Zinsco panels?

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by nsomniac, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. Feb 14, 2008 #1

    nsomniac

    nsomniac

    nsomniac

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    Hmm...ok, so I previously posted here about wiring for a cooktop, and in trying to be a little less ignorant I've been reading everything I can get my hands on about electrical systems, and especially my home's wiring...

    I went looking for information about my main panel, and discovered that if you google Zinsco and/or Magnetrip, you get websites galore absolutely insisting that those panels are fires waiting to happen. I got a clean bill of health on my electrical system from the inspector 6 years ago (with notes about it being outdated in some respects), but its got me wondering.

    Just thought I'd see whether you guys can shed some light on the Zinsco thing.

    Thanks
     
  2. Feb 14, 2008 #2

    Hack

    Hack

    Hack

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    My house had a Zinsco panel. A friend of mine is an electrician and isn't a fan of Zinsco breakers or panels.

    I had a main panel, and a sub panel right next to it, sort of a hodge podge of panels, breakers, and sub-circuits.

    I had it all replaced last year with a new panel and all new breakers.

    I don't know that Zinsco is inherently "bad", but the few electricians I know didn't like it much...and said if it were their house, they'd replace it...
     
  3. Feb 14, 2008 #3

    nsomniac

    nsomniac

    nsomniac

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    I imagine I would replace mine if I were an electrician :)

    My house had an even older separate panel for the A/C and Furnace units, and I had it replaced with a new one a couple years ago...so I guess it could be worse as a hodgepodge.

    Maybe with the tax rebate, just to feel secure....
     
  4. Feb 16, 2008 #4

    triple D

    triple D

    triple D

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    I have been in the trade for several years now. I believe the problem with zinsco and federal pacific panels was that the breakers did not want to trip when a short was created. This would melt the breaker and possibly start the wires in wall on fire, but usually just the plastic breakers would burn in most cases, thus creating a panel fire. I have seen many perfect zinsco panels in my time, removed all the breakers and seen clean buses in some, and scorching as well on some range, heat, hot water, and dryer circuits. I've even changed out all the breakers for new style zinsco, when a service change was not affordable by some. These new breakers are not cheap! Even if an inspector finds a panel in good health, this just might mean the sysyem has never been faulted before. I wouldn't want to be on the other end of a zinsco breaker and count on it letting go(tripping)....Changing this panel if job was financially within reason 1,000-1,800 dollars, would be wise investment for both resale and safety.......good luck
     
  5. Feb 16, 2008 #5

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    Yes, I can.
    Believe everything you have read about them.
     

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