My wife went out early this "black friday" (armed with my MasterCard, Nach! ) and called me telling me to check my email, and I'd be so proud of her.... She sent me this pic of a fairly dilapidated Zinsco panel with all kinds of issues, from where she had breakfast with her mom.... I told her I hope she used her zoom and to stay at least 50' from it!
Zinsco ain't ALL that terrible... at least phases can easily be switched on the back of the breakers. This is important because the acring that usually occurs on the busbars gets so bad you really need to use an adjoining phase.
Might be better off with the acring though... the arcing is probably more reliable to open the circuit breaker, than the mushy feeling OEM Zinsco breakers.
Why is it the AFTERMARKET Zinsco breakers seem to feel and work better than the OEM Zinsco breakers?
My wife went to Japan on business and she made sure to get tons of pix of Matsumoto Castle, including closeups of the fine joinery that traditional Japanese carpenters are famous for. She said it was freezing there. I didn't ask her for any electrical pix (although she took a few on her next trip to Thailand).
I've never seen a Zinsco panel like that, with two rows of breakers.
This old panel looks like it could have been set up as a split buss job. Remove the jumpers from the main lugs from the left side to right, install (or arc weld ) a large 2P breaker on the left side, and use it to feed the right side. How you would bend the conductors through those narrow gutters to the other side is another matter...
Doesn't make it any better, though... . Those jumpers look awful dicey. I'm surprised the entire panel isn't full of mud daubers. Those little beasties can get in everywhere.
JJM: I know what you mean by those mushy feeling OEM breakers. I believe those were "Magnetrips", and if you operated the handle slowly enough, you could actually open the circuit (read "arcing contacts")before the "spring" kicks in .
[This message has been edited by mamills (edited 11-29-2006).]