Old Electrical Panels

Zinsco & Federal Pacific Electrical Panels: What You Need to Know

Your electrical panel is sort of like the heart of your electrical system. All the power in your home flows through it, so it is extremely important to make sure this device is working safely and correctly.

If you have an older home, you may want to check your electrical panel (usually located in the basement, garage, or storage closet) to see if it is Federal Pacific Electric or Zinsco brand. While many homeowners don’t know it, these devices can be extremely dangerous, and may pose a serious threat to your electrical system and entire property. Keep reading for what you need to know about Zinsco and Federal Pacific electrical panels, and make sure to call our experienced Raleigh electricians at CMC Electric for panel upgrades and more.

Federal Pacific Electric Panels

Between the 1950s and 1980s, Federal Pacific Electric Company made electrical panels that were common in households across the United States. However, during the ‘80s, homeowners began to realize there was something wrong with FPR panels. They regularly failed to cause circuit breakers to trip, so when many properties’ circuits shorted out or became overloaded, there was nothing to prevent their electrical systems from shutting down. And even when homeowners would turn off their circuit breakers manually, these panels would still often continue sending power through their houses. This resulted in thousands of residential fires across the U.S. If you have an FPE panel in your house today, you may still be at risk for electrical fires, or even electrocution, so call a professional right way.

Zinsco Panels

While the Zinsco brand no longer exists, the company’s electrical panels were used in many households between the 1950s and the 1970s. However, around the same time that consumers realized there was something wrong with FPE panels, Zinsco received attention for malfunctions too. In their case, the panels’ circuit breakers would sometimes melt to the bus bar, preventing the breaker from tripping during power shorts or surges. In addition to failing to alert homeowners when their system was overloaded, the melting wires inside these devices posed an even greater risk for fires and electrocutions. The Zinsco brand was eventually folded into GTE-Sylvania, so if you find a panel in your home labeled Zinsco, GTE-Sylvania, or just Sylvania, you should have it replaced immediately.

Call CMC Electric to Upgrade Your Home with a Safe, Efficient Electrical Panel Today

At CMC Electric, we provide electrical panel replacements, repairs, and maintenance in Raleigh and the surrounding areas. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers, so if you find an FPE of Zinsco panel in your home, call us right away. We offer affordable coupons and financing options, and are even available 24/7 for emergencies!

Dial (919) 694-4454 now to schedule an appointment, or contact us online.

Categories