp, 10,000 amp and 22,000 amp. for StabLok circuit breakers.
- The circuit breaker is then subjected to the Trip Time Confirmation tests
Dielectric Strength Test
- After the completion of each of the test above the circuit breaker is subjected to a dielectric strength test at 1,400 Vac to ensure that there is no breakdown of insulation when the breaker is in the off or tripped position.
We also offer AFCI Circuit breakers and GFCI Circuit Breakers to further enhance the protection offered by our products. In some cases electrical faults do not produce enough energy to trip circuit breakers, however this energy is well below the energy that would damage the supply conductors. Our AFCI and GFCI Combination Circuit breakers are designed to trip at current levels below the trip current threshold of standard circuit breakers and therefore offer enhanced protection for fault currents below that which regular circuit breakers require to trip.
Product Support Supervisor
Schneider Electric Rexwood Location
Technical Library - www.schneider-electric.ca