Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Electrical, AC & DC. Electronic Equipment and Computers > Electrical - AC & DC
Reload this Page >

Need to add a circuit to a panel I can't replace (but should)

Need to add a circuit to a panel I can't replace (but should)

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-11-17, 10:04 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Need to add a circuit to a panel I can't replace (but should)

To care for ailing relatives, I had to sell my beautiful house this past summer and move to an (also lovely) rental in the same neighborhood that was built in 1977. It has one of those horrible old GTE-Sylvania panels, and based on this I'm pretty sure it's one of the GTE-Sylvania models that was a not-really-improved revision of Zinsco's flawed design. Between all the passing of brands, acquisitions, and incestuous relationships over that ~20 year period and everyone's complete desire to distance themselves from the name, a cross-reference is nearly impossible to find. I'd just as soon replace the whole panel, but the house isn't mine and I'm not going to spend that kind of money on a rental!

The problem (besides the very existence of that panel in my garage) is that I have a motorhome that I need to occasionally plug in for a few days when I move it from storage to my driveway. The garage is unfinished inside with just bare studs, so adding a j-box with a 30A RV receptacle to the stud just below the panel and running a few feet of 10/2 Romex to the box is easy. Finding a 30A breaker is not!

I have a Connecticut UBIZ30 on order and on its way to me. Everything about it looks and reads right, but I'd rather be sure.

The label inside the door says model no: MLB12(12-24)C and the existing breakers all say either 20A or 40A on the side, regardless of their amperage or whether they are 120V or 240V. The label also says: USE ONLY ZINSCO CIRCUIT BREAKERS TYPE Q, QC, QCN, Q24, HQ, HQC, R38, AND RC38.

The UBIZ30 is listed as a Zinsco Q30 replacement, so it seems like I have the right one.

Thoughts? TIA!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-11-17, 10:50 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
move to an (also lovely) rental in the same neighborhood that was built in 1977. It has one of those horrible old GTE-Sylvania panels,
Then it is not your problem. It is the owner's problem. For reasons of liability you should not touch the panel. This is a problem you need to discuss with the owner of the house.

If you do anything in the panel and later even though it isn't related to what you did if the zinsco panel causes a fire the insurance company could refuse to pay and you could be sued by the owner. Worse if a firefighter or anyone else is injured you could face criminal charges.
 
  #3  
Old 09-12-17, 12:25 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It's fair to say that I should get the landlord's permissions and have a licensed electrician do it.

BUT, the owner is a faceless conglomerate in VA (I'm in a suburb of Houston) who owns thousands of properties across the US, including about 1300 in my county alone. The management company is based out of Atlanta, with no local office. Calling the management company gets a call center in The Philippines. If​​​​​ I were to leave anything up to them I would not have a working kitchen faucet, door service in my fridge, and the house would have no A/C or hot water. One tree has already fallen on the house that they refused to take down, and I had to remove another one ahead of Harvey so that it also didn't end up on my roof. I refuse to pay for a new cooktop and the one in the house was red-tagged by the gas company when we moved in and activated service. In May. They still haven't fixed or replaced it despite our persistent demands that they do so (and their endless stream of promises or excuses about it). Since we moved in we have been cooking on a $20 hot plate from Walmart.

If anyone has anything to say about an RV receptacle in the garage... it was there when I moved in.
 
  #4  
Old 09-12-17, 07:03 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,944
Received 42 Votes on 40 Posts
Yes that's the right breaker, but that's not the only issue with Zinsco. If the bus bars are corroded or burned then the panel is a serious fire risk. Make sure to thoroughly inspect the bus bars for damage prior to installing the breaker. I also recommend that people who have this type of panel inspect them on a regular basis to identify any problems that might be brewing.
 
  #5  
Old 09-12-17, 08:52 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Be careful in Houston hiring an electrician. Because of the very strict rules regarding permits and no homeowner permits there are lots of bootleg electricians. Many learned their craft in third world countries and have never seen the NEC.

Moving I would say is your best course of action for reasons of safety if the management company won't cooperate. If you can get the name of the management companies insurance company I'd inform the insurance company of the unsafe conditions.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 09-12-17 at 09:29 AM.
  #6  
Old 09-12-17, 10:46 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I strongly agree with both of you! There are a lot of "counterfeit" electricians around town doing really shoddy work. If I were to squeeze the mgmt co into replacing the panel, they would almost certainly hire one of those clowns. Because of my business I know a lot of highly qualified masters, but I don't need to hire one just to add one breaker and 3 feet of Romex! I spent a major chunk of my career in MEP consulting before I devoted myself to IT, so I am all too familiar with the issues of Zinsco/GTE-Sylvania panels having loose/arcing breakers, cooking breakers, welding breakers to the buss, causing breakers not to open when they trip, etc. I'm going to make sure everything in the panel is as perfect as I can reasonably make it before adding the new circuit, particularly the connection between the breakers and the buss bars. I'm glad that's the right one. It's brand new and a lot of resources say that there are no new ones being made, but I didn't want to trust a used or reman. It seems they are full of baloney.
 
  #7  
Old 09-14-17, 10:57 AM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,981
Received 22 Votes on 17 Posts
Although the Connecticut Electric breaker manufactured by UBI is the correct breaker, I seem to remember that they are not U.L. Listed.
 
  #8  
Old 09-14-17, 11:34 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
And if even through no fault of your own there is a fire if the Connecticut Electric breaker will be a big red flag for the insurance adjuster.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


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