Rated 2.0 out of 5 by 1
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0 by Mark Decent design but arrived damaged. Poor customer service.
I purchased this panel to replace an existing 100A panel with an underground feed. By scheduling weeks in advance, the utility here will shut off power in the morning and if you finish the install, reconnect in the afternoon.
I ordered the panel to arrive the week before the install. It arrived damaged. The person or robot who assembled it had slammed together in manufacturing. The plastic tray liner was rising up above metal tray, with plastic tabs bent back on themselves. The main breaker was forced in, bending the metal tray. I immediately called Home Depot but their lead time is three days for shipping from Memphis, so I did not have time to exchange the panel. Instead I tried to repair it myself.
There were several gotchas during installation that could have been prevented with proper instructions. Here's what I wish I'd known:
1. Panel is rated for one breaker up to 100A and others up to 70A, but the neutral bar accommodates maximum #6 wire. To attach larger wires, buy ECLK2 neutral lug kits. The wiring diagram only refers to ECLKG2, which doesn't exist, and is only shown for the neutral bar on the supply side.
2. I purchased the required ECHC200 hub to connect to 2" rigid conduit. The hub comes with 1/4-20 5/8" screws. However the panel has knockouts for bolts, not threaded holes for screws. *You have to supply your own nuts and bolts.* This almost cost me a failed inspection and a night without power.
3. The 2" hole in the ECHC200 hub is off center. Just something to be aware of when you are planning whether you need a backer board. I wrongfully assumed that the hole would be centered as it was on my old panel, so I had prepared a backer board. With the offset hole, I couldn't use the backer board, so I had to spend extra time fixing and sealing the siding of the house.
After getting the repaired panel installed, I wanted to confirm that it would be okay with a few of the plastic tabs missing. I emailed a customer service rep who had been working with the product manager. I included pictures of the damage. He said I should talk to tech support. This proved almost impossible. The tech support numbers go to customer service representatives, who seem mostly concerned with making sure you *cannot* talk to tech support. After describing the damaged panel to three reps over the course of 55 minutes, the last one finally agreed that only tech support could determine serviceability; he set up a case so they would call me back. Tech support emailed me the next day, and for the first time someone at Siemens apologized for their broken prodcuct. They told me that the busbar cannot be replaced in the field and that I should replace the entire damaged panel. This would have cost several weeks' delay waiting on another utility shutoff and several hours re-installing the panel. In the end, I bought a new panel from Home Depot (which was fine), swapped out the busbars, and returned the panel with the broken busbar tray for a refund.
- Siemens needs to do QA on their products. This damage was so obvious, there is no way this unit should have left the factory. And it wasn't shipping damage--if assembled correctly, the tray liner could not rise up and the tabs bend back on themselves during shipping, nor could the metal tray get bent under the main breaker. I could not find a QA stamp or sticker anywhere, and no one asked me for a lot number or other identification. Apparently there is no accountability for quality.
- If Siemens wants to be in the big box stores, they need to develop a support model that is eager to take ownership of issues and help advanced DIY customers be successful in their projects. Passing calls to three CSRs and blocking real tech support is B.S.
- Home Depot needs a better drop-ship agreement with Siemens to provide overnight replacements for damaged items that are on time-critical projects.
October 7, 2016