Looking for Zinsco 30A single type-T breaker?


Old 01-01-16, 06:40 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Looking for Zinsco 30A single type-T breaker?

I am a slightly new electrician, 6 years as a journeyman in Oregon and Washington. Normally if I have questions I know where to look for the answer, some take longer but eventually I can pin down the answer. This one I'm coming up with blah.
I did work at an old bank that was wired in the very early 1900's with side by side 200A panels, they were 1/8th" steel and zero markings. The panel cover was a completely flat 5' by 4' 1/8th" steel, spanning both panels. The access doors were literally cut out of the rectangular piece of steel than hinges were bolted on. Absolutely zero markings that had identifying significance. It took 3 of us to re hang by the way.
I do have one item to help identify the Era these were installed, does anybody carry these breakers, and is there any other type that would fit in this panel.
Here are some pics, I think they are a very hard and rare breaker to locate.

Name:  IMG_1925.jpg
Views: 450
Size:  20.4 KBName:  IMG_1923.jpg
Views: 508
Size:  26.9 KBName:  IMG_1929.jpg
Views: 477
Size:  20.9 KBName:  IMG_1916.jpg
Views: 453
Size:  27.2 KBName:  IMG_1917.jpg
Views: 452
Size:  44.1 KBName:  IMG_1931.jpg
Views: 557
Size:  43.5 KB

Last edited by spark999; 01-01-16 at 06:53 PM. Reason: Adding pics
Old 01-01-16, 06:51 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
The bottom line is Zinsco panels are unsafe and obsolete. The panels need to be replaced.

Your pictures didn't show. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...rt-images.html

Old 01-01-16, 07:11 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I'm not doing anything else their, I'm just curious about it and do not like when I figure it out. It's like reading an awesome 1200 page book than having to stop 40 pages from the end.
Zinsco and FPE are horrible and should be changed but you can't force that on a customer and they will just find somebody else. I think if a permit is pulled and the existing service is junk the state should enforce that being changed or the work will not be signed off on.
Old 01-01-16, 07:32 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,495
Received 36 Votes on 28 Posts
The Zinsco circuit breakers were not original to 1900 but were retrofitted, most likely during the 1960s. That panel would have had knife switches and either cartridge or Edison-base screw-in fuses at the time of construction. Probably like this panel.

Name:  600_14914673.jpg
Views: 470
Size:  45.3 KB

Note well that this panel originally was for straight two-wire 110 (yes, 110) volt operation AND that both the conductors are switched and fused. It was eventually changed to a three-wire 120/240 system by cutting the "hot" (ungrounded) bus bar and bringing in the two legs of the three-wire Edison system.

This panel is still in use in Seattle.
Old 01-02-16, 10:00 AM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,754
Received 96 Votes on 86 Posts
It's extremely hard to tell about old obsolete breakers just from a few pictures, but it appears the Type T Zinsco isn't really any different than the old Type Q Zinsco breakers. If I were looking for a replacement it would certainly be worth purchasing one and matching it up with the Type T breaker. Take a look at this thread from a couple years ago, it might help you understand more about Zinsco.


The type T didn't appear to be a bolt-in style, but Zinsco made them as well. The are the really hard ones to find.

Typical Zinsco replacement plug-in breakers from UBI are not hard to find and can be ordered from Home Depot or Menards

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: