Need to upgrade your electrical panel? What to do when your home's safety feature isn't safe anymore.
Understanding Your Electrical Panel
A safe home starts at the electrical panel.
Our world is changing fast and the amount of appliances and electronics we add to our daily lives is not going to go down. We have to make sure the power supplying these life conveniences is adequate.
The top reasons to look at upgrading or replacing your electrical panel.
Do you have an outdated or dangerous panel?
There are still a couple brands of panels being used in the Twin Cities that pose a risk all their own.
The Unusual Suspects:
The (3) panels above have all been flagged as posing a fire risk and is recommended they be replaced right away. If you want more info about the suspects above click "Read More" below the summary.
Federal Pacific (FPE): one of the most common manufacturer of circuit breakers and panels from the 1950's to the 1980's. Experts now say FPE panels can appear to work fine for years, but after one over current or short circuit and they can overheat and become fire hazards. FPE lost a class action lawsuit in New Jersey that ruled they knowingly and purposefully distributed circuit breakers which were not tested to meet UL standards.
Pushmatic (ITE,Gould, Bulldog): Primarily installed from the 1950's through the 1960's, The product label "pushmatic" was produced as early as the mid 1930's. The design lacks the magnetic trip mechanism that modern breakers have to increase the likelihood they will function properly in the event of an overload or short circuit. The design of the breaker is also such that, over time, they become stiff and difficult to operate or reset.
Zinsco: At one time a very popular brand, as time has passed, inspectors discovered that certain panels often fail to operate properly. As homes have increased energy demands, these panels may overheat and portions melt. In this situation, if the breaker melts to the bus bar it will no longer trip in the case of an overcurrent or short circuit. It can burn until the wires melt potentially causing a fire.