Federal Pacific and Zinsco Electrical Panel Recall
Federal Pacific and Zinsco are both manufacturers of electrical panels that were recalled in a class action law suit from 2002. Both of these brands of electrical panels were in widespread use for decades and as a result, millions of homes could be impacted by this recall. The main issue with Federal Pacific and Zinsco panels is that the circuit breakers do not trip (or shut off power) when they should. A circuit breaker trips when there is a short circuit, a ground fault, or when it is overloaded. Because Federal Pacific and Zinsco panel circuit breakers may not trip under these hazardous conditions, a fire could result.
Federal Pacific electrical panels were manufactured and sold up from the 1950’s until the 1980’s. If the circuit does not trip or turn off when necessary, it can not only overheat and possibly cause a fire, but it can also give the appearance of being in a “no-power” state. Even while in “off” setting, these panels may still send power to the circuits, which could result in a fire or electrocution.
Zinsco panels were commonly used throughout the 1970’s. Like Federal Pacific panels, Zinsco circuits have been reported to not trip when necessary and the circuits may melt. Even with an overloaded circuit, Zinsco electrical panels have been known to not trip, causing fires due to the excessive heat that results.
How Do You Know If You Have a Federal Pacific or Zinsco Panel?
Federal Pacific: if you have one of these panels, you will see a label with “Federal Pacific” on it or “Stab-Loc,” printed on the circuits themselves.
Zinsco: a Zinsco label may be on the panel. It’s also possible that a “Sylvania” or a “GTE Sylvania” label has been placed somewhere inside of the electrical panel itself.
If you have either Federal Pacific or Zinsco panels installed in your home, schedule an appointment with KBM Electric today. If your home was built before 1990, it is highly recommended that you have your electrical panel evaluated by one of our residential licensed electricians to determine if it needs to be replaced.