3 Unsafe circuit breaker panels that have been discontinued AND SHOULD BE REPLACED ASAP. Home Owners cannot obtain fire insurance if one of the three listed circuit breaker panels are present.
Federal Pacific Electric
Why Federal Pacific Circuit Breakers Can Be Dangerous
If you own a home built between 1950 and 1990, chances are you might have a Federal Pacific circuit breaker. Produced by the Federal Pacific Electric company, these breakers are now considered a safety hazard. You should replace them with a circuit breaker that meets modern safety standards.
Studies have shown that up to one in four Stab-Lok breakers are defective and run the risk of malfunction or electrical fire. A New Jersey court ruled that Federal Pacific Electric fraudulently labeled these faulty breakers as meeting certain safety standards. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission did not issue a product recall due to budget issues.
While Federal Pacific Electric has been out of business for many years, Federal Pacific panels and breakers are still in millions of homes around the country. Federal Pacific panel breaker malfunctions are the cause of an estimated 2,800 fires each year.
Zinsco electric panels could leave property owners at risk for both fire and electric shock as a result of failing to operate properly as much as 25% of the time.
In the 1970’s, the manufacturing of Zinsco panels came to a stop. Sylvania then bought
the company, which is why Zinsco equipment is occasionally identified as Zinsco-Sylvania or GTE-Sylvania-Zinsco. Experts say that Zinsco panels that were produced more than 30 years ago do not meet current safety regulations. Furthermore, these panels would not receive today’s UL listing.
To identify a Zinsco panel, look for a vertical line of color-coded circuit breaker handles down the middle of the electrical box. In addition, Zinsco panels typically have the logo at the top of the panel. Due to the deficiencies found in these panels and the adverse effects the panels can cause, Zinsco electrical panels should be replaced.
Challenger panels posed safety hazards very similar to that of Zinsco. The biggest concern for Challengers were their issue with overheating. In turn, that can cause many other issues, like fusing and/or melting, corrosion, or actual fires. Occasionally they don’t trip at all, or just may take too long to trip. Stab-lok panels have had much more extensive testing than these. But either way, for peace of mind, Challenger panels should be replaced.