Challenger Type A circuit breakers are reputable brand named equipment. The Challenger company made single pole 110V, and double pole 220V circuit breakers for many years, and in 1988, sold its circuit breaker products to the American circuit breaker Corporation (ACBC).
Because not all brands of circuit breakers are interchangeable, homeowners regularly ask which breakers are interchangeable with Challenger Type A breakers, and which breaker manufacturers equipment will not fit into Challenger Type A breaker load centers.
Square D Brand
The Square D company has manufactured load centers and circuit breakers for residential and commercial use for more than a century. The company's reliable circuit breakers replace older style fuse boxes, and can be used to replace any other manufacturer's load center.
Square D electrical load centers are designed to control 110V circuits which power lights, televisions, entertainment equipment, and heavier duty 220V circuits which power electric stoves, electric clothes dryers and water heaters. Some of the Square D circuit breakers are interchangeable with Challenger Type A.
GE, Federal Pacific, Cutler Hammer and more
General Electric, Cutler Hammer, Federal Pacific, Sylvania and other such companies manufacture quality home circuit breakers. Within each of these manufacturers' product line, some of the circuit breakers are interchangeable with the Challenger Type A and some are not.
Any of the following manufacturers products are suitable alternatives to the Challenger Type A load center: American Switch, Westinghouse type BR, Bryant, Sylvania, Crouse-Hinds, Murray, GE, and Sears. However, before purchasing an individual circuit breaker, homeowners should decide if they are replacing an entire load center or looking for a single replacement circuit breaker.
If replacing a breaker, the best approach is to bring an existing Challenger Type A circuit breaker to a retailer to verify the suitability of an individual replacement.
Load Centered Design
Circuit breakers are designed to mechanically fasten, or snap into place in the load center. Most manufacturers have designed a unique fastening device.
Some circuit breakers snap into place over a current-carrying electrode conductor. Other breakers snap into a specialized fitting in the load center which does not carry electrical current.
In some cases, even the wrong style circuit breaker will stay in place in the breaker panel without properly snapping into position, being held in place by circuit breakers on either side. Homeowners should verify that the installed circuit breaker is installed properly before turning on the power.
Even though many circuit breakers are interchangeable between brands, manufacturers limit their warranties based on their own equipment. For example, if a General Electric circuit breaker is installed in the Federal Pacific load center, neither company will honor their parts warranty.
The best course of action is to hire a professional electrician to work on a home's circuit breaker panel.