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Counterfeit Telemecanique Switch from China

Recognizing The counterfeit switch

  The counterfeit switch assembly (shown below - Image 1 and  2) can be easily recognized. There are three key areas that are easy to recognize.
  • Contact Block - This is the most important part of the switch assembly. On the counterfeit switch, the contact  has the Telemechanique name and logo but does not have the UL, CA and SA safety symbols, which would be printed on a switch that has been approved. The real switch has a large CE  symbol on the upper corner and also has the SA and UL symbols printed on the face of the switch. You may verify this at the Schneider website:  There are two companies based in the US that manufacture this style switch. The companies are: Telmechanique (Schneider headquarters in US/France and Manufactured in Spain) and Teknic(US headquarters and manufactured in US/India).   The counterfeit Telmechanique is manufactured in China.  The real Telemechanique should have Spain as the manufacturing location and also printed on the packaging. Often the counterfeits are sold in bulk packaging so that you do not see the packaging with the Chinese writing on the package.
  • If the counterfeit company (making the counterfeit part) is printing the real company's name on this switch, ...what else are they misrepresenting. Are the switch contacts plated in gold or silver (as is usually  required for a real switch) or are they tin? Are they cutting corners on the flammability of the plastic used in the switch? 

  • Switch Knob  - On the counterfeit switch, the screw in the switch knob can easily be removed with a very small #2 Philips screwdriver, of the size shown in image 1. The real switch requires a large handled flat blade screwdriver and a good deal of effort, to remove the screw. After disassembling the counterfeit switch you will notice that there are no rubber grommets in the assembly and there is also no grease in the assemble.  You can also feel the difference, when you turn the knob. The fake switch feels kind-of loose and creates a clicking sound. The real switch has a solid feel and lower pitch snapping sound. The mechanical portion in the counterfeit switch cannot possibly last as long as the real switch.       
  • Switch Holder - The counterfeit switch holder is not plated. The real switch assembly is plated and has a shinny (silver-brass) appearance.
  • Price -  - If the price seams cheap then it may be counterfeit. The counterfeits usually retails for between $3.00 - $7.00. The real Telemechanique will retail for around $35 - $40 for assembly. The real Teknic brand will retail for around $14 - $20

Image 1 - Counterfeit Switch Contact Block


Image 2 - Counterfeit Switch Assembly




Image 3 - Real Telemecanique Switch Contact  (Note: Colors may vary)  - Note: The real Teknic (S1) switch is green




From Industrial distribution magazine:

Schneider Electric Announces U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Issuance of Voluntary Recall of Counterfeit Circuit Breakers Sold by Miami Breaker, Inc.