American Switch panel with main Zinsco breaker

The issue with these panels is the breakers MIGHT not trip, which in turn could cause circuit damage or fire. Please correct me if I am wrong. It is a defect. I call out any of these panels as such.

It’s all in the public view. If you take the documentation and reports at face value it’s easy to believe the misinformation. If you dissect the information provided, you can see things in a different light.

As I said, there are many, many threads where I’ve laid this all out. I will not invest the energy and time to do it again. It’s all searchable.

The potential that a breaker “might not trip” exists with every manufacturer - every manufacturer without exception.

There is an acceptable failure rate. There is no breaker or breaker manufacturer that can produce a product that is 100% reliable.

TY, I will try to find those threads, hopefully they’re in the electrical and not MO section (don’t have access to it atm).

1 Like

Hi Jeff,
So since every manufacturer has an acceptable failure rate. On your reporting will you inform your clients of such for your own risk management? Or will you report only on panels that are reportedly disproportionately higher in failure rates? In my area of Humboldt County, CA. I run into questionable panels frequently.

An acceptable failure rate is not determined by the manufacturers. These are set by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and similar testing labs.

To obtain a UL listing, each component must meet specific standards and a “maximum failure rate” is part of that equation.

FPE fraudulently used a UL listing for a period of time in a specific area of the country, however, UL did not verify a higher than normal failure rate. The higher than normal failure rate was reported by an independent entity.

With that said, I have a standard statement in my report writing that explains the controversy surrounding FPE and Zinsco panels, and I recommend they have the panel evaluated by a qualified electrician if they have any concern that the panel may be “unsafe.”

Being from CA, I’m sure you see your fair share of FPE and Zinsco panels. I don’t consider them to be “questionable” based solely on their brand-name.

Does that answer your question?

1 Like

Hi Jeff,
Yes you answered my question very well. In fact I do refer to a qualified licensed electrician every time that I encounter the panels in question. Thanks for the reply and have a great 2020!

1 Like