Eaton Cutler Hammer Breakers: What you Need to Know

When it comes to electrical circuit protection, the cutler hammer breakers are a well-known brand in circuit breaker industry. 

These circuit breakers, from Eaton Corporation, have gained much popularity among professionals and homeowners.

They are designed to protect electrical circuits from overload and short circuits, preventing the dangers of electrical fire.

What are Cutler Hammer Breakers (CH)? 

Cutler-hammer breakers are a type of circuit breaker that automatically detects and cuts off electrical currents when they exceed safe levels.

They act as a safety device, protecting the circuit and appliances from power surge and excessive current flow.

Cutler-hammer circuit breakers are available in different types and Amp, including residential circuit breakers, industrial circuit breakers, and molded case circuit breakers, to protect various electrical devices.

Why is Eaton Cutler-hammer circuit breaker so popular?

Eaton circuit breakers are popular for several reasons, including:

1. Reliability: Eaton breakers are known for their durability and long lifespan. They are built to withstand heavy electrical loads, providing reliable circuit protection for many years.

2. Wide Range of Options: Eaton offers a wide range of CH series to suit different electrical systems and loads. From residential buildings to industrial complexes, there is an electrical circuit breaker available to meet specific needs.

3. Compatibility: Cutler-hammer Breakers are compatible with various electrical panelboards and systems, making them a versatile choice for both new installations and replacements.

4. Safety Features: Eaton Breakers come with advanced safety features, such as arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). These features provide additional protection against arc faults and ground faults.

5. Reputation: Eaton, the manufacturer of Cutler Hammer circuit breakers, has a solid reputation, and this has gained the trust of many professionals and homeowners.

Types of cutler-hammer (CH) breakers

There are different types of CH circuit breakers, they include:

Standard Circuit Breaker: These breakers are used in residential and commercial homes. They are available in different amp ratings to suit your electrical needs.

Standard circuit breakers provide overcurrent and short circuit protection, helping to prevent electrical fires and damage to appliances.

2. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI): GFCIs are designed to protect against ground faults and electrical shocks. They are mostly installed in bathrooms and kitchens where ground faults are common.

GFCIs can quickly detect ground faults and trip off the circuit to prevent electrical hazard.

3. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI): AFCI circuit breakers are specifically designed to detect and prevent electrical arcs that can lead to fires.

AFCIs are mostly used in bedrooms, living rooms, and areas with flammable materials. They provide an extra layer of safety and are also required by the National Electrical Code in certain applications.

4. Combination of Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (CAFCI/GFCI): These devices combine the functions of AFCI and GFCI breakers in one breaker. They protect against electrical arcs and ground faults, and are mostly installed in the kitchen and bathroom where both hazards are common.

Key functions of each type of Eaton circuit breaker

Below is a table comparing the key features of each type of Cutler Hammer breaker:

Breaker Type Function
Standard Circuit Breaker Over-current and short circuit protection
GFCI BreakersProtection against ground faults and electrical shock
AFCI BreakersProtection against arc faults and electrical.
CAFCI/GFCI BreakersCombination of AFCI and GFCI functions.

Tips for proper installation

To ensure a smooth and safe installation of Eaton breakers, consider the following tips:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines: Always read and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the breaker model you are installing.
  • Use appropriate tools and protective equipment: Make sure you have the required tools, such as screwdrivers, wire strippers, safety gloves and all the necessary tools and equipment.
  • Confirm compatibility: Make sure that the cutler-hammer breaker you are installing is compatible with your electrical panel and also meets the National Electric Code standards.
  • Check for proper wire sizing: Make sure you use the normal wire size for the breaker. Using undersized wires can lead to overheating and fire hazards.
  • Call an electrician: If you are not a qualified electrician, it is always best to consult a licensed electrician for help.

How to install cutler-hammer circuit breakers

Installing a Cutler-hammer breaker is the same as wiring other types of breakers. Below is a step-by-step guide.

Turn off the power source

Before embarking on an electrical installation, always turn off the power to the circuit you want to work on. You can do this by switching off the circuit breaker on the main panel board.

Unscrew and remove the panel cover

With your screwdriver, remove the screws holding the panel cover and carefully remove it. Be cautious, as some live wires might still be exposed inside.

Identify the breaker slot

Identify the vacant slot where you want to plug-on the Eaton breaker. Make sure you select the right size breaker for the circuit you are working on.

Connect the circuit wires

 Strip a small portion of insulation from the circuit wires and make the connection. Connect the hot wire to the breaker, neutral wire to the neutral bus bar, and ground wire to the earth bus bar. Tighten your connections firmly to ensure good contact.

Plug in the breaker:

Line up the breaker’s clips with the panel’s bus bar and push it to enter the slot to complete the installation. 

Test the installation:

Once you are through with the connection, double-make sure everything is correct. Then, turn on the power and test the wiring.

Compatibility of Cutler Hammer Breakers with other breakers

Cutler-hammer breakers are compatible with a wide range of circuit breakers and panels such as Square D, GE, Siemens, Bryant, Murray. 

Whether you have a residential, commercial, or industrial electrical system, chances are cutler-hammer breakers have a breaker that will fit your needs. 

The compatibility of cutler-hammer breakers can also be determined by factors such as voltage, current rating, and circuit type.

It is important to consult the manufacturer’s specifications and guidelines to ensure proper compatibility.


Cutler-Hammer has been in the breakers manufacturing business for over 120 years. The company’s circuit breakers are found all over the world.
Anytime you want to install or replace your main circuit breaker or panel, try Eaton’s product series. 

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About mariaelectricals

Hi, I am Emmanuel Nwankwo, a commercial electrician and the founder of I established this blog to share my decades of work experience in electrical installations and repairs.