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#116454 04/03/04 06:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,672
Likes: 2
Admin Offline OP
Just kinda curious.... Does anyone else consistently see this everytime they open a Zinsco panel?? Seems like everytime I walk up to one.... I gotta change it out because the bus & the breakers just didn't get along & arc-ed themselves unto uselessness!

-Randy (lostazhell)
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

#116455 04/03/04 08:48 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
I didn't when I did a hot tub install a few years ago... but then again, I was filling in the last empty spot, and there was no complaints by the H.O. about flickering lights.

Now I know the name for that abomination of a panel... and it's name is ZINSCO!

#116456 04/04/04 01:59 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 931
Likes: 1
Thats why they sell replacement buss bars for some of those POS panels,the only good use of a Zinsco/Sylvania panel is scrap metal. With the cheesy lugs on their twin breakers that must have been fun for whoever double lugged that 20A breaker in the top photo.

P.S. What is amazing is that there are installations from the 50's still in service.

#116457 04/04/04 04:14 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,438
This is original equiptment from a house built in 1972... Just in the past year I've ripped out at least 40-50 of these... also in that time, I think I replaced about 10 FPE, another 10 Bulldogs, maybe 4 or 5 Bryant/Westinghouse, a Square D "XO", a Trumbull, & a seriously prehistoric one that had an "E" with a diamond around it as the only legible marking left.

For some reason, Zinsco was a seriously popular brand out here in So California in Tract-Homes built anywheres from the 50's - into I think the early 80's..

Job Security [Linked Image]


#116458 04/04/04 08:23 AM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,291
I think that I must have relocated/replaced a zillion of these breakers. The bus stabs just lose their "grip", and leave the breaker to arc as shown.

The very bestthing about Zinsco breakers is the satisfying "thud" noise they make when hitting the bottom of a trash can..S

#116459 04/04/04 03:18 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 745
I think Zinsco is the only brand I have ever seen that uses (or used) the "push and pray" style wire connections [Linked Image]. I guess their rationale is ... why should poor connections be limited to wiring devices only... [Linked Image]

Mike (mamills)

#116460 04/04/04 09:51 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
Interesting.....Zinscos are almost non-existent here in the northeast....thank God!! Although I did get a request about a Zinsc- "no" breaker for a mobile home.

There are still quite a few FPEs around here, but no Zinscos.

#116461 04/05/04 02:18 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 394
My parents finished the basement in the place where we lived in the late 50s - early 60s. The original FPE inside was full so the electrician added a Zinsco beside the meter outside and the FPE became a sub. Now that I look back, it is a miricle the place survived

#116462 04/05/04 02:55 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,438
I find FPE panels here & there... I came across some tract houses in San Diego & Oceanside which had FPE panels AND aluminum wiring! (Talk about bad getting worse!), & they were from the early 80's... I think the EC that did the original build must've gotten them on clearance or something [Linked Image] Another peculiar thing I found was a supply house in San Diego which STILL had FPE 100A meter/mains in the box! (You know a good product when it's still on the supply house shelf 20 years later!) Most of the FPE panels I get called to replace are the old 6 circuit/no main style from the 40's & 50's..

Another peculiarty with a specific manufacturer... I've come across 3 or 4 Cutler-Hammer "CH" style panels where the 100A main breaker actually caught fire! [Linked Image] [Linked Image] No damage occured outside of the panel can except for some blackend stucco, but it was strange & kinda eerie seeing that more than once, in different cities & build era's at that!

I come across FPE, Square D "XO"'s,Bulldog "Pushmatics", even Wadsworth & Trumbull boxes that are pushing 50-60 years old that are still in basic "working" order & get changed out mostly as an upgrade.... But the Zinsco changeouts are alomst always due to equiptment failure.. As I'm writing this, I just came back from replacing a Crouse-Hinds 100A main that refused to reset.. Albeit there was enough dirt in that panel to grow an orchard.... 5 minutes, a brush & some "Lectra-Clean" & the bus looked new again [Linked Image]

Zinsco has made ALOT of money for my company & I! [Linked Image]


#116463 04/05/04 01:08 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
The supply-store chain for whom I used to work bought out an ancient mom & pop in the area and all their inventory.

During transition, they filled a 50 yard dumpster with FPE gear of every stripe - panels, breakers, discos, motor starters, etc. Apparently most of it had sat on the shelf since the early '70s.

They also chucked lots of buff Wiremold and other hideously outdated stuff.

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