Pushmatic Panel

I did an inspection a few months ago on a home that had a Pushmatic panel with copper and multi-strand aluminum. AB May came to service something and said the panel should have never “passed” inspection and wants the home owner to replace the panel with a newer one.

I know they’re old but the wiring was correct and no deficiencies were noted.


Who is AB MAY?

Local company, sorry. http://www.abmay.com/

Old but where great . I see nothing wrong with them .

If it works, it works. It’s hard to find parts and breakers for them is my biggest issue. He probably just needed the work…

Has pushmatic in stock

I always recommend replacement of push-matics. I often cannot reset them. Here in the Midwest, they corrode and rust often due to our weather and can fail. Check with the insurance company. Many will not insure a home with this panel in service.

Get out your check book.


This is a good reliable panel and shouldn’t need to be replaced based upon its name. What was the reason this company gave for replacement? Use the search tool for ‘pushmatic’ and you’ll find several discussions about it.


Same for me here in San Diego.

I agree and have one in my place.

My last home still has a Bull Pushmatic Panel .
Seeing many at inspections I never recommended removal.

Roy there actually may be a few little issues with them.
1] expensive
2] most of the time the knockouts are full at 60 amps
3] They do have tenancy to not trip when they should.

I look at them a little like fuse panels in being slightly outdated like many of us…lol

Now in days we start at 100 amp service .

(1) Installed panels are paid for not expensive .
(2) mine was a 100 amp service .
(3) Never was a problem with mine .

Installing a new system is expensive

Interesting fuses might be old system but I do think you will find fuses react
to an overload faster then breakers

As home inspectors, we do not “pass or fail” any item. If it’s in working order with no visible deficiencies, we would not be justified in recommending replacement…

Lots of older homes in long Island had or have bulldog pushmatics. . I do not see a problem with them. A lot of time the problem I have seen is that a breaker has been modified to fit. They sell replacement breakers at the electrical supply house.

I see no problem with this type of panel…

On the other hand, I often find old thises and thats which are working fine with no visible deficiencies yet I still recommend replacing them. Modern things with newer technology 99.9% of the time are simply better and more efficient.

For example, recently I did an inspection out in the boondocks. The home had a 1938 oil-burning furnace in it. It was working fine with no visible deficiencies. I recommended replacing it, for a couple of reasons: First, it needed weekly maintenance 52 weeks a year because it gets cold at night in the mountains; Second, weekly maintenance is expensive, as is the oil relative to gas.

Electric panels to me are no different, especially these esoteric panels like Bulldog Pushmatics.

Esoteric? Really? To a typical homeowner, just about any part of the electrical system can be a mystery. Pushmatic equipment is no more “esoteric” than a light switch :smiley:

I have never heard an electrician call a light switch esoteric whereas many electricians call Bulldog Pushmatics esoteric. So I’ll stick with what the licensed electricians recommend. The State of California and the court system considers them more knowledgeable than me, a lowly home inspector.

AFAIK, Pushmatics are inferior by design in that they don’t offer magne-trip.
They are thermal only, at least the early models.
Plus they can be a pain to reset.
I would not recommend a blanket replacement of every one I come across, but if a Pushmatic panel looks old, corroded and messy, I would recommend an evaluation and possible replacement.

We have pushmatics a lot around here - I’m in Chicago, specifically Wilmette. I’ve never heard any insurance problems, I had one for years. That said, 90% of insurers won’t insure houses over 50 years old, or anything pre-war. Many homes here are around 100 years old, you’ll need a old home policy, they cost more. They usually just ask if you have circuit breakers.

Electricians that want work will claim they are a fire hazard, but there is no significant evidence. Except any old breaker may not trip as expected. Larger amp breakers can be hard to find, and there are no GFCI or ACFI. Replacement is a good idea, for that reason.