Zinsco Electrical Panel - Problem?

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Old 07-11-16, 08:30 PM
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Zinsco Electrical Panel - Problem?

Is this (are these) electrical panels a problem? The home inspector pulled the panel off the wall and it looked pretty clean inside. Is there any reason I should have this (these) changed out, and if so should it be a priority? I am concerned from what I have read elsewhere taken into account the aspect of longevity of these panels in terms of encountering a problem.Name:  IMG_4996.jpg
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Old 07-11-16, 09:07 PM
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Zinsco failure reports, though few in number, indicate severe failures of Zinsco electrical panels / circuit breakers including failure of the circuit breaker to trip on overcurrent, arcing and burn-ups at the breaker to panel bus bar connection, and circuit breaker burn-ups. Zinsco & Zinsco-Sylvania Panel Replacement Recommended, Zinsco Sylvania Panel Breaker-to-Bus Connection Arcing.
Continued at: Zinsco Sylvania Kearney Electrical Panel and Circuit Breaker Hazards, Failures, Inspection, Detection, Repair, Replacement - Sylvania Zinsco circuit breakers and panel hazards
 
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Old 07-12-16, 08:54 AM
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Yes they are a problem and should be a priority to replace. They suffer from both a bad design at the connection between the breaker and bus bar AND a shockingly high breaker failure rate in the field. The first problem sounds like it could OK at your house if the panel looks good -- assuming they actually took out all the breakers and did a detailed inspection of the bus, otherwise the inspection was useless. The second problem cannot be identified from an inspection. It only shows itself if you have an electrical short in the house. The breaker won't trip and the shorted wire will catch on fire.
 
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Old 07-12-16, 03:57 PM
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I'd also replace it.
I'd also be interested why there's so many 20 amp. breakers and no 15 amp. for low loads like lighting.
 
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Old 07-12-16, 04:23 PM
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arcing and burn-ups at the breaker
This is the most common failure I have seen and it can occur regardless of how clean the panel looks. The first sign is a receptacle or light that intermittently stops working and other times seems to work fine. When this happens you can usually hear a slight sizzling sound if you put your ear to the front of the breakers. The breakers are actually burning up at the back of the breaker where they attach to the aluminum bus bars.

These panels were popularly priced and used extensively during the period when aluminum wiring was used too. Do you have aluminum wiring?

I'd replace it and make it a priority!
 
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Old 07-13-16, 08:59 PM
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To my knowledge the home has copper wiring. It was a good buy and I knew somewhat of the risk of the Zinsco panel from research pre-purchase. I knew that if I tried to hardball the seller they could have very easily found another buyer. I have attached pictures of the inside of the panels from the inspection report. Obviously that may not be of much help to any of you, but hey you never know. I will be contacting an electrician immediately to have the panel replaced. Any ballpark idea how much that should run? I have read it would be in the neighborhood of $1,000. I live in Northeastern Oklahoma. My kitchen light has been intermittently not functioning correctly and I am not willing to chance it. Thanks to everyone for the info.

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Old 07-14-16, 08:39 AM
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Somewhere around $1000 is a reasonable guess. Depends on if other components of the service entrance also are at the end of life and need replacement. If the whole service needs to go look more toward $1500-2000. Of course labor rates and permit fees vary widely around the country so consider these rough guesses.
 
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Old 07-14-16, 09:48 AM
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Those larger conductors should be in a conduit that appears to be missing.
 
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Old 07-15-16, 05:55 PM
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Those larger conductors should be in a conduit that appears to be missing.
That caught my eye immediately too. Both panels have some serious issues other than being known fire hazards. These panels were not installed by a good electrician.
 
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