Your electrical panel is the control center for all the electricity that flows through your home or business. That’s why it’s important to have your electrical panel inspected annually by a qualified electrician. The need for inspections becomes even more vital if you’ve made changes to your electrical wiring, after you’ve installed new appliances or if your electrical panel is more than ten years old. Occasionally, an electrical panel may also need to be replaced because of age, stress or heat damage. Other times a specific model may have been removed by Underwriters Laboratories due to safety concerns. There are a few electrical panels that at one time were commonly installed but have been removed from the UL list. Below, you can find a few electrical panels that have been deemed hazardous and should be replaced to ensure a safe and efficient electrical system.
Zinsco Electrical Panels
In its heyday, Zinsco was a popular company that manufactured electrical panels which were installed in many homes across America. Unfortunately, as time progressed, more and more Zinsco panels became the source of major issues including fires and electrical shock. Increased demands on electrical systems has rendered most of these panels completely obsolete, and in some cases, may become overheated, creating short circuits and power surges. If you currently have a Zinsco panel installed in your home or business, it’s important to schedule an inspection with a certified electrician as soon as possible.
Federal Pacific Electrical Panels
Federal Pacific Electric Company, also known as FPE, is another company to watch out for. They created millions of circuit breaker panels in the 1950s through 80s. However, in the early 1980s, the company was investigated by the state of New Jersey, and it was found that FPE had committed fraud by selling their panels despite failing to meet minimum standards. Though they were deemed defective at the time, the Consumer Product Safety Commission didn’t recall the panel boxes due to budget problems, and so many faulty panels continued to be installed inside homes and commercial buildings. Now, it’s estimated that nearly 3,000 annual fires are caused by a Federal Pacific panel issue. If your electrical panel was made by this company, it’s highly suggested that you replace it as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary property damage or personal injury.
Signs of Outdated Electrical Panels
While these two companies are notorious for their problematic electrical panels, homeowners can still run into problems with other outdated panels created by quality manufacturers. Regardless of how well made a product is, time will render almost any physical object useless eventually. With today’s high dependency on electronics, older units simply can’t perform the basic functions of the average modern household or business. If you are experiencing frequent power failures, tripped breakers, unreliable circuits or other electrical issues, you might need to get an inspection. Chances are, if your electrical panel was built before 1990, then your electrical panel is probably in need of a repair or replacement.