zinsco panel

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Old 04-28-08, 05:22 PM
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zinsco panel

I have a Zinsco panel that I think is a split bus (?) panel. I can easily shut off power to the bottom (thin) breakers, but for the life of me cannot figure out how to cut power to the top (thick) breakers. There does not appear to be a main breaker. I am just trying to replace a 20 amp breaker with a 15 amp.

Here is a picture:

http://biomechanics.uoregon.edu/obl/images/panel.jpg

Thanks,

- Andy
 
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Old 04-28-08, 05:34 PM
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that is a split buss allright .,,,

you see the 125 amp breaker ?? that is the main breaker for lower section of split buss breaker box but for upper section now that get very hairy section really there is no main breaker on that section the only way you can kill the power is yank the meter off [ i will not encourge you do that due safety reason just call the poco they can come out and take the meter off and they can reconnect it later ]

but i have other issue i will ask you right there senice you show the photo there did you see the green handled breakers if so that should be 30 amp is both breaker handle is tied ??


Merci,Marc
 
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Old 04-29-08, 06:16 PM
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[QUOTE=willamette;1357267]I have a Zinsco panel that I think is a split bus (?) panel. I can easily shut off power to the bottom (thin) breakers, but for the life of me cannot figure out how to cut power to the top (thick) breakers. There does not appear to be a main breaker. I am just trying to replace a 20 amp breaker with a 15 amp.

Andy,

Do NOT attemt to change a breaker in this panel. I strongly recommend you contact an electrician to change it out completely. Zinsco panels are notorious for circuit breakers on the upper busbar that will run overloaded without tripping. These breakers can heat up, resulting in welding of the breaker contacts to the bus, which will deteriorate and weaken the breaker casing and buss assembly. In my opinion, Zinsco ranks right up there with Federal Pacific.... FIRE HAZARD
 
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Old 05-05-08, 09:25 PM
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Zinsco

We initially had a Zinsco panel and changed out the whole panel. We were able to re-secure homeowners insurance at a lower rate after having done so, due to insurance concerns (certain companies) with the Zinsco panels.

To be fair, having researched this, Zinsco at one point manufactured panels with breakers that ran overloaded and caused fires. (Exactly as previous poster described.) That said, those panels and breakers were from their commercial line; no home installed Zinsco panels have ever recorded a fire or other safety hazzards. But some insurance companies are gun shy having been burned (pun intended) in the past by commercial building fires.

So whether the Zinsco panels are safe is somewhat arguable; whether it would be of value to replace them is without question. And without question is the value of having a main shutoff that will affect all the breakers in the box! If you don't have the funds for such a project, I would suggest you will want to contact the power company to pull the meter while you change the breaker.

Might I ask why you want to replace this breaker?
 
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Old 05-05-08, 10:22 PM
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Let me add Zinsco breakers aren't cheap. They went out of business long ago so those making new breakers price like they have the market cornered... which they do.

Also see: http://www.inspect-ny.com/electric/Zinsco.htm
 
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Old 05-19-08, 12:15 AM
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I apologize for the late reply on this post. Thanks to all for the warnings about Zinsco panels.

french277V - The bottom 30 amp green breakers are tied together and power a heat pump

Blackfaer - After rewiring a kitchen, I ended up with an extra 20 amp circuit where there used to be a 15 amp circuit. However, since the lower breakers are coupled, my thought was to switch out a double 15 with a double 20 and and swap a 20 for a 15 above, which would leave me with a net +1 on 20 amp breakers.

I found a solution that avoided touching the upper breakers. I was able to order a double breaker that had one 15 amp and one 20 amp breaker (I couldn't find anything like that locally):

http://www.cesmco.com/ubi_z.html
 
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