Circuit breaker panels are crucial parts of the electrical system. Here we offer you the list of a best circuit breaker panel. This list is created after thorough testing and consulting five experts. If you don’t have time to go through the whole post, then go with our choice Leviton 51120 .
1. Leviton 51120-1 Panel Protector, 120/240-Volt- Best Best For Home Use
- 120/240 Volt Panel Protector 4-Mode Protection
- Real time diagnostic visual indicator shows power and suppression status for each protected phase
- Standard J-Box metal enclosures
Leviton presents a single-phase panel protector with short circuit current rating of 10kA. It offers MSCC (Maximum Surge Current Capacity) of 50 kA. For additional safety, it comes with a certification of UL 1449 VPR rating. The visual indicator provides real-time power status indication through lights red and green. This surge protector device is suitable for indoor residential purposes. It is suitable for sensitive electronic devices such as LED, LCD, computers, microwaves, ovens, etc.
The build quality is strong as the device uses a J-Box metal housing, and it is fully portable. This is a small box that you can install anywhere you desire. Depending upon the frequency of surges or transients, this SPD is suitable to use until both of the light indicators get shut off. Then, it requires replacement. However, the price of this protector is a bit expensive as compared to others despite some drawbacks. Overall, it is a good investment to protect your home’s internal electronic devices from getting destroyed in situations of sudden power surges or transients.
Though it is expensive, it is one of the best circuit breakers we have tested, and it protects the circuit every time in emergency situations. It is probably the best residential circuit breaker panel that you can buy.
2. Siemens P1224L1125CU 125-Amp 12-Space 24-Circuit Main Lug Load Center- Most Flexible Unit
- Single phase 125 Amp main lug load center with 12 spaces/24 circuits
- Features Siemens patented insta-wire technology which allows for quick and easy installation because screws are already...
- Copper bus
This is the Siemens load centre that is designed is simple, which helps reduce installation time. Siemens is highly reputed among all the electrical panel brands. It is a single-phase lug load centre that can hold the surge protection up to 125 amperes. However, it’s a subpanel, but you can convert it to the main breaker panel. The total of 24 circuits of 12 spaces is there to connect with the devices. This space provided is enough for indoor usage. The load center also features mounting tabs on the trim, pre-positioned bond screws and combination head screws on the neutral, ground, upper pan and trim for flexible installation.
It has a sturdy plastic base pan to tolerate harsh conditions. And, the upper box is made up of solid quality metal to make it durable. However, there are no indicators over the box. The copper bussing addition prevents the device from getting rusted. And, with regards to the price, it is a highly considerable option among its competitors providing the same features.
If you do not want all the fancy features like indicators etc. but you want the breakers of highest quality go with this Siemens load center.
3. Square D by Schneider Electric QO3040M200VP QO- Best For Budget Conscious Users
- Includes (3) QO120 QO 20 Amp Single-Pole Circuit Breakers, (2) QO230 QO 30 Amp Double-Pole Circuit Breakers and a...
- Accommodates plug-on secondary surge arrestor (sold separately)
- Overhead/underground feed simply by rotating the device before installing
Square D is a single-phase main breaker load center which is a Schneider Electric product. The value pack consists of the main breaker (200 amp), QO breakers and a surface/flush cover. It complies with the standards of Square D QO circuit breakers. The ratings are mentioned as 22,000 AIR Short Circuit Current and 120/240 VAC. It can also fit in plug-on secondary surge arrestor which is sold separately. The design structure saves time and expense on expensive cables because it has straight-in mains with split branch neutrals with backed out terminals.
With an upper body made up of solid metal, it has thermoplastic interiors that are tough to tolerate harsh conditions. By just rotating the device before installation, you can easily make them underground/overhead feed. Also, it has three options for ground bar mounting locations.
Basically, if we consider the price and features, it can be considered as the value for money unit. Keep in mind that this is the main breaker which is convertible to main lugs and vice versa. It is also the best rated 200 amp electrical panel.
4. Square D by Schneider Electric HOM2448M100PCVP Homeline – Best For High Capacity Load
- Includes a fully distributed neutral bar, allowing for the installation of Homeline Plug-on Neutral combination arc...
- Each pole space accepts full-size, tandem or quad breakers
- Ground and neutral bars accept up to (3) #10-14 equipment grounds
It is another Square D main breaker load center but different features. It complies with UL certification for Homeline circuit breakers. Homeline load centers are known for their fast installation capacity. This value pack features 100 amp and 24 space 48 circuits indoor breakers. It also accepts neutral and ground bars. And, the device presents a convertible option of underground/overhead feed before installation. It is a single-phase version with ratings mentioned as 120/240 VAC and 22,000 AIR short circuit.
However, all other things are satisfactory with this panel. It includes one main breaker which is located at the top and two HO breakers. Mainly, there are five breakers provided. But you need to buy plug-on secondary surge arrestor separately. The body is made up of strong metal with thermoplastic interior coating. The price they are charging is fair enough as compared to its competitors who are providing the main breaker panel. Rather, it is much powerful and effectively saves your electrical devices while immediate surges or transients.
Thought it looks bigger compared to other similar panels, the quality of a Schneider Electric product is evident. That is why we consider it to be the best brand circuit breaker panel.
5. Siemens E0816ML1125S Surface Mount – Most Durable Unit
The Circuit Breaker Panel has an essential role in the electricity supply system with the provision of the division of the electrical power of the house or building. It has the capacity to bear 125 Amp current with 8 space and 16 circuits, and Load Center. The dimension of the product measures to 15.4 x 13 x 5.3 inches. It supports the voltage power of 240 volts. This circuit breaker product is UL listed that complies fully with NEC and UL requirements for class CTL. The product is used as service equipment, and it might also be used for equipment grounding.
The circuit breaker is enclosed with code-gauge steel structure. It is composed of single-phase, 3 wire, solid neutral, 8 spaces, and 16 circuits maximum along with the inclusion of 1-pole, 4 QP breakers that is maximum to 2 poles with the voltage of 120/140 volt, and 10,000 AIR. It is comprised of a one-piece plated aluminium bus bar. The dimensional measure of the product is 12-3/8” x 14-3/4” x 3-7/8”. The panel is highly durable and strong enough to support the 125 Amp current.
If you are looking for basic circuit panel that can handle all your home electric system, you can go for Siemens E0816ML1125S.
6. Square D by Schneider Electric QO124L125PGC – Best For Residential Property
- Engineered for a quick Plug-on Neutral breaker connection on every circuit, fewer connections, faster installation, no...
- Includes an indoor cover, PK15GTA ground bar and is convertible to a main breaker load center with a QOM1 main breaker...
- Accommodates plug-on secondary surge arrestor (sold separately)
This Square D Circuit Breaker is of Scheider Electric brand that has PoN convertible mains load centre of the model number QO124L125PGC. This circuit breaker has the capacity of 120/240 Vac with the current passing capacity of 125 Ampere, thus belonging to 1 phase with the 22000 Air Interrupt. This product is highly rated by the consumers and UL listed along with the presence of Lug Electrical Connection. It also bears a 3-Wire Wiring Configuration with 24 spaces and 24 circuits. It is mainly installed for indoor use and before installing it is fed simply overhead or underground by rotating the device. The dimension of the product measures to 5.7 x 4.1 x 10.4 inches.
This circuit breaker panel has a metal body along with the 6-2/0 AWG Aluminium or Copper Cable with the presence of top or bottom-feed. It is constructed up of Tin-plated Copper buss bar along with the presence of Plug-In Mount and NEMA 1. The overall height of the product is 22, width is 14-3/4, and the overall depth is 4-1/4. The product has a steel body with Gray colour. It is engineered for fewer connections, faster installation with no pigtails that frees up the gutter space. It also accommodates the plug-on secondary surge arrestor.
It is the convertible circuit panel which help you plan better while installing the electrical system at your property.
7. Siemens LNF222R 60 Amp – Best For Outdoor Installation
This Circuit breaker panel is of the Siemens brand that has 2 Pole with a 240-Volt capacity of power. It is the non-fused product and outdoor rated by the brand. The product consists of general duty safety switches of Siemens that has a compact size. All the switches of this panel are UL listed and are suitable for copper and aluminium wire. It is highly rated by the consumers and is mainly installed for outdoor use. The dimension of the product measures to 3.1 x 5.4 x 8.2 inches.
In this circuit breaker panel, all the switches are provided with the highly visible “On” and “OFF” indicators with the provisions of padlocking on the handle and door. The product supports 1 pole and 2 wires during the flow of current through it. The panel is highly durable as it has a metal body. This circuit breaker panel can bear up to 60 Ampere flow of current through its body and also ensures the tested power capacity to be 240-Volt.
If you have very small to install a circuit breaker panel, Siemens LNF222R 60 Amp has one of the most compact electrical panel box sizes.
Buyer’s Guide – What To Consider?
Circuit breakers are the need of every home if you are using electricity-powered devices. Keeping in mind the volatile nature of electricity, circuit breakers shut off the circuit in situations of overload. In this way, huge damage to valuable electrical appliances is prevented. But there are certain factors you need to look upon before buying them. Let’s have a look at those considerations.
1. Type Of Circuit Breakers
Broadly, circuit breakers type are divided into two types.
The circuits giving thermal-magnetic protection are the most common types of circuit breakers used in America. Basically, they make use of two components that detect electrical faults. Both of the components are responsible for a high level of surge protection. The first component is named as an electromagnet. It is mainly responsive to large surges caused in electrical currents.
A thermal bimetallic strip is the second component. The task of this component is to prevent low-level electrical surges caused by electric currents. The thermal-magnetic protection circuit breakers are popular because of their quick response and restarting capability.Household breakers such as motor protection circuit breakers, DIN rail type breakers, molded case protectors or plug-in breakers fall in this category. It is the most widely used among circuit breaker panel types.
As the name suggests, they are magnetic only breakers. These breakers are also known as MCP or motor circuit protector. Their main function is protection from the short circuit for a motor circuit. Inside the structure, there presents a coil that forms an effective magnetic field to cause a trip and ultimately shut down the overcurrent.
Industrial and commercial settings require circuit breakers of high voltage load than residential purposes. If you are considering to buy breakers for home, then you can go for low voltage or medium voltage breakers. Low voltage breakers can easily take up a load of almost 1000 volts. While the medium voltage breaker is perfect for holding load between 1000 to 70,000 volts. Industrial settings require a voltage rating of more than 70,000 amp. For home 200 amp capacity panel like Schneider Electric QO3040M200VP is more than enough.
3. Operating Conditions
Operating conditions highly impact the working of circuit breakers. The breaker you are going to select must suit the environment of the end-user location. For instance, most of the thermal-magnetic breakers come with the calibration of 70-75°F. It means that if they are to be applied in temperatures above 100°F, then they are not suitable and must be derated or recalibrated according to the environment. Also, the breakers should be removed from corrosive areas if possible. In conditions of high humidity, the use of space heaters is recommended. Moreover, if you are placing the breakers in areas of heavy shock probability, then you should look for anti-shock things like interia counterweight in the circuit breakers provided.
4. Breaking Capacity
You should also look for the maximum interrupt rating of these devices. Breaking capacity is the highest amount of fault current that the circuit breaker can easily handle without any damage or system failure. For this, you need to know the fault current amount of the system that you are going to use with the breaker. The rule is to apply or use that circuit breaker whose breaking capacity is equal or greater than the fault current of the system.
Circuit breakers are installed in singular positions in a circuit breaker panel. Their installation instructions should be kept in kind to avoid confusion and further damage. Also keep in mind the standard electrical panel sizes. If you do not how to install a circuit breaker panel, then hiring an electrician is the best option for installing circuit breakers. However, some circuit breakers are designed in a simple manner for easy installation. You can consider buying those type of circuit breakers while also keeping in mind their vertical or horizontal installation.
While testing these top circuit breaker panels, we realized that they require a lot of technical knowledge or at least the knowledge on the electrical system in your house. Also you must know best place to install the circuit breaker panels. So we advise you to make sure you know that before you decide on which circuit breaker to purchase. Once you know your requirements, you can go through our list.