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Thread: zinsco box

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Lafayette,Colo
    Posts
    35

    Default zinsco box

    Hey guys.... had a nice place today... then looked at the sevice box... it's a zinsco with a bunch of breakers and no master breaker... also couple of double taps...yikes... told the client he should have the whole box looked at by a qualified sparky.... didn't the CPSC have some recalls on these? If not what do we use as justification to replace these.. tx b

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: zinsco box

    Here is my standard comment for Zinsco panels or Sylvania panels that use Zinsco breakers.

    This property has a Zinsco brand main service panel and circuit breakers. These panels and circuit breakers are known to have a variety of problems including:

    *Buss bars possibly made from aluminum alloy and are more likely to oxidize and corrode
    *Breakers that don't trip under normal overload conditions
    *Breakers that appear to be tripped when they're not

    The client should be aware that these panels do not offer the level of over current and fire protection provided by most other electrical panels and circuit breakers.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Chico,Ca
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: zinsco box

    Be aware that not all Zinsco panels have AL bus, early 60's on back into the 50's were plated copper, still have the copper bus from a Zinsco panel I jerked out a number of years ago, & they have survived more then a few scrapyard runs too. (Not the next run though).


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: zinsco box

    "Overwhelming opinion within the residential electrical industry is that these are defective and dangerous" is usually what I say. Also, most Zinsco panels are 40+ years old which is past the typical service life for this equipment (even if it weren't kindling).

    I don't go too far into specifics with these panels as to why they're bad. There are plenty of more qualified people than me to do that. I point my buyers to the info and give my opinion, that it should be replaced.

    The problem with getting too specific is you'll find some nut job electrician to disagree with your specific findings on a specific panel (Zinsco that doesn't have aluminum bars, Fed Pac breakers that aren't on a certain "bad" list, etc.). IMO it's just best to stand back a bit and make a blanket recommendation.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Chico,Ca
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: zinsco box

    Zinsco/Sylvania & FPE are the most reviled names in the electrical industry,where I live FPE is fairly rare but Zinsco infests tract homes & apartment bldgs. here a lot.

    BTW, Zinsco used FPE breakers for everything over 225 amperes & also everything in excess of 240 volts. (Unless it was fusible gear).


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