Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

The earliest Zinsco panel had buss bars mad of copper. This was a good thing but when the shortage came many were redesigned with anodized aluminum. Like FPE panels they had problems with contact to the bus bar and latter they became known as Sylvania about the early 70’s.
What should you do if you find one of these PANELS?

How many have you seen Kevin .???
I have never seen one of these where they used in Canada.

I have a picture for you Roy but I will say there are very few!
The ones you really have to be careful with is the one with the blue Diamond Label.

Gee I wonder why you would bring it up then .
I have seen other manufactured panels that are rotten and need to be be changed immediately .
Do you say that amalgamated fuse panels should be changed immediately if so why???

How about Bulldog Pushmatic ???

Actually Bull dog panels are quite good. I have never had to report them.

And the rest of the Question???

Do you say that amalgamated fuse panels should be changed immediately if so why???

I see nothing wrong with Bulldog but some dislike them .

I had one in my last home and never changed it.

Do you say that amalgamated fuse panels should be changed immediately if so why???

I never even say FPE should be removed right away so why would I say the Zinsco would be any different.

I do. I find them quite often and recommend they be replaced whenever I do.

Two weeks ago, I inspected a home with an FPE main (with no dead front installed) with a Zinsco sub panel.

I warn my client that it is likely that they may run across an electrician who will not agree that they should be replaced and, if they choose to follow the advice of an electrician to leave the panels in place, they should at least install a smoke detector in the immediate area.

James don’t get me wrong I have it in my report but it does not say to change them but to have it evaluated by a Certified Electrician.
Along with the most detailed information about the FPE panel.

This question should be, “Why would anyone say that any panel should be removed right away?”

When I am called out to confirm or refute the report of a Home Inspector I am blind to the name on the panel. I evaluate what is in front of me without regard to the brand name. I have signed off on many panels that ispectapedia has labeled as unsafe due to the untrained forensic findings of a bunch of people that do not understand what they are looking at and blindly say bad thing about them.

These panels are old. This does not mean that they are unsafe. This bunch of bull about this brand breaker does this or that is mostly unfounded. A few years back Square “D” had a big breaker recall due to the device not opening. Does this mean that all Square “D” panels should be recommended for replacement?

I have had GE breakers that did not open. Should I recommend that all GE panels be replaced?

I have found problems with Siemens panels, maybe these should be called out.

Evaluate what you are inspecting without regard to the brand name. If you don’t have the equipment to test the trip curve of the overcurrent devices, and I know of no one who does, then stop worrying about them.

As to opening any panel I suggest a course in NFPA 70E so that you understand the hazards involved with opening any panel be it a fuse or breaker.

Again I disagree with you but that should be no suprize to you right Mr.Whitt.

As with any other panel, we should do our job - remove the covers and inspect for defects.

I have inspected hundreds of Zinsco and Zinsco/Sylvania panels. The “blue diamond” label means nothing - it’s just a sticker.

Good for you!

I just hate to see the spread of misinformation Kevin. Can you explain why the sticker makes any difference?

Also, the “earliest” Zinsco panels did not use a “bus bar” at all. They used direct contact terminals with breakers held in place by screws, much like the pushmatic breakers.

I don’t try to educate Electricians that can see through panels before they even open them. Maybe you should go work for Mr. Holmes as all his inspectors can see through walls.
And stop telling all the HI’s it is safe to open all panels as this has been discussed heavily on more professional MB’s

I was thinking Mr. Holmes might have a position for you KEVIN.

You can inspect before for his crew gets there and then he can point out all the crap in your report.


You kids play nice well I am gone!

There is nothing wrong with you being in disagreement with me as this gives one of us the opportunity to learn something.

If it wouldn’t be too much trouble could you elaborate on what part you are in disagreement with? Please don’t leave me in the dark.

Nothing personal with this statement but your repeated statement that you disagree without stating what you disagree with makes me feel like a left handed step child. Guess I am going to have to get Paul to give me a big hug.

Did Mc Donald’s call you for an extra shift?