Commander panels are no longer CSA certified.
No longer CSA certified means that it would not be acceptable to install this panel in a home today. It does not mean that it must be removed from your home if you have one. There are certified replacement breakers that are allowed to be installed in these panels but they are so cost prohibitive that it is much better to replace. We have seen a number of these panels this year in emergency situations. One client called us because he could hear crackling. We were able to show him the panel actually burning between the breakers. These panels were manufactured from the mid 60’s to the early 80’s under the Commander, Sylvania and CEB brand names.
Does a newer Commander OM24125 pose any safety issues?
This panel is the last generation manufactured under the Commander name. It has different engineering than its ancestors, but it also has a bad history, mostly due to the alloy used in the distribution bars that the breakers are connected to. In the mid 90’s this company was bought out by Cutler-Hammer and sold under their name. These panels deteriorate with time (20 years) and so, similar to an aneurism in a blood vessel, it isn’t a matter of if it will go, but when will it go. Here is a picture of one of these panels that our electricians in Severn Bridge changed this past Wednesday. The picture is worth a thousand words about the safety issues of this panel.