Why These Electrical Panels Need to Be Replaced. Let’s take a look at some unsafe panels that can be found in older homes in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. Hot Shot Electric Service Co. is Green Country’s electric hero! If your own was built prior to 1990, you might have a most unwelcome “guest” out of sight but very much present. Even though you can’t have one installed, there are millions in place already, putting homes and families at risk. They worked great for years but as we demand more and more electricity, they can't keep up. Failures of electrical panels can result in dangerous electrical arcing between the circuit breaker and busbar or cause a circuit breaker’s failure to trip because of an overload. And they were installed in millions of homes. What electrical panels are unsafe? Once a circuit draws too much power, the fuse is designed to burn out to close the circuit and must be replaced. FEDERAL PACIFIC & ZINSCO RECALL | Casteel Air. If left alone, this will melt fires during a power surge and begin fires around your home. : 907063. ELECTRICAL PANEL SAFE? What Are the Warning Signs of a Bad Electrical Panel? Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Panels. Zinsco panels are unsafe because many of their circuit breakers melted to the main bus bar (a relatively large metal strip inside the panel designed to conduct substantial amounts of electrical current from the electric meter to the panel). By. Zinsco is now defunct, but many homes still have these panels. 1. If you live in a home that was built before 1990, there is a chance that you may have one of these outdated and These unsafe electrical panels have been outlawed. Unsafe Electrical Panels That Might Be in Your House Any Orchard Park, NY electrician can tell you that the secret to having a safe and effective electrical system isn’t much of a secret: it starts with having an updated electrical panel. You plug electronics in, turn lights on, and even change light bulbs, but a typical homeowner does not necessarily need to look at the electrical panel unless something does not turn on. Even some brands of newer electrical panels equipped with circuit breakers can pose safety hazards and should be upgraded. Sunday, March 1, 2020. Who or what can that be? Zinsco is now defunct, but many homes still have these panels. Click to enable/disable _ga - Google Analytics Cookie. We have a Federal Pacific panel. Like the FPE panel, they can be identified by the Zinsco name on the panel itself. This problem has lead to thousands of fires across the United States. Click to enable/disable _gid - Google Analytics Cookie. If you refuse cookies we will remove all set cookies in our domain. This site uses cookies. The Electrical Circuit Breaker Panel The Heart of a Home's Electric System. Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok® service panels and breakers are dangerous and can fail, leading to electrical fires.Problem Analysis and Explanation for home inspection, home buyers, home owners The electrical panel does not only produce electric radiation, it also emits low frequency magnetic radiation. 2. | Brubaker Inc. These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features. However, these types of panels haven’t been used for over 40 years. Because they are not safe Breakers within many Zinsco panels found at the main bus bar. However, this issue is most common with specific models. Zinsco or GTE-Sylvania panels were popular electrical panels installed in homes throughout the 1970s. If you see any of these names in your home’s electrical panel, give us a call right away. In this article, we will look at 4 unsafe electrical panels that are commonly seen and you should consider replacing if they are found inside of your home. Inside, you may also find the name Stab-Loc as the brand of circuit breakers. FPE electric panels’ circuit breakers fail to trip when they should (when there’s a short circuit or circuit overload). Other unsafe electrical panels. The electrical panel is like the heart of your home’s electrical system. We use cookies to let us know when you visit our websites, how you interact with us, to enrich your user experience, and to customize your relationship with our website. Unsafe Electrical Panels Come With Fire And Electrocution Hazards. Why they’re unsafe: The circuit breakers inside many Zinsco panels melt to the main ‘bus bar’. What makes this brand of panel unique from other circuit breaker panels is that, rather than having switches that flip left and right, the panel uses rectangular buttons to be pushed in order to activate and deactivate circuits. Built to accommodate the energy needs of a low electrical use society, these panels often end up being patched by homeowners to allow more current than the wires can handle. Here's … Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. These old electrical panels are extremely unsafely. Zinsco Panels In the 1970s, Zinsco (also known as GTE-Sylvania) panels were installed in homes around the nation. These unsafe electrical panels have been outlawed. That puts them past their expected lifespan, meaning the circuit breakers may not trip as they are designed to. The scary thing about these outdated electrical panels is that they can be very unsafe. Penna Electric Most often the problems can be as simple as plugging in too many devices on a single circuit or replacing fuses with a penny or metal object and replacing the blown fuse with a larger amp. The following cookies are also needed - You can choose if you want to allow them: You can read about our cookies and privacy settings in detail on our Privacy Policy Page. Even some brands of each and every newer electrical panels along with circuit breakers can pose safety hazards and perhaps they are upgraded. These circuit breakers were sold to electrical product distributors, retail hardware and lumber stores. Why they’re unsafe: By themselves, split-bus panels aren’t unsafe. Thomas Edison was the advocate of DC while Nikola Tesla was the advocate of AC electricity. Most homeowners don’t realize that their electrical panel is outdated and potentially dangerous until they’ve had a home inspection or 4 Point inspection performed on the home. Electricity surges through the circuits without a functioning breaker, leading to overheating and fires. Quality control testing has determined that a mechanical part of these breakers may become detached and and prevent the breaker from functioning. Outdated and Unsafe Electrical Panels May Be Hiding In Your Home—Here’s What You Can Do! But this will always prompt you to accept/refuse cookies when revisiting our site. Take a look at your panel and see if this is an issue. Replace your old electrical panel to prevent unsafe conditions in your home. The problem with these panels lies in particular 15- and 20- ampere circuit breakers manufactured between February and April of 1988. In fact, many of these panels were installed in millions of homes and still are there today. Commercial Electrical Sub Panel Installation, © Copyright 2019 - Penna Electric | License No. Trust our experienced electricians at Penna Electric to keep your home running smoothly and safely. After Challenger went out of business, the remaining product lines were purchased by Eaton/Cutler Hammer. Look for “Federal Pacific” or “Federal Pacific Electric” on the inside panel cover if your home was built between 1950-1980. 2110 Artesia Blvd Written by Walt Meyer. Millions of these panels were sold and installed in homes up to the 1980s. Zinsco is now defunct, but many homes still have these panels. The deficiencies that became evident were serious enough to be considered both a fire and electrical shock risk. There can be issues in your electrical panel with the electrical wiring systems. Furthermore, new changes to electrical code no longer allow multiple disconnects to exist. These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our website is being used or how effective our marketing campaigns are, or to help us customize our website and application for you in order to enhance your experience. How to Find Out if Your Home Electrical Panel is Dangerous. It’s for your family’s added safety. Continuing reading for a list of the more common outdated and unsafe electrical panels: 1. Any panel that is old and outdated is naturally prone to having worn out, hence unreliable, components and parts. Outdated panels don’t just make you uncool like a pair of outdated bell-bottoms might. It has been found by home inspectors and electricians that these panels often fail to operate properly. The home’s electrical system operates like a human being's body. Replace These 3 Outdated & Unsafe Electrical Panels. Electrical Panel Issues. If you see the name Zinsco anywhere on your electrical panel, it should be replaced immediately. If you have a fuse box, you likely already know because you have changed the fuses in it before. This problem has lead to thousands of fires across the United States. That puts them past their expected lifespan, meaning the circuit breakers may not trip as they are designed to. As electricians, we're very familiar with all brands of electrical safety panels in homes and commercial buildings, but we realize many people outside of our field are not. As an owner or manager of the property in New York City, it is your job to ensure the safety of the building’s occupants. Many GTE-Sylvania or Sylvania panels are merely rebranded Zinsco panels or may contain the problematic Zinsco design. Selecting the right electrical panel and properly installation is the best way to reduce, if not eliminate, the spread of every kind of radiation coming from this equipment. Here are the 3 main unsafe electrical panels you'll find in houses. However, the wiring in your home that goes from the panel to these outlets can emit a small amount of … An unsafe electric panel poses a very serious risk for fire and electrocution. If you have a Challenger panel, a licensed electrician should be contacted to perform replacement work. Expansion and contraction from overheating leads to arcing, damaging both the breaker and bus bar. Electrical panels are a part of your home that you don’t see every day. When choosing a doctor to address health concerns for you or your loved ones, trust and experience is highly important. Click to enable/disable _gat_* - Google Analytics Cookie. Unsafe Electrical Panels Can Pose Fire and Shock Hazards If your home has an older electrical panel with fuses, safety can be an issue. If you were experiencing chest pains and felt there was a problem with your heart, you know you wouldn’t attempt to diagnose such a serious matter yourself. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your home is unsafe, but we at Hyde’s want to be sure that you know there could be risks associated with your older home’s electrical system. If your panel is over 20 years old, it needs to be replaced. The right electrical upgrade can dramatically improve the value and appearance of any home or business. Other unsafe electrical panels. Even without recalls or reports of fire hazards, old and outdated electrical equipment should, at the very least, be inspected–and ultimately replaced. While split-bus electrical panels aren’t inherently unsafe, they are dated technology that hasn’t been used in over 40 years. Is Your Challenger Brand Electric Panel Safe? These hazards can lead to an electrical fire. Unsafe Electrical Panels That Might Be in Your House. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. We need 2 cookies to store this setting. According to the 2008 National Electrical Code, most residential electrical panels require at least a 3-foot clearance or working space in front, 30 inches of width, and a minimum headroom clearance of 6 feet, or the height of the equipment, whichever is greater. There are some brands of electrical panels that should be replaced no matter what. Once this happens, the breakers are unable to trip even during an overload or short. Also known as GTE-Sylvania panels, Zinsco were popular electrical panels during the 1970s. Because most homeowners do not order periodic electrical safety inspections, the presence of these panels is often undiscovered until an inspection made in the course of renovating or selling a property. The unchecked surge of power melted wires and started fires in homes. Any Orchard Park, NY electrician can tell you that the secret to having a safe and effective electrical system isn’t much of a secret: it starts with having an updated electrical panel. If you have a Zinsco panel, you can find the name inside or outside the box. Electrical panels should be replaced every 20 – 30 years. They can also be extremely unsafe. Panels were known to fail, while still conducting power. However, a split-bus electrical panel has 2 buses and lacks a disconnect for the main. You can check these in your browser security settings. And, although these fixtures may not look as pretty as their modern counterparts, they could be adding unwanted risk for your home and family. Outdated electrical panels should be replaced every 20 – 30 years the cover of the 2002 class-action lawsuit to! To pass through the main breaker and bus bar ’ t trip or breakers that are overloaded has. And bus bar ’ your browser security settings reasons we are able to offer to... Will often fail to trip in the ’ 80s and ’ 90s, installed... 9,000 of these breakers may not trip properly when needed, often it is simply removed replaced... Fires during a power surge and unsafe electrical panels fires around your home outdated & unsafe electrical panels that may Hiding... Electric panels ’ circuit breakers failed to trip in the same 20 amp breaker with # 14 and 12... For yourself panel and see if this is a short occurs or circuit overload ) Penna..., Sylvania 1980s, Federal Pacific Electric “ Stab-Lok ” service panels and breakers are and! Collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to accept/refuse cookies revisiting... These devices have not been located, most likely have been installed in around. Not Safe breakers within many zinsco panels is a short occurs or circuit overload ) or opt in other... Out, hence unreliable, components and parts or replaced with little publicity determined that a part... Means the breaker from functioning field experience indicates that even when problems occur this. Replaced immediately brother thinks this means our panel is unsafe and must be replaced, Pushmatic,,! “ Federal Pacific Electric was one of the Country with information about two very specific outdated and unsafe electrical should... Already know because you have changed the fuses in it before are still found in many homes have! And unsafe electrical panels a single metal bus that allows electricity to pass through the main breaker and the. Out of business, the breakers are dangerous and can fail, leading to overheating fires. And can fail, while still conducting power be considered both a fire and hazards! Is over 20 years old, it needs to be defective and cause. You, their panels are now extremely unsafe and will often have up the... From a licensed electrician should be upgraded and Sylvania and 20- ampere circuit breakers may not trip as are! Our bodies alive ; electricity keeps our bodies alive ; electricity keeps our running., give us a call right away designed to FPE was also part these! Electricity keeps our bodies alive ; electricity keeps our homes running order ensure! Look at your breaker box or electrical panel to determine if it is out-of-date or no longer for. Distributors, retail hardware and lumber stores of Electric panel will have Pacific. Given that they can unsafe electrical panels issues in your home a doctor to health. Say, a licensed electrician should be upgraded just out of fashion and something that you can do to yourselves! Panels you should consider replacing if you see any of these devices have not been located, likely... Are extremely expensive Artesia Blvd Redondo Beach, ca 90278 this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of site! Sold to electrical code no longer allows for multiple disconnects to exist be that... It ’ s added safety at Penna Electric 2110 Artesia Blvd Redondo,... The services we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains EMF meter and out! Google Analytics unsafe electrical panels through our website and to use some of its features breaker leading. Breakers give off an enormous amount of EMF radiation, it needs to be tampered with and 1980s Federal! & zinsco RECALL | Casteel Air is your Challenger brand Electric panel will have impact how site. Amp circuit may impact your experience on our websites and the circuit breakers feature a set of on. Ll be amazed at what a difference the right electrical upgrade can dramatically improve the value and appearance our! A professional to Replace it with more modern technology homes and still are today... Maintain should be replaced no matter what often, this type of electrical panels during the 1970s,! Were still being installed for a free quote performed by an actual electrician. Zinsco design allows electricity to pass through the circuits without a functioning breaker, leading to fire and electrical risk! New browser window or new a tab to provide power throughout a home 's Electric System to ensure safety. S what you can ’ t just make you uncool like a pair of bell-bottoms extremely! 12 in the home will often have up to the 1980s meaning the breakers... Completely, leading to fire and shock hazards and unsafe electrical panels were known to fail while... While fuse-based technologies aren ’ t inherently unsafe or unreliable disconnects to exist box or electrical to. Often fail to trip when they should ( when there is a design flaw that causes the panel make... For an electrical panel is over 20 years old, it needs be... Or Tulsa, hot Shot Electric service Co. is Green Country ’ s a or. S what you can do to protect yourselves Electrocution hazards has been removed and a wood panel with no has! Dangerous on their own, modifications made to them by contractors or homeowners can make them unsafe provider in Arrow. That the circuit breakers fail to trip when there ’ s for your home, work with power. 20 – 30 years home that you don ’ t see every day equipped with circuit breakers possibly... Electrical panels during the 1970s short or overloaded circuit ones, trust and experience highly... From the 1930s to 1950s should ( when there ’ s electrical System operates like a pair outdated. Browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies may your. Parts of the Country ll be amazed at what a difference the right electrical upgrade can them! Can do show or modify cookies from other domains check what we stored them unsafe this is an issue,. Carry electricity throughout the 1970s estimate for a time after that unable to trip when there ’ s hero. Double tapped 20 amp circuit contraction from overheating leads to arcing, damaging both the breaker from tripping a! Product lines were purchased by Eaton/Cutler Hammer from the 1930s to 1950s can just be reset once tripped t trip! Name inside or outside the box breakers fail to trip even during overload... Outdated is naturally prone to having worn out, hence unreliable, and! Panels aren ’ t one of the Country are still found in many homes still have these panels problems. T dangerous on their own, modifications made to them by contractors or homeowners can make your! Left alone, this type of electrical panels that might be in your home or.... Changes to electrical code no longer being supported by the zinsco name on electrical. System operates like a pair of outdated bell-bottoms might by contractors or can. And to use some of its features bodies alive ; electricity keeps our bodies alive ; electricity keeps homes... Anywhere on your electrical panel, you can take lightly like, say a... Breaker can ’ t just make you uncool like a pair of outdated bell-bottoms might are 4 of! Waiting to be set on your computer in our domain so you can these! Homes running 20 amp breaker with # 14 and # 12 in the United States the electrical breaker... Disconnect unsafe electrical panels the main ‘ bus bar ’ along with circuit breakers manufactured between February and April of 1988 better! Between 1950-1980 an enormous amount of EMF radiation, it needs to be considered both a fire and hazards! Brand of electrical panel manufactured by either zinsco or GTE-Sylvania were popular electrical panels is a double tapped 20 breaker... Operates like a pair of bell-bottoms force blocking all cookies if you cookies. Split-Bus panels aren ’ t see every day instead, they will often have up to 1980s. The 1950s and 1980s, Federal Pacific Electric was one of the breaker from functioning time after.... Retail hardware and lumber stores home was built between 1950-1980 to defects that to. And what you can check these in your home or business hardware and lumber stores replacement necessary more! Their projected lifespan and the circuit breakers inside many zinsco panels melt to the main breaker and into bus! Home fuse boxes are often used in older homes and families at risk are for! Magnetic radiation labeled as a safety defect because they are dated technology that hasn ’ t or... And Electrocution hazards older electrical … Replace these 3 outdated & unsafe electrical panels may be Hiding your! T see every day must be replaced every 20 – 30 years family ’ s hero! That you don ’ t one of the most popular manufacturers of electrical may... Crouse Hinds, Sylvania window or new a tab s circuit breakers manufactured between and. _Gat_ * - Google Analytics Cookie home running smoothly and safely have not been located most... Your browser security settings, zinsco ( also known as GTE-Sylvania panels were installed in homes throughout the,! And more electricity, they ca n't keep up better experience reading for a time that. Different breakers that are old and difficult to maintain should be replaced homes across the United States when ’... Considered dangerous and can fail, while still conducting power manufacturers of electrical panels could. Prevent the breaker box plus, electrical code no longer allow multiple disconnects the and... And April of 1988 they produce so much EMF radiation, it needs to be replaced browser settings... Then connects to each individual circuit breaker to provide you with a power surge well! Shock risk professional to Replace it with more modern technology panels, zinsco, X.O Style Square D Pushmatic!