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  1. #1
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Zinsco better then any new panel

    My client the other day said that his electrical contractor like the Zinsco panels better then any of the new panels.

    I told him that the old Zinsco panels he has in the 4 plex he now owns should be replaced with new panels...

    I was just... I had no words and just walk away... He going to stick with the old Zinsco year old panels and thats thats...

    Electrical contractor like that should hang up the bags...

    We don't see the homes in my area on fire every day and I bet the number of the 3 million homes in the north bay is about 50% Zinsco panels. I think we are in a time bomb ticking and ticking

    I know that many homes just shut down and these panels get replaced quietly...

    I do have one area that has almost all Challenger panels and I have found 3 of them with overheating problems on the mains.

    I have these 2 links on my reports.

    YouTube - Zinsco Breaker Test (Fire)
    Home Improvement Forum, Home Repair Forum, Do It Yourself Forums and Other Forums at BobVila.com

    What do any of you think?

    Best

    Ron

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Zinsco better then any new panel

    The Bob Vila link needs a little work!


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Zinsco better then any new panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    My client the other day said that his electrical contractor like the Zinsco panels better then any of the new panels.

    I told him that the old Zinsco panels he has in the 4 plex he now owns should be replaced with new panels...

    I was just... I had no words and just walk away... He going to stick with the old Zinsco year old panels and thats thats...

    Electrical contractor like that should hang up the bags...

    We don't see the homes in my area on fire every day and I bet the number of the 3 million homes in the north bay is about 50% Zinsco panels. I think we are in a time bomb ticking and ticking

    I know that many homes just shut down and these panels get replaced quietly...

    I do have one area that has almost all Challenger panels and I have found 3 of them with overheating problems on the mains.


    What do any of you think?

    Best

    Ron
    In 1973 GTE bought Zinsco Electrical Products, which they later renamed as Sylvania, in the early 1980's Sylvania became the Challenger Electrical Equipment Corp. , so Challenger was just a new name for Zinsco. Westinhouse later bought Challenger & used rebadged Westinghouse breakers for Challenger gear, up until the West. line was bought by Eaton Corp. & Challenger was sold to Thomas & Betts the rest was folded into their Cutler-Hammer Div. . Challenger is Zinsco.

    IMO, your clients need to get rid of their lowballer/hack EC & find a decent one. Zinsco/Sylvania is the most reviled/bottom of the line/problematic gear out there.


  4. #4
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Zinsco better then any new panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    The Bob Vila link needs a little work!
    Looks like they updated the web-site...

    Try this one. Zinsco Panels - Fix-it Forum: Home Improvement & Do It Yourself Repair Forum Post #116381


    Best

    Ron

    Last edited by Ron Bibler; 05-08-2010 at 08:06 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Zinsco better then any new panel

    You can also use Friedman's site as a reference:

    Zinsco Sylvania Kearney Electrical Panel and Circuit Breaker Hazards, Failures, Inspection, Detection, Repair, Replacement - Sylvania Zinsco circuit breakers and panel hazards

    It's a lousy panel. I find that the breakers sag (like the tits on an old witch) and I have seen scorching on at least 2 that I have inspected.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Zinsco better then any new panel

    I know this thread is about Zinsco breakers (which tend to weld themselves to the bus bar as they melt and burn their way through the bus bar), but ... the other one we hear to much about are the FPE and their tendency to spit the breakers out of the panels at you as your remove the dead front covers and their tendency to never trip and be excellent for arc-welding, so ...

    I was down in South Florida today looking at the house one of our daughters is buying and my brother-in-law was telling me about a friend who was having a problem finding replacement breakers for a FPE panel as it was tripping off ... I has to stop him and have him repeat it ... an FPE breaker which was actually tripping off - can you imagine that?

    Of course, though, it was apparently tripping off without reason, but okay ... IT WAS TRIPPING OFF!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Zinsco better then any new panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I know this thread is about Zinsco breakers (which tend to weld themselves to the bus bar as they melt and burn their way through the bus bar), but ... the other one we hear to much about are the FPE and their tendency to spit the breakers out of the panels at you as your remove the dead front covers and their tendency to never trip and be excellent for arc-welding, so ...

    I was down in South Florida today looking at the house one of our daughters is buying and my brother-in-law was telling me about a friend who was having a problem finding replacement breakers for a FPE panel as it was tripping off ... I has to stop him and have him repeat it ... an FPE breaker which was actually tripping off - can you imagine that?

    Of course, though, it was apparently tripping off without reason, but okay ... IT WAS TRIPPING OFF!
    Jerry. if you like, I could ship you a brand new Canadian Federal Pioneer breaker that will fit the FPE panel, will not spit itself out and will trip the way a breaker should. Then if that trips, you will know there's trouble there.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Zinsco better then any new panel

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Jerry. if you like, I could ship you a brand new Canadian Federal Pioneer breaker that will fit the FPE panel, will not spit itself out and will trip the way a breaker should. Then if that trips, you will know there's trouble there.
    John,

    No thanks, but thanks for offering ... if I had an FPE panel (and I do) I would simply replace it as 'the design of the panel' is what allows the breakers to fall out, not 'where they were installed or made'.

    The breakers, on the other hand, may work if they were made elsewhere, but then again, why bother putting working breakers into a panel which has a design flaw that allows the breakers to spit themselves out?

    The FPE panel is on my list of things to replace in the not-too-distant-future. In South Florida I had a Zinsco panel , which I replaced, in this house up here I got the other one (FPE ) and have to replace it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Zinsco better then any new panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    John,

    No thanks, but thanks for offering ... if I had an FPE panel (and I do) I would simply replace it as 'the design of the panel' is what allows the breakers to fall out, not 'where they were installed or made'.

    The breakers, on the other hand, may work if they were made elsewhere, but then again, why bother putting working breakers into a panel which has a design flaw that allows the breakers to spit themselves out?

    The FPE panel is on my list of things to replace in the not-too-distant-future. In South Florida I had a Zinsco panel , which I replaced, in this house up here I got the other one (FPE ) and have to replace it.
    OK. I guess if you haven't seen them in action, you would not trust any Stab-Lok breaker. But if the busbars are in good condition, the new Federal Pioneer breakers fit tight and trip well.
    The new panels are a joy to inspect, actually. No spitting.

    Electricians like them. Schneider owns both Square-D and FP, but Stab-Loks outnumbered Square-D 10 to 1 in my last 20 inspections, they are that common in my area.

    10 FedPioneer!, 3 CH, 2 Seimens, 1 SqD,
    and old antiques, 2 Westinghouse, 1 ITE, 1 FPE with copper busbars.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Zinsco better then any new panel

    Check this out. See any loose breakers?

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    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  11. #11
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zinsco better then any new panel

    Federal Pathetic panes are terrible as are Zinsco. I will not replace a breaker in either panel brand. I will only replace them with Square D. That's just the way it is folks. Junk is still Junk even if you try to make it all pretty and nice with some new parts.


  12. #12
    Phil Brody's Avatar
    Phil Brody Guest

    Default Re: Zinsco better then any new panel

    Forget about tripping, I had one on a 220v/ 40 amp water heater that didn't disconnect the power even when I manually turned the breaker off to replace the water heater.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Zinsco better then any new panel

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Check this out. See any loose breakers?
    You know John, the last thing anybody needs is somebody extolling anything related to FPE panels. There are enough idiots running around who seem to delight in supporting the position that there's nothing wrong the FPE panels without encouraging any more.

    I've seen enough problems in them that I couldn't in any way recommend that a "fix" would be simply installing Federal Pioneer breakers in them, even if UL approved the practice. What you get is the functional equivalent of installing a new engine in a car with a bad transmission and expecting it to run right.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Zinsco better then any new panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    You know John, the last thing anybody needs is somebody extolling anything related to FPE panels. There are enough idiots running around who seem to delight in supporting the position that there's nothing wrong the FPE panels without encouraging any more.

    I've seen enough problems in them that I couldn't in any way recommend that a "fix" would be simply installing Federal Pioneer breakers in them, even if UL approved the practice. What you get is the functional equivalent of installing a new engine in a car with a bad transmission and expecting it to run right.
    OK I am backing away from this one. I was comparing our shiny apples to your rotten oranges.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Zinsco better then any new panel

    Here is one from last week in an 1890 dump that is on the Nat'l Hysterical Register - Why do you think the breakers were taped and labeled "OFF?" Hmmm.

    Last edited by Jim Hintz; 05-26-2011 at 04:17 PM.

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