Breaker Panels

Common information to help you prepare for your home inspection.

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Breaker Panels

Most agents know that Federal Pacific Stab-Lok electrical panels need replacement…

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National Testing Labs have documented that Federal Pacific (FPE) Stab-Lok panels and breakers have a very high failure rate at service terminals, buss bars and breakers. Electricians will not work on Stab-Lok breaker panels and ASHI home inspector reports require replacement. Some insurance companies are requiring replacement of FPE Stab-Lok breaker panels as a requisite for insurance coverage.
FYI- AGENTS: Zinsco & Sylvania breaker panels have been on the market for over 30 years and are starting to show a pattern of mechanical failures and overheating similar to FPE panels. The following defects have been observed: arcing, contact burn, service terminal/circuit breaker failure and breaker casing blow out. While we are not aware of any insurance company or government requirements for the replacement of Zinsco and Sylvania panels at this time, these panels have much higher breaker and panel failure rates than the national averages for other name brand panels. In addition, some electricians will not service these panels as they are no longer manufactured and parts are generally hard to find or unavailable. Because of what we are observing at inspections the past few years our reports state that replacement of Zinsco/Sylvania panels would
be a worthwhile home improvement in the interest of preventative maintenance. At the very least, we recommend testing of breakers and one receptacle or light fixture on each breaker circuit bi-annually to verify that the circuit is off when the breaker controlling the tested circuit is turned off. Before testing breaker circuits, touch the face of the electrical panel cover to verify that it is not warm or hot to the touch. If any of the preceding symptoms are noted, have the panel replaced. For more information go to: www.ismypanelsafe.com

NOTE: The information at this web site regarding Zinsco breaker panels also applies to Sylvania panels because many Sylvania panels of the same product design and origin as Zinsco panels.

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