Zinsco Load Center, 100 Amp service.

Deferred it to a licensed electrician due to the name and several other things. The realtor called me and gave me an ear full as he could not understand why it is that I am so hard on electrical. I told him electrical can burn homes down and worst it can kill and I thought that was reason enough. He said “Is the house burning down”? I said no and I can not predict if it will due to this set up nor can I tell him if the water heater will blow the house up tomorrow. Long story short, could you guru’s tell me anything and everthing you can see with this set up. Could you also tell me how you would have wrote it up? I am feeling a little beat up on this one and maybe I can learn not to be as he put it “scaring his buyers away”. Here is how
I wrote it up
MAIN PANEL: Panel was full and may need to be upgraded for future needs. Main wires are aluminum - need to maintain oxidizing agent on the wires. Panel cover was missing some screws. Evidence of rust in panel. BRANCH WIRES: No signs of overheating were evident at the time of the inspection. Zinsco Load Center. See Electrical Remarks

The Remarks Section:
***[FONT=Times New Roman]A Zinsco TM or SylvaniaTM-Zinsco electrical panel is installed in this building. Electrical hazards may be present in the electrical panel which could result in overheating, fire, or inability to turn off the electrical power in the home. A licensed electrician who is familiar with this equipment should be called to inspect the panel for immediate fire and shock hazards, and regardless of its visually-apparent condition ***www.inspect-ny.com/electric/Zinsco.htm](http://www.inspect-ny.com/electric/Zinsco.htm)

My Photo comments:
Zinsco Electrical Load Center located in the garage. 2-Shots. See electrical remarks. Recommend a licensed electrician evaluate. Note: This does not mean the unit is bad but it does mean a more intrusive inspection is recommended.

I also told him I do not pull the breakers to look as this is for the electrician.

I don’t know, maybe I am hard on electrical and do not wite it up as I should and if this is the case please let me know. Oh by the way, this is not to mention with in the electrical section I also pointed out things such as double tapping breakers a broken breaker switch etc. I won’t go on because I wanted you to look at the panel. Hope you can blow it up to see better.

Thanks for oyur help,


Randy…your verbiage sounds fine to me. The only thing…I might re-think the use of “immediate fire & shock hazards” to something like “latent hazards and defects”. A layperson could envision sparks & such with your phrase but it is not totally inaccurate though.

Here is my standard comment re: Zinsco & FPE:

Michael is using a modified version of my narrative. The only difference is the recommended action. Here is my version;

Occasionally, I will add this to the end as well. . .

Your picture is too small for me to see anything of value, but it appears to be one with copper bus-bars, rather than AL.

Thanks for your report - it’s obvious you really know what you’re doing. My wife and I would like to pay you to walk through the house with us giving us a basic understanding of utilities and maintenance. We’ll contact you when we get in town (after April 7th).
Thanks again,

Just received this e-mail from the client I was supossed to have scared the heck out of as per their agent. :roll: My clients are from Washington and I gladly accepted their offer without the pay. :cool:

Regardless, I thank you guys for helping me with this matter and giving me your honest opinion and how you write it up. If you don’t mind I would like to use your words next time.
Thanks again,

Use it as you wish. . .

I’m sure mine came from Jeff sometime over the last couple of years…use 'em, modify 'em, make 'em your’s, that’s why we post 'em. :slight_smile:

I thought your comments were reasonable, appropriate, and not at all alarmist. Nice work.


Can you identify this panel and where I can get manufacturer specifications
for this model? It looks like you have tons of experience with this line of


Greg Seelhorst
Installation Coordinator
NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer
Solar Works
4925 Gravenstein Hwy North
Sebastopol, CA
707-829-2518 (work)
707-849-6819 (cell)

Model MTMB10 (12-24) UF, manufactured by GTE Sylvania

Obtaining Manuf Specs may be difficult. These have been discontinued for quite some time.

May I ask what your interest in this panel is?

jpope -

Thanks for the info. I went to a neighbor’s house and found the specs. Check out the attached photo for reference. I am using them for solar info. In Article 690 it explains that the room for solar can be the busbar rating x 1.2 minus the MSP breaker rating. So, an MSP with a 125 Amp busbar rating and a 100 breaker will leave us with room for 50 Amps of solar. Does this sound right?

I know all of the warnings on the Sylvania’s and we will start warning people. The problem is that we are in too deep and a change may cost close to $1,000 in delays and people’s time to change the panel at this point. We have done this many times over, I just hadn’t seen this model of Sylvannia lately and couldn’t remember.

I can’t help you there. That’s Greek to me :wink:

I have a vested interest in this particular panel, but I can’t discuss it on this open board. Do you have an email address where I can reach you?