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Zinsco Breaker Panels

Zinsco brand breaker panels were installed in homes and business's up to the mid 1970's. Zinsco brand panels were very popluar in North America because of it's low cost to consumers. Many problems became evident with the Zinsco brand which some resulted in total losses due to electrical fires attributed to the Zinsco panels.

Zinsco, Zinsco/Sylvania Distinct Failures
  • A fire and shock risk can result due to the breaker's failure to trip in an overcurrent situation
  • Arcing and overheating can cause the case of the breaker's to "blow out".
  • The breaker may appear to be shut off even though the breaker's indicator show's it is in the off position

Zinsco breaker panels used aluminum for the power buses, the breakers also used aluminum for the contact points that attached to the bus bar. The aluminum bus bars and contacts of the breakers were subject to corrosion and overheating as power demands would increase. Corrosion would often lead to pitting on the bus bars which would lead to overheating. The overheating and arcing would cause the breakers to become welded to the bus bar. The inner contacts of the breakers would also become welded together causing the breaker to have the inability to trip in an overload situation.

Zinsco breakers also had another defect, in which the home owner or electrician would manually switch the breaker to the off position, but the breaker would fail to shut off the power allowing current to still flow. As with all breakers, there is no pratical way of testing an individual breaker for its abilitiy of protecting the home. Breakers are not designed to be disassembled for the means of servicing or inspecting.

Zinsco brands many defects can lead to many unseen proplems within your home. With its inability to provide the protection that it was intended for, it can lead to dangerous amounts of power being applied to the wiring in your home. Over currents will cause overheating of equipment and also cause wiring to literally melt.

Circuit breakers are an automatically operated switch that is designed to protect against damage caused by an overload. It will automatically trip when an overload exists, causing the current flow to stop. The majority of wiring in a home is 14 gauge and 20 gauge wiring, a circuit breaker is sized (15amp or 20amp) depending on the wiring it supplies current to. 14 gauge wiring is rated at 15amps, the breaker suppling current to a 14 gauge wire should never be rated more than 15amps for that circuit.

Breakers such as the Zinsco brand and it's inability to automatically shut of current flow will lead to dangerous problems. Wiring for a circuit, such as a bed room can become overheated from the overload of current causing the wiring to melt, receptacle outlets being used at that time may also melt or even worse, start on fire.

If you suspect that you may have the Zinsco brand breaker panel in your home, you should have it evaluated by a liecensed electrician. Ultimately, these panels should be replaced because of their poor history and defects that have caused extentsive damage to home's and business's. Wagner Electric will inspect your breaker panel and breakers for defects and give you the proper recommendation for replacement equipment.

Call Wagner Electric today to have your electrical service evaulated.


Zinsco Defects

Zinsco Burnt Out Breaker

zinsco breaker panel

Zinsco Burnt Out Breaker

obsolete zinscoo breaker

Zinsco Breaker Panel

Obsolete zinsco breaker panel

Zinsco Burnt Bus Bar

Zinsco breaker panel