France: 300,000 “possibly faulty” circuit breakers made by GE, ABB, Hager, and Eaton, installed by Enedis since 2017

Posted on Robin des Toits:
[google translation]

WEST-FRANCE INFO. 130,000 circuit breakers identified by Enedis are faulty: a security risk – – 10/31/2019

Joël Le Gall / Ouest-France

Enedis has identified thousands of faulty circuit breakers, installed since 2017. They could affect the safety of the installation in private homes. A localization campaign is underway.

302,000 circuit breakers supplied to Enedis under the General Electric, Hager, Eaton and ABB brands are identified as possibly having a manufacturing defect. “The differential trigger system may not work” , we recognize at Enedis.

The circuit breakers concerned were manufactured between May 2017 and April 2019. Currently 170,000 have been identified and replaced. Brittany and the Pays de la Loire would be particularly concerned. This means that at least 130,000 remain in the wild, posing a risk to human safety ..

What is the circuit breaker for?

It cuts  the current in the event of an incident (overload, short circuit, etc.). It appears on the electrical panel which is often found in the entrance or in the garage. The circuit breaker is different from the meter which is used to measure electricity consumption

What are the risks ?

The fault on these faulty circuit breakers can lead to a malfunction of the differential trip. Clearly, the current could not be automatically cut in the event of a short circuit or overheating, causing a real risk for people (fire, electrocution, etc.).

An electrician explains: If the installation concerns a standard house, this defect will have little impact. There are other safeties on the electrical panels which are more sensitive than these circuit breakers in the event of a problem  ”. On the other hand if it is a building that does not meet standards it can be more annoying. The most important risk is that of electrocution, if the circuit breaker does not blow in the event of a wire insulation fault. “

How to know if you are affected

The manager of the public electricity distribution network has launched a major localization campaign. In early summer, up to 50,000 letters were sent. Rebelote since mid-October to identify the 170,000 faulty circuit breakers installed at customer sites. Users are invited to make a diagnosis, via the internet or by phone (0 800 730 820). You just need to give your name and “delivery point” (14 digits on your invoice). If the circuit breaker is affected, the Enedis teams replace it free of charge. “It is essential to carry out the diagnosis” , alerts Enedis.

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