Changing my Breaker Box

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  #1  
Old 09-13-06, 02:31 PM
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Changing my Breaker Box

I bought my house two years ago, it was built in 1976. One of the things I want to do is to change my breaker box. Here are some pic's of it. Do you think that it needs to be changed or is it ok.


http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l149/ncweidner/BreakerBox2.jpg
http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l149/ncweidner/BreakerBox1.jpg
http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l149/ncweidner/BreakerBox.jpg
http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l149/ncweidner/BreakerBox3.jpg

I guess this board with not allow you to put pic's or URL's in
 
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  #2  
Old 09-13-06, 02:40 PM
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It doesn't need to be replaced per se. You have a 100A service, which still meets the current minimum requirement for dwellings in the U.S. I would not upgrade simply for the sake of upgrading, although you may have good reason to if you plan on remodelling or adding on to the home.

There is a calculation called a "demand load calculation" which you add up the expected load in your home and use that to determine if the electrical service is adequate or overburdened. Google for the term and you will find a method.

Some reasons you might want to upgrade:
1) Kitchen remodels usually require an upgrade as a side-effect.
2) Addition of Central A/C
3) Addition of Hottub or Spa
4) Addition of a shop, power tools, welders, etc.

If you just need more spaces to install breakers, a subpanel is a less expensive option than a complete service overhaul. The average cost for upgrading to a 200A service is about $1,500.
 
  #3  
Old 09-13-06, 02:40 PM
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I never seen a panel like that.

Where do you live?

Who makes the panel?
 
  #4  
Old 09-13-06, 03:02 PM
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Sort of looks like a Zinsco?
 
  #5  
Old 09-13-06, 04:54 PM
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It's a Zinsco for sure. Replace it when you have the chance, or sooner. Its not an immediate hazard, but can be troublesome. Especially sice the main isn't secured in place.
 
  #6  
Old 09-13-06, 06:48 PM
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Breaker Box

I posted a problem on here about a week ago --- you may have seen it.

I loose power to 3 bedrooms in my house, the rest of the house has power. But it will come back on in a matter of minutes 10-15 ish. I had the light company come out he said that my voltage is good. That the main breaker (100 amp) is not really secured tightly that it appears to be arcing.

He said that I don't have to change my box out, but he would recommend it or I will start having other probmlems. The Breaker and box are OG -- about 30 years old

The breakers are Zin's and are the 15 amp breakers start at $50 at Home Depot --- then go up in price and the amps go up.

I asked him what brand to go with --- he said GE or Square D. Does that sound correct?
 
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Old 09-13-06, 07:12 PM
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Here's some info on Zinsco: http://www.inspect-ny.com/electric/Zinsco.htm
 
  #8  
Old 09-13-06, 09:04 PM
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My preferences for panels in order is Cutler Hammer, either CH or BR type, Siemens, Square D, and a VERY distant 4th is GE.

I have never had to replace a Cutler Hammer breaker that hadn't been hit by lightning, YMMV. Siemens has the best panel layout in my opinion and I often use CH listed breakers in them because they're better IMO. Square D makes good stuff, their panel has a bad layout, and is overpriced (IMHO, again) I just plain don't like GE panels or breakers - the whole setup just seems flimsy to me and I never did like the multiple breakers paralleled to make a main.

ANY of the above is better than what you have and if you put my personal prejudice against Square D aside (their parent company still supports the FPE Stab-Loc panel and breaker design in Canada as Federal Pioneer) Cutler Hammer or Square are the 2 best.

For those who haven't seen one, the Sylvania panels were a clone of the OPs type panel as well. Both junk. So bad in fact that I replaced the only 2 I ever installed (very early in my residential wiring experience) at no charge to the homeowners and about 5 years after the fact.
 
  #9  
Old 09-14-06, 08:22 AM
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> it appears to be arcing.

Given that additional info, I agree with the other posters that you should plan on replacing this panel.

> he said GE or Square D

My top choices in order are: Siemens, Cutler-Hammer, SquareD; I would not buy a GE.
 
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