Zinsco Circuit Breaker Removal

Old 09-19-02, 01:34 PM
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Cool Zinsco Circuit Breaker Removal

I bought a replacement breaker for a Zinsco panel. I have never removed a Zinsco breaker before. Is there a special tool or procedure? The breaker is quite old and brittle. My dad and I did this when I was younger but I forget the details.
Old 09-19-02, 07:36 PM
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With POWER OFF you shouldn't need ahy tools, it should pull out, then klip in. With POWER OFF.
Old 09-19-02, 08:22 PM
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Zinsco are notorius for arcing at the bus connections and "welding" themselves to the bus.If your panel has a Main breaker make sure it is turned off and test with meter to be sure power is off before attempting to remove the faulty breaker.Remember that the wires attached to the main breaker will still have power to them. Once you do have the old breaker out,inspect the bus bars and make sure that it is not damaged from arcing.If it is damaged,do not install a breaker at this location,have the panel replaced.If there is not a main,have a licensed electrician do the work.
Old 09-19-02, 09:36 PM
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Above about main off is crucial-- that said, there is bar that runs across all breakers (except main) that fits into recess of breakers.This bar must be raised tor the breaker to be removed. Bar should slide freely up and down on screws at each end. BE SURE MAIN IS OFF!
Old 09-20-02, 07:23 AM
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The information you have been given is real good. Especially the part about the bar that may be holding the breaker in place.

The only thing that I would add here additionally addresses what texsparky said. Zinsco is notorious for arcing and burning of the bussbar. As instructed you should inspect the bussbar the only thing I would add is that if the bussbar is damaged, you may have two options.

First, look and see if there are any other spaces in the panel where you could place that breaker and the bussbar is not burned or clouded in that location.

Second, there are replacement bussbars available for most of those panels. These are a listed aftermarket product manufactured by Challenger. The last time a purchased a set they were less than $ 50.00. They are extremely easy to install and removal of the old bars is just as easy. This may be an option for you short of replacing the whole panel.

I have used the replacement bars in about ten panels that I can think of, as far back as 9 yrs ago. These people are still my customers today and I have not had a single call to go back and replace any breakers since I put the new bars in. Again, this is just to explain another option. I know that a lot of people on here will tell you to replace the panel and I tend to agree but, sometimes things like this can be a burden at a time that is not the best financially and this would give you a safe and less expensive option.

Good Luck!!
Old 09-20-02, 09:41 AM
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Short of having FPL turn on main, I decided against removing breaker on my own. I just paid an electrician to do it and it did come out after some 3 mins of pulling with channel locks but it was so melded into those bars I dont think I could have done it. Thanks for all the excellent advise. With all the bad news about Zinsco I have found on the net I am going to take the advse to have whole panel replaced. The guy said he would eliminate the inside panel, not Zinsco but another bad brand since he says that is what is done now days. I like having the option of turning off different rooms with the inside breaker box so I may have him replace that too. Oh, he did move the new breaker down to a non-scared part of the bars. Is he right to elimate the inside panel? Also we have a lot of Aluminum high gauge wiring he says should get replaced which I had been reading about for years.
Again, thanks for the expert advise and warning. I do Computer consulting if anyone above had a question.

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