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Zinsco Electrical Panels

Posted by R. B. White on April 12th, 2001 05:44 PM
In reply to Zinsco Electrical Panels by Judy DiDonato on February 27th, 2001 12:11 PM [Go to top of thread]

24 of 24 people found this post helpful

Moderator Post (s) for this thread:
> Yes.....FPE No-trip by doug seibert on 08/16/2004
> ALWAYS ask the advice of a licensed electrician ! by doug seibert on 08/17/2004
> Zinsco replacement breaker by doug seibert on 06/07/2006

I'm an electrical contractor in Seattle and have been in the contracting business since 1973. Started wiring houses in 1953. So I have a little bit of expereince with a variety of electrical equipment.
Regarding the Zinsco electrical panels, I offer the following comments:
Originally made in Puerto Rico and installed in the 60's and 70's thoughout the USA market. Lots of these are in both single family homes and multi family apartments and condos.
Zinsco sold their manufacturing plants to Sylvania who then marketed them under the Sylvania brand until finally closing down.
MAJOR PROBLEMS: We have found the breakers do not trip under normal over-load conditions. We have pumped up to 60 Amps into a 15 Amp breaker before it will trip. FIRE HAZARD!
We have found the buss bars are made of aluminum material and corrode quite easily. I have equated it to perhaps different levels of quality in the aluminum they used.
When these buss bars corrode they can present a real hazard and we have experienced the panels going in a "Melt Down" condition. MAJOR HAZARD!!
CONCLUSIONS: Replace any Zinsco or Sylvania brand panels. They are a hazard.
Consider using the Cutler Hammer brand "CH" style. These are a little more expensive, but have all COPPER buss bars and offer a "Lifetime Guarantee" (free replacement of BRANCH circuit breakers)
Good Luck!!

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