Old House: New Panel Install

1924 home had a Zinsco Panel, probably from the 60’s. I recommended evaluation for replacement. They did both. Pulled no permit for the work, but it was inspected by the AHJ and apparently they had no issues. I understood that all new work should be done to modern standards. This panel has no AFCI or GFCI breakers in it, as a new home would. A little help on how to address this is appreciated. A reference as well please. Thanks guys.

I recommended them for enhanced safety, staying away from code.


Thanks Larry, I couldn’t agree more. My question: "is the panel required to be installed in accordance with modern standards…including AFCI and GFCI in all the required spaces and circuits. I was under the impression the answer is yes. After a quick search I found nothing to say that.

The updated Panel Cabinet has to meet current codes but, I don’t believe that includes bring up other parts of the house to code e.g. AFCIs and GFCIs.

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Thanks Larry.

How was it inspected with no permit ?

Short answer no.

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Whenever someone is buying an old house… Our job is to explain to the client that today… we have this… and the house you are about to spend all your money on has… it has this old panel… at that point it is up to the buyer to figure things out. Since you cannot enforce code… even if things are “required” the town can always make an exception. Why get in the middle of it? BTW, in my area the town relies on 3rd party electrical inspectors to inspect, they don’t have own expert for electrical work.

If you really want to know, talk to the inspector and ask him why they are not enforcing AFCI/GFCI

The “city of boca raton” does require AFCI in panel replacement permits.
I’m in “unincorporated” palm beach county where it is not required.
Most jurisdictions have no such requirement.

Good point, there may be local requirements to add it but if a jurisdiction follows the letter of the NEC it’s not required.

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I always recommend GFCI’s be installed for safety wherever they’re missing and then I tell them when the standard was adapted and to consider installing them. As far as I know most people get the GFI’s fixed because they consider it a safety issue. I rarely mention afci’s unless I find one that doesn’t reset.

County of Los Angeles specifically says AFCI are not required on if the new panel is with 6 feet of the old panel.

I pressure the country is afraid of they required AFCI, the cost would be prohibitive, and no one would every change their panels. But that’s just a guess.

Either way, I rarely see AFCI breakers, unless it’s new construction.

Only the local building inspector can answer that.

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