Square D Homeline Vs. Qo: Which Circuit Breaker Is Better?
Choosing a new breaker is an important decision. Your home’s electrical system is comprised of several fail-safes meant to keep both you and the breaker safe. Homeline and QO breakers are among the most popular and effective on the market, so how are they different?
Homeline breakers are rated for residential use only and QO breakers are rated for commercial use. QO breakers come in single, double, and triple-pole options and can handle heavy appliances. Homeline breakers are cheaper, and QO breakers cost $10 but come with extra features such as Vis-Trip Indicator.
Homeline breakers only cost $5 and are the perfect option if you don’t need to handle large electrical loads. Both Homeline and QO breakers are efficient and reliable, but it can be difficult to choose between them. Follow along as we compare QO and Homeline breakers.
QO Vs. Homeline
Square D produces both Homeline and QO breakers, but choosing between them is easier said than done. Sure, QO breakers are more expensive than Homeline breakers, but does the extra cost come with extra functions? Between price, performance, compatibility, and features, let’s take a look at the difference between QO and Homeline breakers.
Homeline breakers are reliable, affordable, and safe to use in your home. They are among the most affordable and highest-performing circuit breakers on the market. Homeline circuit breakers are available in single-pole and double-pole options.
You can use a Homeline circuit breaker with Combination Service Entrance Devices (CSED) or Homeline load centers. Single-pole Homeline breakers are limited to residential use because they are only rated for 120 volts, but that is plenty for a house. You cannot use large appliances such as washing machines and dryers with a Homeline single-pole circuit breaker.
Homeline circuit breakers can handle most electrical items and lighting setups. They generally run at 15-20 amps and Homeline circuit breakers have excellent overload and short-circuit protection. Single-pole Homeline circuit breakers cost as little as $5, and they are the best budget option from Square D.
Square D also produces the QO breaker which is arguably more effective than the Homeline. You can find single, double, and triple-pole QO breakers which makes them more diverse than Homeline breakers. You can use QO breakers with CSED devices, QO load centers, and NQOD panel boards, and they are highly compatible.
The main appeal of QO breakers is that they are rated for 240 volts and can handle heavy appliances. However, the wide variety of options means that you can find single-pole QO breakers if you only need them for electrical outlets. QO breakers have a Vis-Trip Indicator that allows it to show you when the breaker trips so that you can quickly reset it.
Square D QO breakers come with a limited lifetime warranty which comes in handy if yours breaks. They cost twice as much as Homeline breakers at $10, but the extra money is worth the safety features and performance.
Differentiating Square D Homeline And QO Load Centers
What is the Difference Between Square D Homeline and QO Breakers?
Single-pole vs dual-pole functionality
The Homeline is rated for home use, handling smaller electrical outputs. The QO can handle that but is generally best used for appliances that draw more power.
The QO gets the edge in compatibility. Not only is it capable of handling commercial loads, but it is compatible with more types of electrical panels. Given their capacity, they can serve to meet just about any electrical function in a home or business.
The Homeline is available in single-pole spacing options. The QO, meanwhile, comes in single-pole, double-pole, 3-pole, and ¾-inch breaker options. That greater level of versatility means meeting more and more specific needs.
There is also the matter of the Visi-Trip Indicator. On the Homeline, it may take some troubleshooting to locate the tripped breaker. With the QO however, there is an indicator as to which breaker has been tripped. That makes resetting the breaker easier than ever before.
Despite the difference in capacity and compatibility as well as the inclusion of the visi-trip indicator, the price difference is negligible. The Homeline runs $4-5 on average whereas the Quo runs $9-10. The differences offered for the few extra bucks are quite impressive.
Which is the Better Buy?
Given the number of differences between the Homeline and QO, the clear choice is the QO. The QO is capable of working with a far wider range of electrical panels, for starters. Not only that, but it offers a 240-volt capacity compared to the 120-volt capabilities of the Homeline.
The Visi-Trip Indicator. There is also the matter of the visi-trip indicator. Don’t write this off as a small feature. When a breaker trips, it is a pain. Not only are the outlets attached to that trip breaker useless for the time being, but it can be a pain to find out which breaker in the panel tripped. The visi-trip indicator makes that easier than ever. Simply locate the impacted breaker and get it flipped back on in no time.
The price difference is negligible. Most importantly is the price. Because there is just a few dollars difference between the two, why not go with the superior option each time? At just $5 more, homeowners (and business owners) can get the benefits of the Qo without having to break the bank to do so.
All things considered, the Homeline is a fine option for homeowners. But for a few dollars more, they can gain greater voltage capacity, versatility, and ease of use with the QO than they would through the Homeline.
Single Pole Vs. Double Pole Breaker
There are primarily two types of circuit breakers: single-pole and double-pole breakers. Single-pole breakers are simple and are rated to handle 15-20 amps or 120 volts. As the name suggests, single-pole breakers only have one connection point to the energized metal plates within the service panel.
Double-pole breakers have multiple connection points to the service panel and can handle larger electrical capacities. You can handle 240 volts or 20-60 watts with a double-pole breaker, and they’re ideal if you have larger power demands. Single-pole breakers are ideal if you only need to handle outlet circuits and standard lighting.
However, double-pole breakers are more useful for large appliances such as washers and dryers. A dryer may be too much for a single-pole breaker, however, and it could cause the circuit breaker to trip.
Are Homeline and QO breakers interchangeable?
Square D Homeline and QO circuit breakers are interchangeable. You can fit a Square D Homeline breaker into a QO breaker box. Both breakers are ANSI-certified so Homeline and QO breaker boxes and CSEDs are compatible.
Do Square D breakers go bad?
Square D circuit breakers will eventually go bad, and the average circuit breaker lasts for 35 years. Circuit breakers generally stop working as efficiently when they approach 30 years old, and you may notice problems such as false trips or difficulty resetting. You can tell that it’s time to replace a Square D circuit breaker if you notice a burning smell, damaged box, or if it randomly trips for no reason.
Summing It Up
The main difference between Square D Homeline and QO breakers is the cost. Homeline breakers are more appealing for their low cost, whereas QO breakers stand out for their superior performance. Homeline breakers cost $5 and QO breakers cost $10, but QO breakers are easily worth the extra money.
Both Homeline and QO breakers come with a limited lifetime warranty. QO breakers come with a useful Vis-Trip Indicator function that helps you realize when your breaker trips quickly. Homeline and QO circuit breakers are both useful, but QO breakers come in a wider variety and are more effective.
Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.
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