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Old 12-15-2011, 11:43 AM   #1
snail
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So I work for the government, specifically ICE. I was checking the ICE homepage at work while I was bored and I see a picture of a contactor. It looked very similar to the ones I bought from Pioneer Breaker. So I clicked the link and start reading. It was from Pioneer Breaker!! Apparently they have been trafficking counterfeit circuit breakers from China.

Business owner pleads guilty to trafficking in counterfeit circuit breakers

Should I not use these components anymore? I just finished up a control panel and have used it once with no issues. I know there were a ton of people that have bought components from them so I just wanted to get this out there...

 
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:30 PM   #2
milldoggy
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My pinoneer breaker kal clone is still running after 18 batches. I say your fine

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Old 12-15-2011, 01:10 PM   #3
snail
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Good to hear someone with more runtime hasn't had any issues!

 
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snail View Post
Good to hear someone with more runtime hasn't had any issues!
How would a person know? A breaker's job is to interupt excessive current draw. How can you test it safely to apply the current draw without burning something down?

Just because the breaker isn't tripping all the time is not an indication that the breaker is good.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:16 PM   #5
snail
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I know the article is talking about breakers but the picture shows a contactor.
I never bought a breaker from them, just switches, lights, and contactors/relays. The breaker I have in my main panel is original so I don't have to worry about that.

 
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:12 PM   #6
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Wow, that's disturbing. Guess I will find a new vendor. I understand that the legal action was regarding breakers, but I don't feel the need to support someone who defrauded customers... I will spend a little extra money.
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:33 AM   #7
rollinred
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Typical government work. I can't believe we pay people to screw stuff up this bad.

So which is it? A contactor or circuit breaker we should be looking out for?

 
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:49 PM   #8
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There is a huge difference between you buying parts you know are made in China & are clearly marked "Made in China" and what this guy did. This guy had knock-offs made in China then he relabeled them as legitimate high end product & he even fraudulently applied the UL mark to the products.

Then he sold the parts as OEM and he pocketed the difference. The product he was selling may be perfectly safe & this is really about protecting the original company's product line. This is all about protecting American business interests and ICE is definitely doing the right thing.

 
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:02 PM   #9
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He conterfeited circuit breakers. The kind you use in your house electrical panel. The contactor picture is likely an error.

If you're going to counterfeit anything electrical, circuit breakers makes sense given that they’re used so extensively (every house has a whole pile of them) and they so are expensive to begin with because of the very strict testing/regulation done since their entire reason for existance is for safety. It probably costs a fortune to legally make and sell circuit breakers given how much they have to be tested. If you're going to counterfeit any electrical device, circuit breakers is your best bet to make money. The profit margin is likely huge. At my local home depot they're about the only thing in the electrical aisle that are under lock and key. An unscrupulous handyman/electrician can double his profit margin by stealing a few and charging the customer.

The time was between Dec 2008 and April 2010. In April 2010 they had all suspect content seized. You can bet that anything coming out that company since the April 2010 seizure has been legit. He still lists the 4 brands of circuit breakers on their site and eBay so I'd imagine they're all legit now.

That said, what he did is definitely not a nice thing to do as thargrav pointed out. It should give anyone pause as to where they want to spend their money. This is most certainly not the type of company I would want to support.

Kal

 
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