This is a Zinsco subpanel with its capacity obviously maxed out. That being said, I did not see any signs of arching or other problems sometimes associated with these types of panels but I’m wondering what the general consensus would be with reporting on it. Thanks!
I did state that it was a subpanel in the text but yes, you’re right in that the tile said service panel… my mistake. Obviously I can report what I see but the reason for posting was to find out what those with more experience might notice that I may have missed. So if anyone else would care to comment I would appreciate it.
If you’re uncomfortable talking about Zinsco panels and the problems associated with them, have your Client Google Zinsco electric panel. Lots of information out there, and I sure would not want to be the one that failed to at least tell someone to Google it.
A couple of weeks ago, I dropped a new acquaintance off at his condo. I could see the electric panel from the front porch, and the shape of the cover indicated to me that it was a Zinsco. I told him that I was 99.99% certain he had a Zinsco electric panel and the problems associated with them. I asked if we could open the cover to see. Well, bingo! It was. I told him to Google Zinsco and read about it. After I finished telling him about the inadequate overcurrent protection and the latent fire hazard that such inadequacy imposed, he said, “See that condo over there, the one with all the plywood over the windows? That caught fire a couple of weeks ago. They said it was the dishwasher.” I told him that it might have been the dishwasher that actually caught fire, but it might have caught fire because the circuit breakers in the electric panel didn’t do the job they were supposed to do when the dishwasher had a problem.
Last Friday I got an email from him. He had Googled Zinsco, printed out information about Zinsco panels, made 50 copies, and took them to the HOA meeting. The HOA is considering replacing everyone’s Zinsco panels. We’ll know more next month.
Thank you all for taking your valuable time to comment and the good information received. I do run into the Zinsco panels on occasion and unless I see a panel problem, will not advise for it to be replaced but will often advise for further review by a qualified electrician as is the case in the one pictured above and will always include the following:
“FYI: It should be noted that a larger than normal number of Zinsco components have been identified as being prone to problems that can lead serious problems such as; failure of the circuit breaker to trip on overcurrent, circuit breaker arcing and burn-ups at the breaker to panel bus bar connection with the potential to cause fire and electrocution. We recommend that you monitor the electrical system and call a qualified electrical contractor should any electrical anomalies occur. You can learn more about this issue at http://www.ismypanelsafe.com/zinsco_damage.aspx”