Schneider Electric USA has issued a recall of over 1.4 million circuit-breaker boxes, called Square D QO Plug-On Neutral Load Centers, amid fire hazard and thermal burn fears. The breaker boxes were authorized by Schneider Electric distributors, hardware stores, and online retailers nationwide. The product was available at Home Depot, Lowe’s and Menard’s.
The circuit boxes were manufactured between February 2020 and January 2022, with the date codes between 200561 and 220233. It was gray in color and came in various sizes, including squares and rectangles. They cost between $90 and $1,660.
The official recall notice read:
“This recall involves indoor, outdoor and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Square D QO Plug-On Neutral Load Centers that were installed in homes, recreational vehicles, or commercial establishments, including restaurants, manufacturing facilities and warehouses, commercial lighting and others.”
Along with 1.4 million units being recalled by Schneider in the US, 289,000 units were sold in Canada as well.
According to CBS News, Schneider received a report of a loose wire. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission stated that the the load centers, breaker boxes, and electric panels could overheat, leading to fires.
What should one do if they have purchased the recalled Schneider circuit-breaker boxes?
According to Schneider Electric’s announcement, they are directly contacting distributors, retailers, homeowners and other individuals who have purchased or installed the circuit-breaker box. Customers can also contact Schneider Electric directly for a free inspection. Those who wish to get a free repair for their load centers must make sure that they have working smoke alarms in their homes.
For additional information, one may contact Schneider Electric Technical at 888-778-2733. Customer support will respond to your call between 8am and 8pm ET from Monday to Friday. Shoppers can also visit their official website for information regarding the withdrawal.
This is not the first time a product has been recalled amid fears of fire and burn hazards. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission also recently withdrew Sienhua’s Warm Wave and Hunter Ceramix Tower Heaters. This comes after it was noted that when the product was overheated, leading to fire-related accidents.
Sienhua Group received eight customer complaints after the latter noticed a fire at the plug and overheating in the product as well. There were no reports of injuries or death. However, there was minor property damage in one instance.
The withdrawal was initiated on June 16, affecting 580,000 units in the US along with approximately 37,580 units in Canada.
For those unaware of the withdrawal, purchases of the units made between September 2013 and February 2022 were taken back. The product ranged from $30 to $40 depending on when it was purchased. It was mostly available at Home Depot outlets across the States along with Amazon, eBay and other websites.
Customers are advised to immediately stop using the recalled heaters and unplug the unit. They can also contact the Sienhua Group North America distributor for a refund for the product.