Schneider Electric, the Lexington, Kentucky based manufacturer announced a Square D Panel Recall of about 1.4 million panels for potential risk of thermal burn and fire hazards.
This recall was announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on June 16, 2022.
Square D electric panels are the most common panels I see during home inspections, by a wide margin. I suspect this situation will affect MANY real estate transactions in the coming years and wanted to get the word out about what folks need to do.
Schneider Electric has done a good job producing data for us, but I found it scattered across several web pages. Most of the info on this post was copied over from their recall pages to make it easy for folks to find.
Here is the scoop.
Square D Panel Recall – QO Series
What is the hazard? The wire binding screw within the lug body could potentially be improperly torqued to the Plug-on-Neutral bar. Over time, this unsecured electrical joint could result in losing the neutral connection and potentially lead to overheating at the load.
Affected Products: QO™ Plug-On-Neutral Load Center. These panels were manufactured between February 1, 2020, and January 12, 2022, at Schneider Electric Plant 15.
Note: Existing inventory with date codes prior to January 13, 2022, has been validated and is marked with a green dot to indicate compliance with Schneider Electric design and manufacturing standards. Any product marked with a green dot on the carton is excluded from this notice.
What you should do? Affected devices need to be inspected. Contact Square D Customer Care Team for support (info below).
Laymen’s Terms: The potential for a loose connection on the neutral busbar exists, and that could lead to a problem over time. If you believe your Square D electric panel falls under this recall you should reach out to the manufacturer right away to find out what your next steps should be.
Only Square D QO – Not HOMELINE Panels
The easiest way to tell which panel you have is to look at your breakers. The affected QO panels have a tripped indicator window on the breakers. The cheaper Homeline series does not. This can be checked without removing the dead front cover. Simply open the door and look for the plastic window next to the handle.
If you do not have the indicator windows on your breakers, you do not have a QO panel, and there is nothing that needs to be done. Take a look at the two images below and you will see the difference in the two types of panels.
How to Find Your Panel’s Model Number
If your panel IS a Square D QO panel, you will need to find your model number. In order to properly identify which model number panel you have installed, the dead front panel must be removed. Doing this exposes the live wires.
This task should only be done by a qualified inspector or electrician.
Even if you turn the main breaker off, your main lugs will still be energized, and one mistake could end your life. DO NOT DO IT. It’s not worth the risk. Leave this task to your electrician.
HOMEOWNERS: If you think your panel may be affected and want to see if your Square D electric panel falls under the recall here is what you need to do:
- Make sure you have a Square D Panel
- Make sure you have a QO Panel and NOT a Homeline.
- Check the date code on the door’s label to see if your panel falls within the span for known affected products.
As a homeowner, that is all you can do at this point. If your date code falls between February 1, 2020, and January 12, 2022, there is a pretty good chance your equipment is affected and needs to be repaired/replaced. You will want to reach out to the manufacturer using the contact information at the end of this article to see what your next steps should be.
This diagram below was produced by Square D to help you understand how you can safely identify whether or not you have a recalled panel.
HOME INSPECTORS: I have created this searchable table for you to cross-reference your panel’s model number with the list of affected electrical panels provided by Square D. You can quickly search your panel’s model number and see if it is listed in this recall.
Note: You can only find the model number of the panel by removing the dead front cover. This should only be done by trained inspectors and/or electricians. Novices and homeowners should NEVER remove the cover of their electric panels.
In order to locate the actual searchable number of the panel, you need to look on the side of the main lug connections. Remember, these connections are 100% hot all the times, unless the electric meter is removed. Turning off the main breaker DOES NOT kill the power at these terminals and touching them could be a fatal mistake.
To search the database of electric panels affected by this recall, input your electric panel’s model number to see if it falls within the recalled products timeline.
Again, this searchable number is ONLY found inside the panel and is not available on the door label.
United States Square D QO Panel Recall
Canadian Square D QO Panel Recall
Square D Customer Support
If you believe your electric panel falls under this recall you should reach out to Schneider Electric to have a free inspection performed for your safety.
Phone: 1-888-778-2733; option 2,1,4 from 8AM-8PM EST
Web Chat: click this link.
Here, you can download the customer letter that Schneider released giving full details on the situation and how to correct it. QO Electric Panel Recall Customer Letter.
Below is a list of FAQs that should help answer most of your questions. All of the Infomation below was taken directly from the Customer Letter linked above.