There are some electric panels that were installed several decades ago that have since been discovered to be unsafe and could cause an electrical fire or electrical shock. The following list includes some of the older panels that are known to be problematic.
Zinsco panels stopped being manufactured in the 70s due to design flaws that resulted in circuit breakers melting and posing fire hazards. In some cases, the circuit breakers looked like they flipped, but were in fact still allowing power to flow.
Fuse boxes are something from the past. Instead of circuit breakers, the electricity flowed through fuses. Unfortunately, fuses were only designed to handle 30 to 60 amps of power. In today’s world, our appliances require anywhere from 100 to 200 amps or more. Fuse boxes are likely to be overloaded often and you may discover you are replacing fuses often.
Some may assume they will just use bigger fuses to compensate, but this is a dangerous choice. Using bigger fuses when the box was designed for smaller fuses can result in overloading and overheating. This can spark a fire. Another major risk with fuse boxes is the fact that while changing a fuse, you could accidentally stick your finger in the slot where the fuse goes and end up with a life-threatening electric shock.
Pushmatic panels are known to be lacking the main breaker that allows you to cut power with the flip of a single switch. The panels also have a problem with breakers tripping and not wanting to be reset. The breakers are likely weak and will not stay on.
This is an extremely common electric panel with millions being installed throughout the 1950s to the 1980s. The “Stab-Lok” panels have been proven to be flawed and can cause electrical shock or fire. According to consulting engineer, Dr. Jesse Aronstein, “The presence of a Federal Pacific Panel in a home should be classified as a ‘Safety Defect.’…There is no question but that the Federal Pacific Stab-Lok® panels should be replaced. There is no practical and safe alternative.”
Because the issue is so serious, the state of New Jersey brought a lawsuit against the company due to the lack of testing and safety violations in relation to the manufacture of these electric panels. If you know you have one of these panels give us a call to get a 200 amp panel installation or 100 amp panel installation. If you are not sure, call us and schedule an Electrical Safety Inspection where we can tell you what kind of panel you have as well as if it should be upgraded or replaced.
When Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?
If you have heard about electric panel upgrades and are wondering whether or not you need one, this information will help you make a decision.
There are 2 main reasons you should upgrade your panel.
What is an Electric Panel?
Your electrical panel is the heart of your electrical system. The electricity from the power company flows into the electric panel, which distributes the electricity to the various breakers. The circuit breakers moderates how much current flows through it. If too much power were to go through the circuit breaker the wiring would be damaged and cause a fire. If you happened to touch a melted or damaged wire, you could receive an electric shock. The electric panel is designed to control the electricity flow to prevent such things from happening. One of the methods of stopping the excess current flow is to trip a breaker or blow a fuse. It is absolutely essential to your safety that you have a properly functioning electric panel and circuit breakers that will trip should too much current start flowing.
It is important your electric panel is big enough to handle the amount of electricity you need in the house. If you add a large appliance or something like an air conditioner, you may need a panel upgrade. The bigger panel is necessary to handle the extra electricity demand. An electric panel may be called many different things. Below are the terms that are associated with the electric panel.
Is Your Panel too Small?
There are a couple of reasons that will likely require you to upgrade your electric panel or what is sometimes referred to as your service panel. We can provide you with a 100 amp panel upgrade.