Can You Tell if This is Circuit Breaker is Counterfeit?

February 5, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

The odds are you can not tell one way or the other. 

It is very hard to tell if a circuit breaker is counterfeit but there is a way if you are not sure.

At the end of the article you will find a link to Eaton’s Power Edge for Cutler Hammer Circuit Breakers.

Here are some important things to know if you purchase Circuit Breakers.

  1. If the manufacture can offer you the product you need and fill your needs in the time frame needed, contact an Authorized Distributor.
  2. If an Authorized Distributor can not meet your time frame, you can contact a re-seller of Circuit Breakers but you must make sure they are well established and trustworthy.
  3. How can I tell if they are honest and reliable? If you use a well established company with experienced sales personnel and an experienced receiving manager, you are halfway there. To be a specialist in Circuit Breakers takes time and knowledge. It does not come easy and can take years to learn to identify the parts and know what the labels should look like. I mentioned established because the manufactures labels change. It could be the positioning of the information, date codes, interrupting capacities, seals on the side to verify the circuit breaker has not been opened or modified, holograms or a form of silicone or tar on the screws so they are not tampered with.
  4. Purchase your Circuit Breakers from a stocking distributor. Most stocking distributors inspect, receive and package the Circuit Breakers for sale. The parts come off their shelves. They know where they came from, the condition it is in, the supplier that they purchased it from and are more likely to spot fakes. Experienced re-sellers are more likely to spot Authentic parts that are damaged or have been wet. The reason they can is because of the manufactures packaging, weight how the mechanism switched on and off and even the screws.
  5. Do not purchase off Ebay or Amazon unless you know the supplier and their history. I am not talking about reviews. Getting Excellent reviews from customers is easy. All they want is to save money on the parts. They do not know how the Circuit Breaker will function or is Authentic, they just need the part. Also with Amazon and Ebay, you will never know the parts history or if it had been returned because it is defective. The circuit breaker may have been recalled or the cover may have been changed so it may not be the correct AIC or Voltage.

Take a good look at the image below.


I have enlarged the manufactures description so it is easier to tell if this is fake or Authentic

I have never seen this item. I copied it from a seller in China that states they only sell Authentic Products.

First I will tell you what I look for as I am a specialist in Circuit Breakers. After 32 Years in business, I am much better than most on what to look for.

  • I look at the Manufactures Box. (not depicted) The box has alot of information. I look for the Spelling, Positioning of the information, the shape of the corners of the label, the gloss of the sticker, date codes, UPC and Style number.  Here is why, It is common for counterfeiters to make a label and just keep duplicating it and changing information.
  • I look at the packaging and check if the manufacture’s box is the same box I am familiar with or not. The quality of the box. The cardboard Manufactures boxes used for authentic parts may not be available to counterfeiters.
  • I look at the instructions an see how it was printed and the feel of the paper. Counterfeiters seem to miss this one.
  • I look at the Circuit Breaker’s lablels. I look at all of the printing and positioning of information. I check for the UL tag being there, Spelling Style Number, Date Code. Marking on the rear of the breaker to match with other information (common in fakes). I turn on and off the Circuit breaker and see if it feels right. Every circuit breaker we sell is checked because even the manufacture may box up a defective item.
  • I check to see the bar-code on the side if it is Cutler Hammer like the one depicted. If the date code is recent or several years old, I check to see if the bar-code is paper, vinyl of laser etched.If there is no bar-code, the item will not be accepted. The bar-code is used by the manufacture to identify the parts and quality control. Only the manufacture knows what information the bar-code gives so we are protected.
  • JRL Electric Supply Inc is not an authorized distributor. You may wonder why I would write an article like this. Here is why, Counterfeits can kill you today, tomorrow or 30 years in the future. I would like anybody that would consider selling fakes to be put in jail and removed from the industry. I want to protect the honest companies and trusted sellers so they are not grouped in with the bad eggs.
  • Re-sellers of Circuit Breakers have an important role to play in the electrical Industry. The manufacture may be backed up in production or can not meet the customers needs. When your plant or just one machine is down because the Circuit breaker is defective, nobody wants to wait a week or month to receive their order. Also many Electrical Distributors will only carry one brand of Circuit Breakers.

  • Here is the Good News.Before I let you know if this Circuit Breaker is Authentic.

  • Cutler Hammer has an App to check your Circuit Breakers to make sure they are authentic, not to mention all the available information. Here is the link
  • The Circuit Breaker Looks Real but it is not.

  • Here is how I can tell, First it is from China. The Style number matches the part number. You can see it is 200 Amp 600 Volt and the style number is correct.  I bet you still do not see why I say it is Fake
  • Here it is.  Take a good look at the enlarged image of the label specs and read it. Still not Sure? Look again. On the Second Line, look how Poles is Spelled.
  • Here is my advise, Buy from an authorized distributor and if they can not solve your needs, Call JRL Electric Supply Inc