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Recalled Panels Alert: Zinsco and Federal Pacific Panel Safety

| Prime Electric |

The History of Zinsco and Federal Pacific Panels began in the 1950s and date back to when the country was undergoing a housing boom. Since then, these panels have been used in millions of homes making them one of the most popular electrical panel systems available. However, in recent years, safety concerns have arisen surrounding these panels and have since been recalled due to numerous hazards. It is important to be aware of these dangers and to find out if your home contains a Zinsco or Federal Pacific Panel in order to potentially avoid hazardous problems. If your home does in fact contain one or both of these recalled panels, there are steps you must take in order to upgrade and protect yourself from any harm. Fortunately, a safer future is possible as you will be able to upgrade your electrical panel with newer and safer components.

The History of Zinsco and Federal Pacific Panels

The first mention of Zinsco and Federal Pacific Panels comes in the form of a 1950 patent belonging to the Federal Pacific Electric Company. Timers, circuit breakers, and other electrical components made by the brand can be used for anything from homes to factories. However, Zinsco panels and Federal Pacific Panels have been out of production since the 1980s, leading to plausible concerns about safety in older systems.

Zinsco panels were produced from the late 1930s to the late 1970s. The company produced a groundbreaking Type H breaker: a single two-pole breaker that could hold multiple circuits together. In addition, the metal clip securing system was believed to rarely break down. However, reports started circulating of the equipment regularly shorting out and overheating, thereby putting customers at risk.

Federal Pacific Panels weren’t exempt from problems. The company had written a note stating that their circuit breakers were fire safe; however, reports later confirmed that the breakers were unreliable and did not work when subjected to heat.  Instead of tripping when there was an electric overload, some breakers simply shut down. Therefore, the presence of a Federal Pacific Panel could indicate a serious safety concern.

As a result of these reports, both Zinsco and Federal Pacific Panels have been long discontinued and replaced with newer, more reliable models. Older properties with these same panels should have them replaced as soon as safely possible to increase their safety.

Recognizing the Safety Concerns with the Recalled Zinsco and Federal Pacific Electrical Panels

Recognizing the safety concerns with the recalled Zinsco and Federal Pacific Electrical Panels is an essential step in preventing serious damages or injury. These panels were produced from the 1950s and 1980s and have since been identified as potentially dangerous fire hazards. Zinsco and Federal Pacific panels are known for overheating and circuit trips, posing a potential risk of fire. When a circuit is overloaded, an arc fault could occur leading to further hazards. As a result, it is important to make sure whether your home or business has either of these electrical panels in use and have the proper measures taken to address the issue.

However, the issue of identifying the recalled panels is complicated because it is not always easy to tell if the panel is Zinsco or Federal Pacific by looking at it. The most obvious sign is the appearance of the “Zinsco” logo. It is also important to note that there are several different types of panels with a variety of designations, not just the ones labeled “Zinsco” and “Federal Pacific.” To get a definitive answer, an electrician would need to conduct an inspection of the panel.

In addition, if the electrical panel is determined to be one of the recalled brands, it must be immediately replaced. Replacing an electrical panel is a job best left to a professional electrician because an improper installation could result in shocks, short circuits, and even fires. Therefore, it is important to have a certified electrical contractor inspect and conduct maintenance on your system at least once a year.

It is also important to be aware of other safety precautions around electrical panels. People should avoid allowing items to store near an electrical panel because if a fire were to occur, it can cause further damage. Also, if any inspections or repairs are done around the panel, the power should be shut off to avoid shock or electrocution.

Overall, recognizing the safety concerns with the recalled Zinsco and Federal Pacific electrical panels is crucial to ensure the safety of those living in a home or working in a business. Proper maintenance of the panels is essential, and it is important to have a certified electrician inspect and repair any electrical issues found.

What to Do If You Have These Recalled Panels

If you have recalled panels in your home or business, it is important to take the necessary steps to address the recall. Firstly, contact the manufacturer or retailer of the panels to confirm the scope of the recall. They will provide any necessary instructions and guidance. Furthermore, stop using the recalled panels immediately and refrain from touching, selling, or disposing of them. Additionally, the manufacturer will likely cover the cost of the labor associated with replacing the recalled panels.

On the other hand, if the product was installed DIY-style, you may have to make the necessary arrangements yourself. In addition, if the problem was caused by improper installation, you may be held liable for any damages. Therefore, it is important to make sure the proper installation guidelines are followed for any new panels. Similarly, it is also advisable to use fire-resistant panels to prevent fire damage in the future.

It is important to document any communication with the manufacturer or retailer to ensure the successful resolution of the recall. As a result, you should take detailed notes during any conversations and save all associated emails or any other communications. You should also keep all receipts related to repairs, and any other associated costs to ensure you can take advantage of any compensation or reimbursement offered by the manufacturer. Consequently, it is important to have all relevant information ready for submission.

A Safer Future: Upgrading Your Electrical Panel

Upgrading your electrical panel can help to keep your family safe from electrical fires and potential shocks that stem from outdated and defective wiring. By replacing old wiring is a necessity to ensure safety in the home from potential dangers. Moreover, upgrading your electrical panel can provide more convenience for your electricity needs. When electrical panels are outdated, they can cause circuits to dim or even shut off while using an appliance or electronic. This can be a nuisance and can even cause a dangerous problem.

Upgrading an electrical panel requires having a professional come in to inspect the home and existing electrical system. Depending on the age of the home, the scope of work can vary from a few switch replacements to a complete rewiring of the house. The professional can advise what is meant in terms of electrical safety and help to make a plan to achieve it.

In addition to making the home safe, having an upgraded electrical panel can provide better efficiency from the system. An upgraded panel box means better handling of electrical loads and ensuring circuits can handle a given amount of power. This means no overloads which can result in fires and other safety concerns. Furthermore, newer electrical panels are equipped with ground fault circuits, which provide an extra level of protection against electrical fires and shocks.

When considering an upgrade of your electrical system, it is important to calculate how much money and effort you want to get into it. However, making the decision to upgrade now or waiting can have great consequences. It is up to you to decide what is best for your family’s safety, and figure what is most cost-efficient for your budget.

Overall, upgrading an electrical panel is smart move and can protect your family from electrical fires or unsafe wiring. As a result, being proactive with replacing old wiring and out-of-date systems can prevent further damage that can cost significantly more money than to update the system. Therefore, it is a smart decision to provide the safety of an updated and properly working electrical system for your family and home.

Final Thoughts

Zinsco and Federal Pacific Electrical Panels were two of the leading manufacturers from the 1950’s through the 1970’s, and have since been recalled due to safety concerns. As these panels can be dangerous, it is important to recognize the warning signs of a faulty panel, such as flickering lights, and to contact a professional to have the panel inspected. Ultimately, it is important to replace recalled panels with newer, safer models in order to keep your home and family safe from electrical hazards. With a little bit of knowledge, research, and proper measures taken, you can easily upgrade your home’s electrical system and ensure a safer future for you and your family.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Zinsco and Federal Pacific panels and why are they recalled?

Zinsco and Federal Pacific panels are electrical circuit breaker panels that were commonly used in residential and commercial structures in the 1960s and 1970s. Although these panels remain in many homes and businesses today, their poor performance and potential safety hazards have led to them no longer being in use. Zinsco and Federal Pacific panels are known to be unreliable and prone to fires and electric shock hazards. It is recommended that these panels are replaced by a licensed electrician.

How can I check if I have a Zinsco or Federal Pacific panel in my home?

The best way to check if you have a Zinsco or Federal Pacific panel in your home is to inspect the outside and inside of the electrical panel. Zinsco panels can be identified by the manufacture’s logo, which is a white, circular disc reading ZINSCO above the main breaker. Federal Pacific panels will have a label that reads “Federal Pacific Electric Company”.

What are the recommended steps for upgrading to a safer electrical panel?

1. Turn off all power to the electrical panel.
2. Disconnect the old electrical panel from the main power supply.
3. Install a new service panel that meets local codes and is rated for the level of power usage needed.
4. Connect the new panel to the main power supply and make sure all connections are secure and insulated.
5. Connecting the incoming electrical wires to the circuit breakers and ensuring the correct wire sizes are used.
6. Install any necessary ground connections.
7. Replace any existing breakers in the electrical panel with new circuit breakers of the correct type and size.
8. Test any safety features of the new electrical panel, such as overvoltage protection or surge protection.
9. Label all circuit breakers so that they can be identified easily.
10. Repair or replace any damaged wiring.
11. Close the panel cover, and turn on the main power switch.

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