Most Colorado homes built in the 1950s-1980s either have Federal Pacific or Zinsco Panels installed. Home inspectors and Colorado electricians near Denver noticed that Zinsco Panels were failing after years of usage. As such, both panels were recalled and were not used in new construction from the 1990s onward. Though, there’s a lot of properties that still use these antiquated products today.
Electrical panels are considered the most vital part of a home’s electrical system. They facilitate the receipt and distribution of electricity from the transmission circuit throughout the circuits in your home. A panel’s job is to protect from power surges and other possible electrical hazards, as well as, allow one to safely make repairs giving accessibility to the system. With proper maintenance by a licensed electrician, experts believe that most electrical panels (regardless of brand) can still be functional for as long as 50 years.
Malfunctions happen when the panel’s bus bar gets in contact with the breaker and prevents the breaker from tripping which is what it is supposed to do whenever it detects short circuits or abnormally excessive current flowing through the circuit. Clearly, this puts households at risk for fire and/or electrocution.
Data shows that every 1 of 4 Zinsco circuit breakers is bound to malfunction in response to a short circuit or overcurrent, creating possibly hazardous consequences. However, such problems are hardly possible to be monitored nor detected by the naked eye, and thus will need a licensed electrician’s regular inspection or electric panel replacement service.
You Should Have Your Zinsco Panel Removed. Here’s why…
Experts have recognized two major reasons for the potential danger from using a Zinsco panel:
1. Zinsco Panel’s noncompliance with updated safety codes.
Although the Zinsco panel is still one of the most commonly used panels to date, its manufacturer stopped its production in the mid-1970s. With a lot of changes in the safety code from that time onwards, experts have concluded that the Zinsco panels would likely have a hard time keeping up. Distribution or sale of Zinsco Panels has been prohibited for a long time now as they do not pass the present safety standards.
2. The Zinsco Panels design has flaws.
Licensed electricians and experts have noticed significant flaws in the design of Zinsco panels:
- The panel’s bus bar easily corrodes.
- There is a delicate, non-solid connection between the bus bar and the breakers.
- Some of the panel’s components contain aluminum which can expand and contract at a high rate, causing loose connections. Also, if the aluminum gets in contact with copper which is what the bus bars of Zinsco panels are made of, it creates resistance, increased expansion, oxidation, and heat which can trigger a fire to happen.
- Design issue, i.e. although the breakers are turned off, at times, the internal panel may still conduct power.
If you notice anything below that might raise your concerns, call us at ElectriCall right away to have the panels thoroughly inspected:
- A burning smell from the panel
- If after opening the panel, you could see damaged wirings or wear and tear
- A buzzing panel
- Presence of flickering lights within your home
If your instinct is telling you that the panel is most likely outdated or it lacks proper maintenance, do not hesitate to contact a licensed electrician nearby right away for inspection or removal.
Your trusted electrician from ElectriCall will never advise you to remove the Zinsco panel by yourself to see if the inside wireworks have melted. Such a task is safest handled by the expert’s hands.
The Cost of Zinsco Panel Removal and Replacement
The cost of removing and replacing a Zinsco electrical panel ranges from $1500 to $2000. However, it may go beyond that depending on some factors:
- The needed scope of labor
- The amount of demolition work
- The panel’s size
- The accessibility of your area
For your Zinsco panel replacement needs or for your other electrical concerns, you can count on us at ElectriCall. We are a team of experienced professional electricians that guarantees your safety at a reasonable fee. We’ve been providing reliable and quality electrical works for commercial and residential establishments since 2011. Call us today; you’ll be glad you did!