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Is Your Home’s Electrical Panel Safe?

tripped breaker in box

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The electrical system within a home is a complex and vital network that functions like the circulatory system in the human body. It is comprised of intricate circuitry and wires that work together to deliver electricity throughout the residence, much like veins and arteries in the body transport blood to vital organs and limbs.

In the same way that blood is essential for sustaining life, electricity is critical for powering a range of household appliances and devices, from televisions and computers to refrigerators and HVAC units.

While individuals may experience heart issues due to factors such as aging, genetics, and diet, electrical panels can also develop problems that can be equally concerning. Specifically, certain manufacturing and/or design flaws associated with Federal Pacific Electric panels and select Zinsco models can expose homeowners to significant risks.

Adding to these concerns is the fact that millions of people are currently utilizing panels that are more than four decades old, many of which may no longer provide adequate protection against hazardous overcurrents and short circuits. Given these factors, it is crucial to stay current with panel technology and updates and to prioritize the safety and well-being of household residents at all times.

Outdated electrical panels are buckling under the modern world's increasing power needs - it's time to upgrade and keep up with our ever-evolving energy demands!

Federal Pacific Electrical Panel Info

During the mid-20th century up until the 1980s, the Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) was among the foremost manufacturers of circuit breaker panels in North America. With millions of their products installed in homes throughout the country, FPE soon gained popularity and recognition in the industry.

However, as time passed, electricians and home inspectors noticed that FPE’s circuit breaker panels yielded inadequate protection for homeowners and their families. Despite appearances of functionality over the years, experts warn that FPE panels can pose severe risks and potential fire hazards when overloaded or short-circuited.

The severity of this issue cannot be overlooked, as a single incident can easily cause these panels to overheat and ignite a destructive inferno. It is crucial to prioritize safety and replace FPE panels with safer and more modern alternatives for the protection of one’s home and loved ones.

The FPE Lawsuit

A court in the State of New Jersey presiding over a class action lawsuit has handed down a verdict finding the Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Company guilty of flouting the Consumer Fraud Act. The ruling came as a result of FPE’s brazen and premeditated distribution of circuit breakers that failed to satisfy the standards set forth by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). For those residing in New Jersey, the Class Action Settlement Notice can be accessed by clicking here.

Experts who honed in on the potential hazards posed by Federal Pacific Electric panels have uncovered troubling data indicating that these panels are far less reliable than standard ones. To wit, under UL 489 test conditions, FPE panels have been shown to be especially prone to failed tripping, thereby exposing unsuspecting individuals and communities to serious harm.

Why Are FPE Panels Dangerous?

Federal Pacific Electric panels, which were produced between the mid-1950s and the 1980s, have been found to not meet current safety codes. Recent studies indicate that if Federal Pacific Electric panels were produced today, they would not be allowed to be sold to customers due to their significant design flaws. Safety regulations have evolved over the years, and FPE panels were constructed in accordance with the safety standards that were acceptable at the time, but are no longer regarded as safe.

What Kind Of Damage Can FPE Panels Cause?

Zinsco Electrical Panel Info

Zinsco panels were formerly a widely used electrical panel in North America, with many homes featuring them. However, these panels have become outdated and pose a danger to homeowners due to the risk of fire and electrical shock. 

Over time, electricians and home inspectors have discovered that certain Zinsco panels can malfunction, failing to operate correctly and leaving homes at great risk. Although these panels can function adequately for years, as homes increase their energy demands, Zinsco panels may overheat, causing portions of the panel to melt.

What Can Go Wrong With An Older Zinsco Panel

Zinsco panels were produced up until the mid-1970s and have become obsolete with time; experts point out that these no longer meet modern safety standards. This means they’re not allowed to be sold, as today’s UL listing requires higher levels of protection for consumers beyond what was accepted a few decades ago.

Outdated Panels

Ancient electrical infrastructure is struggling to keep up with the ever-growing needs of modern society. Despite its age, it can no longer satisfy today's electricity demands and must be replaced by more advanced panels that are built for a 21st century lifestyle.

Whether its a Federal Pacific, Zinsco or any other older panel, you should have a licensed electrician diagnose and check up on your homes electrical system.

As our lives become increasingly intertwined with electronics, the need for reliable and steady electricity grows. Sadly, more than half of American households have not kept up to this trend – their homes were built before 1970! These older buildings may be fitted with 60-amp panels – far from enough power needed by today’s electrical demands. With a dangerously inadequate supply of energy running through them, it’s time these outdated homes get an upgrade – at least 150-amps worth!

Replace your outdated electrical panel now and get the power you need!

Upgrade to modern, reliable energy efficiency with our professional experts ready to assist.

At Haines Electric, we provide the best electrical service by delivering outstanding customer service. Our pricing is straightforward; the price we quote is the price you pay—to the penny. And, we charge by the job, not the hour, so we can do the job right without it costing you more. Click to learn more about our panel replacement services.