Another Kind of Zinsco

I’ve seen a few Zinsco panels in my time, but this was a first. At first glance it looked like a split bus, but in fact, it was a parallel service.

A single drop split to two sets of SEC’s. I’m not sure how it looked behind the meter, but two sets of conductors fed two different breakers - one 70 amp and one 40 amp.

The 70 amp breaker supplied the general house circuits and the 40 supplied the condenser for the A/C.






Jeff, the first thing I see is the mast for the SE does not appear to be high enough above the roof. Is 8ft correct in this situation?

There were a ton of problems here. As you stated, the service drop was only 2 feet above the patio cover (min 8’ reqd) and completely overgrown by a tree. There was no working clearance and the covers were falling off of the panel.

The GEC was connected to a water pipe in the attic (not in the ground) and there was no ground rod. The list goes on and on. . .




they also have no understanding of what Drip Loops are for either in that image. Maybe it was just the angle…but man I hate to see that " Grounded" conductor come loose…snapo…:frowning:

I can hear the seller now…“But it has always worked fine for us”.

Lots O’ problems with that set up.

Good pics Jeff, I have never seen any Zinsco like that either.

I understand the other issues but is “splitting” the SEC incorrect?

Yes, it is legal under certain conditions and it still considered a single service drop. really depends on the application of the service setup.

:mrgreen: Yes incorrect or Yes correct (legal)?. Id would imagine you would need two meters??

The grounding connection in the attic may actually be a “bonding” connection. It would depend on if the water supply is a well or not. If it is a well supplied (with nonmetallic pipe), then that connection in the attic would be permitted.

Well, it is a bonding connection, but I don’t think that was its intended purpose.

The original GE was the galvanized water piping. The original GEC had been disconnected, and turned up into a wall where it ended at this connection. I assume this was done as part of the permitted re-pipe, which included a plastic mainline from the street.

There was no other GE to be found on the property. Because of the plastic main and the copper piping being in the attic and walls, my recommendation was that the system ground be verified or established.

With all of the other issues, I felt that was a safe recommendation. . .

This is a very good example of how horribly wrong electrical systems can be. A lot of obvious issues are highlighted by the wonderful and clear photo’s Jeff has presented and we all certainly appreciate the time and effort taken to share this information and knowledge. Thank you all for the input on this subject. I am sure I speak for a number of us in the sense that the electrical aspects of a home can be the most challenging in terms of understanding all the aspects and components of the system. Thanks for the ongoing education. :wink: </IMG>