Here are some more examples of problems with Leviton (response to wearcam.org/levitonsilitis.htm). (anon posting but I can pass along email message to the author).
If anyone else has such anecdotes, please send them along, and indicate if you'd like your name on the posting, or would like it to be anonymous.
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 22:26:51 -0700 > > I just came across your page regarding Leviton, and the coincidence is > too strange to go unmentioned. > > As a retired EE, I sometimes help out friends and contractors who need > help with electrical wiring planning or hands-on construction. Just this > day, I was called upon to investigate a problem of unknown origin in a > new, single-family residence which did not pass its final inspection for > occupancy. Specifically, there was a neutral missing on several > outlets, downstream from a GFCI. > > I quickly determined that although the Leviton GFCI functioned correctly > for its own duplex outlets, the neutral was not being passed on to the > "load" connections. > Replacement happened to be made with a different brand component and the > branch circuit then performed correctly. Upon performing an "autopsy" on > the Leviton GFCI, I discovered that it was strictly a mechanical > mis-alignment of the neutral side contacts of the D.P.S.T. switch. > > It is unknown: 1) if it came this way from the assembly line, 2) if > Leviton does 100% Q.C. testing, or 3) if the failure might have been > induced in the field by exercising the "test/reset" function. It is > conceivable that lack of robust mechanical design leads to failure only > after a live test of the function in the field. Only a Q.C. procedure > of cycling through test/reset, more than once, could detect a component > destined to fail in the field. > > Upon relating this story, a few hours ago, to the electrician in > charge, he mentioned that several weeks ago on the same home he had > found a defective Leviton single-pole snap switch...out-of-the-box. > These two failures are what prompted me to search the internet for > information on users' dissatisfaction with Leviton reliability. > > At first I might have concluded that each of these was, after all, only > a residential grade component...but the fact that two dissimilar devices > failed in a simple, low-tech project sure bites Leviton in the > reliability statistics. Besides, apparently the failures you noted > included higher-end components, where Q.C. standards would be expected > to be even more exacting. > > Until more information comes along to explain away such problems, we > will be steering others away from Leviton. > > If you need any further specific details, please do not hesitate to > contact me. > > Regards,