I get a lot of questions about which panelboards, 200A, are the best to install. Most of them are looking at long life and low maintenance. We are forced to use a specfic brand at my shop and I was hoping that maybe some of the people on this board might have one they like better than others. I always tell them to skip the cheaper brands anyway.
I have used them all. I like the new Siemens panels and breakers. All the screws are backed out. I think they call it speedwire. You never realize what a good idea the simple things can be until you try them. Also like the homeline panels from SQ D. I beleive if they work as they are suposed to than no panel is really any better than another. If someone can prove otherwise please do.
I have used all of them but I am partial to Siemens, one is the most obvious the price, I get exceptionally great prices, also the Siemens panels are series rated. Best of all IMO is the bus arrangement one on either and a tie bar that is removable if it needs to be made into a sub-panel. GE is the closet wiht their parallel bus arrangement but it is set off the bottom, and will use them only if it is requested. The new Siemens panels have cut the length of there neutral bus in half and now they only give you 14 holes per side for a 20 space panel. Where they used to give almost 25. Thats how I see it. -Mark-
Fireftr, I use Square D exclusively and have not had any problems. Used to use C/H but the I got a better price on the Square D @ the blue house place. Also there is better access to the Square D breakers in my area. Don't like the cheap Murray panels though.
I used Siemens, C/H, and Sq.D. I like Siemens the best. The Ground and neutral bars are on opposite sides. Not stacked right on top of eachother like Sq.d and C/H. I can only say this about residential panels, because I have no commercial exp. or any clue if the panels are the same.
We install over 100 panels a year, both residential and multi family. I have had great luck with the GE gold line series. A little cheaper than a QO and a bit more than a Homeline. Had two bad 30A DP's and one bad 20A SP. Not a bad record for the thousands I have installed over the years. Just stay away from their small panels (6 to 12 cir). They are not built as rugged. As for the 32 or 40 cir, true split neutral / grounding buss. MBJ removes in about 5 seconds with 3/8 nut driver or common screwdriver. Ground lug factory installed. Plenty of gutter space for wire bending and a pretty good KO layout with a 1 1/4" ko on right and left sides. Hope my Square Dog rep never sees this!
GE mostly in residential, have had no problems and I like the ground/neutral bus arrangement. SQ D in commercial work, hate the neutral bus location on SQ D... Cutler Hammer is available for me, and I like the trip curves (comparable to SQ D) but the darn neutral bus is placed so that a screwdriver cannot be square with the screws and are more likely to strip. Who designed that?!?!
-Virgil Residential/Commercial Inspector 5 Star Inspections Member IAEI