28 Feb Is my Electric Panel Safe? (Part 2)
We previously discussed the Federal Pacific Electrical Circuit Breaker Panel (FPE), which was one of the most common panels in North America from the 1950s to the 1980s. (Click to read that blog here). Your home’s Electrical Circuit Breaker Panel can develop problems over time just due to age and should be inspected when purchasing a new home.
These two brands of panels may have major manufacturing and/or design flaws that potentially put homeowners at risk—Federal Pacific Electric panels and certain Zinsco panels. There are also millions of people today who have panels that are more than 40 years old and may no longer protect their homes from overcurrents and short circuits. In this Blog we will cover Zinsco panels and what to do if you have one in your home.
Most Zinsco panels are obsolete today. However, at one time, they were extremely popular and installed in many regions throughout North America. As time has passed, electricians and home inspectors have discovered that certain Zinsco panels often can fail to operate properly and may leave homes and homeowners at risk to both fire and electrical shock. These panels can work fine for years, but as homes have increased energy demands, these panels may overheat and portions of them melt.
In this situation, if a breaker melts to the bus bar of the panel and can no longer adequately trip in case of an over-current or short circuit, an extreme amount of power from the outside electrical supply surges into a home’s panel and circuits. Once that happens, it cannot be stopped or shut off manually. Electricity will burn until it runs out of fuel or the wires melt. The panel could overheat and catch fire, causing serious harm to a home and its occupants.
If you suspect that you may have a Zinsco or an outdated circuit breaker panel in your home, or in any event, you have not had your panel inspected recently, you owe it to yourself and your family to contact a licensed electrical contractor in your area for an inspection.
Schedule your consultation today by calling La Maison Home Inspections (941) 779-7170 or click here to schedule your inspection today.