Is My Panel Safe?
Outdated Federal Pacific and Zinsco panels found in Tampa Bay.
The sole intention of this article is to educate the homeowner of the potential danger of having a Federal Pacific Electric, Zinsco or Zinsco-Sylvania electrical panel.
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1 (813) 908-0035
1 (813) 263-4432
Many homeowners are not aware of the seriousness of these panels failing and that is due in part to lack of electrical inspections performed at their homes by a qualified electrician or properly trained building inspector. Your electrical system should be inspected at least once a year to avoid future repairs that could have been prevented.
History has shown that in some cases the circuit breakers for the Federal Pacific or Zinsco electrical panels don’t trip under an overload or a short circuit condition. In other cases the breakers on the bus bars got loose in turn generating an arcing condition that transfers a great amount of heat and accelerates the potential failure of the breakers, wiring and bus bars.
If the Federal Pacific or Zinsco electrical breakers don’t trip under an overload condition, the insulation of the electrical wire can overheat, melting the insulation and exposing the bare hot wire to flammable materials such as wood, drywall or insulation increasing the possibility of an electrical fire.
What should I do?
The most important thing is to take action and simply do a quick evaluation to verify if in fact you do own a Federal Pacific or Zinsco panel by looking at the labels or viewing the pictures below to find the characteristics of the breakers. If you are not sure or don’t know how to identify the panel, call a professional electrician that has experience with this kind of situation to fully evaluate the electrical conditions.
How much would it cost to replace?
A lot less then the replacement of your home and no comparison to the lives of your love ones. The price can vary depending on the size of the panel and the type of upgrade. A good measure range could be between $800 to $2,500.
We received a call from a general contractor who was working on a bedroom remodel and by accident cut the electrical wire to a receptacle with a reciprocating saw and the breaker did not trip urging the general contractor to shut the main power off. After we inspected the entire circuit, our electrician discovered that a Zinsco panel was present and from prior experience with these panels, it was obvious that the panel needed to be replaced for the owner’s safety and peace of mind.
During another bathroom remodel, our electrician discovered that their panel was a Zinsco-Sylvania. After we educated the homeowner on the seriousness of the situation, our electrician proceeded to replace the panel. After our evaluation of the buss bar, we discovered burn marks on one of the breaker slots.
For more information on panel and electrical safety click on the following link or watch the video below:
Is my panel safe?