Don't know about home owners but I have to add a couple of circuits to an old Zinsco panel in a week or so. Fortunately another contractor I know never throws anything away and had just what I needed. Fortunate too because these people would never go for a new service.
I would think that most of the sales are to DIYers who don't know the sorry record of these panels/breakers.
I did purchase one of the FPE replacements once, to add a circuit for an elderly customer who couldn't afford a complete panel swapout, although I recommended it. The buss looked to be in pretty good shape, so I installed the new breaker. It was about 4X the price of a breaker for a modern panel, though....
Re: Replacements for FP/Zinsco#38883 06/04/0401:56 PM06/04/0401:56 PM
FYI, the distributor for whom I used to work sells brand new (not old stock from 30 years ago) American/FPE breakers. I'm not sure where they are made. They are obtained from Breakers Unlimited. They sell to distributors only.
When people would moan about the price ($50 or more) for a single pole, we would inform them to search the internet for dealers. We would also inform them that our price is high because we sell a new breaker that we can garuantee, not some shady used/refurbished/recycled thing.
[This message has been edited by CTwireman (edited 06-05-2004).]