Switchgear standards

I have always wondered about our local switchgear and its future (Samite etc.)
Is it only used in SA?
I’m not a fan and prefer the IEC standard since it’s an international standard

The minirail breakers typically have a DIN-mount indent too. For example, here’s two breakers, an old 10A ABB breaker and a 15A CBI from the backside.

Edit: And can I add, the CBI RCDs are pretty good devices. Miles ahead of the DIN-mount crap you get at ACDC.


Every time I find myself doing extensive work on a Samite DB board the temptation is there to rip out the Samite rail and pop-rivet a DIN rail in its place. Less mainstream switchgear (changeovers, etc.) are not available in Samite, and even though you do get DIN rail adapter clips, I find them to be finicky and they don’t look neat. Decent DIN rail breakers are close to half the price of the CBi breakers, so sometimes it would make financial sense to just replace everything.

The showstopper I run into quite often is space in the DB: You can fit almost 50% more Samite single pole breakers in the same space as you can with DIN rail. Additionally, the front face of Samite breakers is taller than DIN rail breakers so if you do the switcheroo you would probably want to replace the DB cover too.

In defence of Samite, I find the CBi breakers to be reliable, and the clip mechanism is sturdy enough, so I would not say that DIN rail is necessarily better technically, just different.

On a new install I would put in DIN rail every time, but there are so many old Samite DB boards out there that will need maintenance that I don’t think it will go away anytime soon.

CBi seems to be hedging their bets. The problem is that their dual mount breakers all have the taller Samite face, so if you want to fit them in a DIN rail DB, you need to cut the DB cover plate to make them fit, which kind of defeats the point.

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Thanks for the pros and cons!
This topic was triggered by this discussion: Small order 3D print for Angle Grinder Attachment
I see the OP has landed up with 2 standards in his brand new installation which I would avoid if I possibly could :sweat_smile:

Yes, I agree. In hindsight I should have used only one standard.

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