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#147543 - 12/07/02 11:27 AM Zinsco panel
kmtech Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 1
Loc: Washougal, WA. USA
I asked an electrical contractor we use where I work about my zinsco 200A loadcenter in my 30+ year old house and told him I was thinking of adding a couple of new branch circuits.
He told me zinsco was basically junk. He said I'd be much better off replacing the panel with something decent like Square D or Siemens or (?). He said "you don't want your house to burn down, do you?" and asked me "Have you ever had one of those breakers trip - EVER??"
Come to think of it - no I haven't. I've lived in the house over 12 years now.
I'm a pipeline maintenance tech, not a licensed electrical contractor.
What are the expert opinions out there from you guys who really know this stuff??
Thanks in advance for any comments..
Happy Holidays!


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#147544 - 12/08/02 03:53 PM Re: Zinsco panel
sparky806 Offline

Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 59
Loc: Shawnee, KS, USA
I would have to agree with your EC. I have cut through live circuits without tripping Zinsco breakers. Back when I did residential service work, I saw a Zinsco panel burn to a crisp without tripping the main breaker. Still had voltage on it when I arrived.

#147545 - 12/10/02 08:07 AM Re: Zinsco panel
KWE2002 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1
Loc: Ovid, MI
kmtech... It is good that you have asked around. I just plain old dislike your type of panel. I have no knowledge of it failing in my experience. However, if the other two electricians have had bad experienc with them, you should listen. If you don't trust your current electrician's word. Get a second oppinion. You have already done that on here. Your next step would be shopping for price and quality. Please go with a manufacture that has a common shared type breaker. I suggest Cutler Hammer. Square D makes a quality product. However, they are pretty individualized about their breakers. Your electrician will install what he prefers if you just allow him/her the opportunity.
I would like to add. If an electrician feels real strong about something being not so safe, then listen. If I am dispatched to an older home and it has a "Federal Pacific" breaker panel installed, I refuse to do any work within the home unless I am permitted to change the entire panel at the customer's exspense. If they wish not to change the panel, I recommend the yellow pages to find an electrician that will work with federal pacific breakers.


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