American Switch panel with main Zinsco breaker

Anyone heard of American Switch or have any helpful advice/insight? House built in 1987. Hardly any Zinsco panel around here. Not exactly sure if this is or not? Couldn’t find a whole lot online, except for an old post of mine, lol. TIA.

That’s a Zinsco all right, it says so right on the main breaker.

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I understood, that any panel with Zinsco and Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Stab-lok are obsolete and/or not supported by NEC due to them being so dangerous. Ether arc/shock when removing cover or breakers fallout easily.
Personally I would not remove this type of cover. :zap: beyond the SOP.

The NEC does not support any brand of breakers. That is not the intent of the NEC. It does not make endorsements.

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Would you remove that cover? @jmilby

Not an HI.

I open panels as part of my job every day.

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You’ve been misinformed. I’ve opened hundreds of Zinsco and FP panels, more FP’s. Here’s a Zinsco panel from today. No arc/shock, no breakers fell out. I’m still alive. Just like with any panel, use caution, and know what you’re doing.


You state that this is no risk for you’re client/home owner with such panels and you will not recommend further evaluation? Specially a recall for such panels? (I know not all panels have a recall just generalized due to the past issues for this type of panel)

I understand the capability of a home inspector but what about the person who goes to trip back one of the breakers? (Heck I have seen tenants call an electrician for a tripped circuit) :sweat_smile:

Besides your opinion based on the fact you are not dead, do you have any information, factual information as a basis to state this information as misinformation and the panels pose no increased possibly of risk ? You are placing the lives of others at risk if not. I would like to see where zinsco panels have been cleared as a safety hazard! I am learning at trying to get all the info I can. Are you a reputable source?

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also known as Sylvania GTE

Zinsco circuit breaker panels have been known to be a fire risk.
Replacement is highly recommended.
Sellers and or their agents of real property may make fine distinctions
regarding the safety and functionality of the equipment, but the fact
remains they do not serve their intended purpose of circuit overload
The following links provide additional information for your review:

Zinsco electrical equipment is considered obsolete, due to a design flaw
in which the circuit breaker’s connection to the bus bar becomes loose,
causing arcing and subsequent overheating.
Long term exposure to this heat can cause the breaker to fuse to the
bus bar, making it impossible to remove. Even worse, it can cause the
breaker’s contacts to fuse together, thus preventing the breaker from
tripping even in an over current situation, thereby causing a potential
fire hazard
Zinsco Electrical Panel, Zinsco Circuit Breakers


Neither Zinsco nor FPE have been recalled. You’re relying too much on internet chatter. Do some deeper research (no message boards or scare-sites) and see what you come up with.

I’ve inspected thousands (literally) of FPE and thousands (literally) of Zinsco panels. I remove the covers on all of them.

I called it a recall on my own terms of safety, don’t need “big data” to believe that they are unsafe to operate and a risk to the home. Plus, what’s wrong in doing research, is it not like an opinion within a forum?
FYI: My source to debate are based on a course I’m taking, I am actually trying to see how it holds with other experienced individuals to further understand the findings even more. The NHIE has a way to make you follow a national SOP required/regulated by the state I am located. :woozy_face:

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I base my opinion on actual facts. There have been No recalls of Zinsco panels. The NEC has never stated an opinion on any “safety hazards” that I’m aware of. So I’m not sure how Zinsco panels could have been “cleared” of anything.

IMO a few insurance companies, primarily in Florida, have mistakenly declared these panels as unsafe and need immediate replacement. In Florida, no other state I’m aware, they’re starting to declare multiple brands as unsafe and in need of replacement. The insurance “scam” is what needs to be investigated.

Now I do inform my clients of the history of Zinzco panels and that they should check with their insurance company to be sure they will issue insurance at a home with Zinsco panels. Also that they may consider having a more detailed review of the panel (pulling breakers) by a qualified electrician. But unless I see other safety issues I do not automatically state that Zinsco panels are a major safety issue and in need of immediate replacement.
The panel in photo I posted has been protecting this home for 40 plus years; no fires or other personal injuries (that I’m aware of) have been caused by this panel.


@ccurrins @jpope

Do you guys disagree with this, fake report?

I do. My opinion is well recorded on this board, so I won’t start another long thread of my opinion, my experience and my research.

Suffice it to say, I am of the opinion that when properly installed and unmodified, FPE and Zinsco are no more “unsafe” than any other panel of the same era.

I understand your “general” opinion :), but it does not address specifically what I’m asking unless I’m overlooking something. Are you saying any other brand of breakers from the same era would also exhibit ~29% failure rate if tested according to standards the breakers are supposed to meet? or that the test performed was somehow flawed and they don’t have such failure rate if tested as outlined in the test?

Based on my research, the test results were misrepresented.

Nah, just more scare sites :wink:

More made up fake, staged stuff

Quick! Get the marshmallows!!!


Is the public privy to the sources you’ve used to conduct your research (unless you’re basing this solely on your personal experience during home inspections)? would it not help the inspection community to have access to these sources? you’re basically claiming it’s some sort of conspiracy against these panels. It makes no sense.

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