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Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 16.29.35
Date: March 21, 2013To: All purchasers/Users of ETC Technologies ETC-12Q.series trip units (also branded as Circuit Breaker Systems RetroTrip RBC-100)PRODUCT SAFETY NOTICE
etc-12Q.series and RetroTrip RBC-100 trip units for Masterpact circuit breakersDELIVER IMMEDIATELY TO RESPONSIBLE PERSON IN YOUR ORGANIZATIONETC Technologies, has identified a potential nonconformance relating to how the etc-12Q.series interacts with the making-current release hardware (DINF) on Schneider/Square D/ Merlin Gerin Masterpact circuit breakers. While no occurrences have been noted to date, this condition could affect the ability of the circuit breaker to close onto a high-current fault. If such a condition were to occur, and statutory safety and operating norms for electrical installations (BS EN 50110-1 (2004)) are not followed, severe property damage, personal injury or loss of life may result.

Products affected are all ect-12Q.series and RetroTrip RBC-100 trip units manufactured before January 2013 and having firmware versions beginning with the number “06” or lower. The firmware version is displayed on the first screen of the “view settings” menu as shown in figure 1.

Figure 1.
versions start with the “06”
and lower

etc-12q fig1

This potential issue can only occur under the rare circumstance of the breaker closing onto a high magnitude, short circuit fault. This potential issue does not affect the ability to safely clear faults that occur after the breaker is already closed.

Immediate precautionary action required
by users pending final validation of proposed
firmware upgrade solution.

1. If a breaker trips on either the short-time or instantaneous protection band, it is critical that before the breaker is reclosed the cause of the short circuit be identified and corrected the breaker be inspected to verify it is safe to re close it. Please note that in order to avoid any safety issue arising is it vital that the safety guidelines contained in BS EN 50110-1 (2004) are followed at all times by qualified, trained personnel. In particular, the following guidelines of BS En 50110-1 (2004) must be strictly adhered to:

7.3 repair work
Repair work may consist of the following stages:
– fault location;
– fault rectification and/or replacement components
– recommissioning the repaired part of the installation

Different procedures may need to be applied at each stage of the work

7.3.1 Specific working conditions shall be defined when locating and confining defects with the installation energized or during application of test voltages according to Clause 5 or based on Clause 6.

7.3.2 Elimination of defects shall be carried out in accordance with the rules of working procedures (see clause 6)

7.3.3 Appropriate function and verification tests and necessary adjustments shall be performed to ensure that repaired parts of the installation are suitable for re energization.

Where feasible, remote operation of the breaker should be used.

All immediate precautionary actions are a requirement for both the etc-12.series as well as the Circuit Breaker Systems RetroTrip RBC-100 units.

2. ETC Technologies is currently validating the following additional interim precautionary measures which are recommended for both the etc-12Q series and the retrotrip RBC-100 trip units:

(a) Before closing a breaker, the user must in each case set INSTANT flashSAFE, on the etc-12Q.series per the settings in table 1. If the etc-12Q.series trip device is already configured with instantaneous pickup settings lower than those shown in table 1, this step must be disregarded.

Table 1

Below 4000A 10 x CT rating
4000A and above 5.5 x CT rating

b) Before the breaker is closed, flashSAFe must be activated through the utilities menu. If flashSAFE is properly activated, the display will appear as show in figure 2.

Figure 2

etc-12q fig2

i. In order to activated flashSafe, the ENABLE flashSAFE FROM FRONT PANEL permissive may need to be selected from the UTILITIES menu. See figure 3.

Figure 3

etc-12q fig3

C) The breaker may be closed.

D) After the breaker is closed, flashSAFE must be deactivated through the UTILITIES menu.

Please note that setting INSTANT flashSAFE is not a substitute for following the safety guidelines contained in the BS EN 50110-1 (2004) standard. ETC Technologies is currently validating INSTANT flashSAFE and will update users once testing is concluded.


We would like to stress the fact that this potential non-conformance is notified on a highly precautionary basis. To date we have not received any reports of this condition manifesting itself in the field. We are conducting power lab tests at an independent laboratory and we will address the findings of these tests in a proactive manner. This potential issue will be rectified with a firmware upgrade which is undergoing validation. This upgrade can be performed by qualified maintenance personnel during the next regularly scheduled maintenance interval. The upgrade can be completed in about 30 minutes and requires the breaker to be removed from service. In the interim, users are required to take the actions detailed above.

The following outlines the procedure to perform a field upgrade of the etc-12Q.series and the RetroTrip RBC-100 trip units. This should only be performed by the individuals qualified in circuit breaker maintenance and testing and specifically trained on this procedure.

1. Remove the breaker from service.
2. Remove the etc-12Q.series trip device.
3.. Remove back cover and upgrade firmware through programming header.
4. Reassemble etc-12Q.series trip device.
5. Using ETC Technologies MCR tester, verify operation of the DINF hardware on the breaker. If the DINF hardware does not conform to performance criteria, it must be repaired or replaced before the breaker is put back into service.
6. Reinstall etc-12Q.series trip device onto breaker and perform a full functional test.

ETC Technologies remains committed to providing the best quality products and stands behind the performance of the etc-12Q.series trip device and the RetroTrip RBC-100 trip units. Please contact us with any questions or concerns using the contact details below:

ETC Technologies
40 Oliver Terrace
Shelton, CT USA 06460
+1 (203) 929-6363


Experiencing Problems?

If you're experiencing problems with your breakers please call us directly. We operate a 24/7 emergency call out service in support of air circuit breakers, we carry spares for ABB, Terasaki, Mitsubishi, Schneider, Merlin Gerin, Square D & Moeller.

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+44 (0) 1299 251 758