Faulty Electrical Panels
Federal Pacific Electrical Panels and Zinsco Electrical Panels (also known as Zinsco Sylvania) were installed in new homes throughout entire neighborhoods from the mid-1950s to the early 1980s. However, complaints about the faulty design of the Federal Pacific/Zinsco Electrical Panels have been mounting for years, and it is important that you are aware of the safety issues associated with these panels.
The most troubling and widely reported issue related to Federal Pacific Electrical Panels and Zinsco Electrical Panels is that they are equipped with faulty breakers that may fail to trip during excessive power loads. Excessive power loads create heat, which then becomes a potential fire hazard. The breakers may also fail to turn off internally even when the breaker is in the tripped position.
It is impossible to tell which of these electrical panels are defective simply by inspecting them, and just because a panel has always functioned properly does not guarantee that it will continue to do so.
Some manufacturers have made after-market circuit breakers designed to fit Federal Pacific Electrical Panels and Zinsco Electrical Panels; however, these replacement breakers may not solve all of the problems associated with these Electrical Panels.
The insurance industry is recognizing the potential fire hazard that Federal and Zinsco Electrical Panels create and some providers have stopped writing policies on properties where these panels are present.