Counterfeit circuit breakers in homes across U.S.

square d breakers recalled after counterfeits found.
square d breakers recalled after counterfeits found.

Thousands of homes across the U.S. are at risk of fire after unknowingly having counterfeit circuit breakers installed.

Miami Breaker issued a recall this week for 43,600 circuit breakers after Square D, a division of Schneider Electric, determined they were fakes, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said. The counterfeits are labeled Square D or SQD.

This is at least the sixth recall of circuit breakers after Square D has identified counterfeits, accounting for about 600,000 breakers. CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson told Consumer Ally that Square D has brought the problem to the attention of the CPSC, which has led to the string of recalls that dates to 2006.

In the latest recall, the knockoff breakers are marked as Square D in the QO series. The models include: QO115, QO120, QO130, QO215, QO220, QO230, QO240, QO250 and QO260.

The real Square D breakers in the QO series will have the following details:

  • an amp rating on the handle in white on the breaker front

  • the Square D logo molded into the side of the breaker

  • a yellow chromate clip with half the top of the clip visible.

The CPSC said if you have a breaker without those attributes it could be a counterfeit. Breakers are supposed to shut off power to a particular circuit when there's an electrical problem, something that's not clear the counterfeits will do.

The breakers sold across the country in 2005 and 2006 for $3-$4 (single pole breakers) and $8-$9 (double pole breakers).

For those with the suspected counterfeits, contact Miami Breaker. They will help determine whether the circuit breaker is counterfeit and, if it is, will replace it.

Consumers can call Miami Breakers weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time at (800) 941-1112 or email