Federal Pacific Electrical Panels and Zinsco Electrical Panels (also known as Zinsco Sylvania) were installed in homes from the mid-1950s to the early 1980s. However, a faulty design has made the panels extremely unsafe.
Why they’re unsafe: Federal Pacific Electrical circuit breakers fail to trip when they should (when there’s a short circuit or circuit overload). This problem has led to thousands of fires. Zinsco panels melt to the main ‘bus bar’. This means the breaker can’t ever trip, even when there’s a short or overloaded circuit. So, if there’s ever is a short or other problem, the surge of power melts wires and could start a fire in your home.
CONSUMER ALERT: The insurance industry is recognizing the potential fire hazard that Federal and Zinsco Electrical Panels create. Some insurance providers have stopped writing policies on properties where these panels are present. If your home has one of these defective panels and your insurance company is unaware of it in your home, a fire caused by the panel may not be covered by your insurance company.
Not sure what type of electrical panel you have? Take a few photos of your electrical panel and send them to Mike Talty, a Clover Electric Electrician. We’ll get back to you right away. There is NO CHARGE for this service.
There are many reports of circuits in the off position still sending power to the circuit. This can cause electrocution when working on a circuit that’s off.
It is impossible to tell which electrical panels are defective simply by looking at them. And, even though you may not have had any problems so far, it doesn’t guarantee the panel is operating safely.