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Electrical Inspections Contains discussions about electrical systems. This includes receptacles, panels, wiring, etc.

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  #1  
Old 6/20/12, 7:03 AM
kwood kwood is offline
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Default Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

The earliest Zinsco panel had buss bars mad of copper. This was a good thing but when the shortage came many were redesigned with anodized aluminum. Like FPE panels they had problems with contact to the bus bar and latter they became known as Sylvania about the early 70's.
What should you do if you find one of these PANELS?
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  #2  
Old 6/20/12, 7:50 AM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Default Re: Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

How many have you seen Kevin .???
I have never seen one of these where they used in Canada.
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  #3  
Old 6/20/12, 8:13 AM
kwood kwood is offline
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Default Re: Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

I have a picture for you Roy but I will say there are very few!
The ones you really have to be careful with is the one with the blue Diamond Label.
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  #4  
Old 6/20/12, 8:25 AM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Default Re: Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

Gee I wonder why you would bring it up then .
I have seen other manufactured panels that are rotten and need to be be changed immediately .
Do you say that amalgamated fuse panels should be changed immediately if so why????

How about Bulldog Pushmatic ???

Last edited by rcooke; 6/20/12 at 8:29 AM..
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  #5  
Old 6/20/12, 8:34 AM
kwood kwood is offline
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Default Re: Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

Actually Bull dog panels are quite good. I have never had to report them.
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  #6  
Old 6/20/12, 8:42 AM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Default Re: Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

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Originally Posted by kwood View Post
Actually Bull dog panels are quite good. I have never had to report them.
I see nothing wrong with Bulldog but some dislike them .

I had one in my last home and never changed it.


Do you say that amalgamated fuse panels should be changed immediately if so why????
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  #7  
Old 6/20/12, 8:55 AM
kwood kwood is offline
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Default Re: Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

I never even say FPE should be removed right away so why would I say the Zinsco would be any different.
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  #8  
Old 6/20/12, 9:32 AM
James H. Bushart James H. Bushart is offline
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Default Re: Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

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Originally Posted by kwood View Post
I never even say FPE should be removed right away so why would I say the Zinsco would be any different.
I do. I find them quite often and recommend they be replaced whenever I do.

Two weeks ago, I inspected a home with an FPE main (with no dead front installed) with a Zinsco sub panel.

I warn my client that it is likely that they may run across an electrician who will not agree that they should be replaced and, if they choose to follow the advice of an electrician to leave the panels in place, they should at least install a smoke detector in the immediate area.
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  #9  
Old 6/20/12, 9:37 AM
kwood kwood is offline
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Default Re: Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

James don't get me wrong I have it in my report but it does not say to change them but to have it evaluated by a Certified Electrician.
Along with the most detailed information about the FPE panel.
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  #10  
Old 6/20/12, 9:38 AM
jwhitt jwhitt is offline
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Default Re: Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwood View Post
I never even say FPE should be removed right away so why would I say the Zinsco would be any different.
This question should be, “Why would anyone say that any panel should be removed right away?”

When I am called out to confirm or refute the report of a Home Inspector I am blind to the name on the panel. I evaluate what is in front of me without regard to the brand name. I have signed off on many panels that ispectapedia has labeled as unsafe due to the untrained forensic findings of a bunch of people that do not understand what they are looking at and blindly say bad thing about them.

These panels are old. This does not mean that they are unsafe. This bunch of bull about this brand breaker does this or that is mostly unfounded. A few years back Square “D” had a big breaker recall due to the device not opening. Does this mean that all Square “D” panels should be recommended for replacement?

I have had GE breakers that did not open. Should I recommend that all GE panels be replaced?

I have found problems with Siemens panels, maybe these should be called out.

Evaluate what you are inspecting without regard to the brand name. If you don’t have the equipment to test the trip curve of the overcurrent devices, and I know of no one who does, then stop worrying about them.

As to opening any panel I suggest a course in NFPA 70E so that you understand the hazards involved with opening any panel be it a fuse or breaker.



Mike Whitt
Contractor/Instructor
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  #11  
Old 6/20/12, 9:45 AM
kwood kwood is offline
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Default Re: Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

Again I disagree with you but that should be no suprize to you right Mr.Whitt.
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  #12  
Old 6/20/12, 9:59 AM
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Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwood View Post
What should you do if you find one of these PANELS?
As with any other panel, we should do our job - remove the covers and inspect for defects.

I have inspected hundreds of Zinsco and Zinsco/Sylvania panels. The "blue diamond" label means nothing - it's just a sticker.



IF YOUR INSPECTOR IS NOT USING THERMAL IMAGING, YOU'RE NOT GETTING THE WHOLE PICTURE ®
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(661) 212-0738
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http://www.MyInspector.net


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  #13  
Old 6/20/12, 10:04 AM
kwood kwood is offline
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Default Re: Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

Good for you!
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  #14  
Old 6/20/12, 10:15 AM
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Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwood View Post
The ones you really have to be careful with is the one with the blue Diamond Label.
I just hate to see the spread of misinformation Kevin. Can you explain why the sticker makes any difference?

Also, the "earliest" Zinsco panels did not use a "bus bar" at all. They used direct contact terminals with breakers held in place by screws, much like the pushmatic breakers.



IF YOUR INSPECTOR IS NOT USING THERMAL IMAGING, YOU'RE NOT GETTING THE WHOLE PICTURE ®
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
Santa Clarita CA
(661) 212-0738
Santa Clarita Home Inspection
http://www.MyInspector.net


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  #15  
Old 6/20/12, 10:28 AM
kwood kwood is offline
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Default Re: Is it safe to open a Zinsco Panel

I don't try to educate Electricians that can see through panels before they even open them. Maybe you should go work for Mr. Holmes as all his inspectors can see through walls.
And stop telling all the HI's it is safe to open all panels as this has been discussed heavily on more professional MB's
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