FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
Release # 88-022  
 

WASHINGTON, DC -- In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Square D Company of Palatine, Illinois is voluntarily offering free replacement of its 15 through 30 ampere size Series 1 two-pole ground fault interrupting (GFCI) circuit breakers.

Ground fault circuit breakers tire safety devices which provide protection against electrocution in addition to the normal circuit breaker overload protection function. Two-pole GFCI circuit breakers are often used on 240 volt circuits serving hot tubs/spas, swimming pool equipment, pumps and fountain equipment, and other applications where electrical failure of the protected equipment could pose a risk of electrocution.

Square D Company is taking this action because it has discovered that early failure of an electronic component may disable the electric shock protection provided by this product.

The involved Square D GFCI circuit breakers have a yellow "Push-To-Test" button and are two-pole units which are physically twice the size of most branch circuit breakers. Persons who believe they may have such a unit or who have questions should telephone Square D Company at (877) 202-9046 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday for information concerning Square D's free replacement program.

Square D GFCI circuit breakers which display the Square D trademark near the circuit breaker handle are not subject to this problem. Also, circuit breakers without the yellow "Push-To-Test" button are not GFCI devices and are not subject to this problem.

Approximately 80,000 of the involved units have been sold and installed nationwide since 1982. Square D Company is not aware of any injuries resulting from the problem with its product. The normal circuit breaker function is not affected by this problem.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission believes GFCI's provide a significant level of electrical safety. The Commission recommends that all GFCI's, both circuit-breaker type and outlet type, be tested frequently, at least monthly, using the test button on each unit.