Electrical Panels that are a Danger to Your Home or Business

Does your home or business have an older-style electrical panel? If you own an older home or business and it has one of the panels listed below, you need to replace it. 

There are many older homes in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg and the surrounding areas.  If your home or business was constructed before 1990 it’s possible it may incorporate one of the brands listed below.  If your home was built in the 1950’s, 1960’s, or 1970’s it’s highly likely that it does have an electrical panel that should be replaced.  Electrical panels are designed for safety and depending on their age contain either fuses or circuit breakers.  These devices are designed to shut off power if too much electricity flows through them.  When these devices fail to function properly, the result is overheating and potentially catastrophic fires. With the advent of ever more powerful appliances and electronics, older electrical panels simply are designed to handle the demands.  Insurance companies may also fail to insure a home if it is still utilizing one of the brands listed below and mortgage companies.  Since 2004, Positricity has helped homeowners and businesses in the Tampa Bay, Clearwater and St. Petersburg areas avoid disaster by providing electric panel repair and replacement.

Dangerous Electrical Panels You Should Consider Replacing

Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Panels – These electric panels were among the most popular panels in the United States from the 1950’s well in to the early 1980’s.  They have proven to be extremely unsafe when it comes to handling the demands of new appliance and electronics technology.  Some of the concerns are:

  • Failure to trip properly if there is a circuit overload or a short circuit
  • Excessive heat can lead to devasting house fires
  • In the “OFF” position, they may still send power to the circuit that could lead to electrocution
  • If you see the name Federal Pacific on the cover of your panel or the Stab-Loc brand of circuit breakers, you should contact a certified electrician to replace.

Zinsco Panels – While these panels are no longer being manufactured, many homes and businesses built in the 1970’s incorporate the Zinsco or GTE-Sylvania panel as they were sometimes labeled.  Some concerns are:

  • Evidence exists that Zinsco panels can melt to the main “bus bar” of the panel. This creates a situation where the breaker can’t trip in an overloaded circuit.  If the panel experiences a short a power surge can melt wiring and start an electrical fire.
  • If you see the name Zinsco on your panel or GTE-Sylvania, you should be concerned. Not all GTE-Sylvania panels are considered cause for worry.  To be sure, an inspection by a certified electrician will reveal the answer.

Sylvania or Challenger Panels – These panels were very popular in the 1980’s and early 1990’s but are no longer in production.  Some concerns are:

  • Even under normal conditions these panels can overheat causing the panel to melt to the main “bus bar”.
  • When this occurs, arcing between a circuit and the bus bar can cause a melt down which can lead to fire, and electrical shock.
  • These panels may also be labeled GTE-Sylvania as Challenger sold these panels to other companies who added their own label.

Other Reasons to have your Panel Inspected or Replaced

  • It failed inspection prior to a sale or purchase
  • Sizzling or popping sounds coming from the panel
  • Lights flicker when appliances are turned on
  • The panel is older than 20 years
  • Homeowner’s insurance requires it
  • You’ve installed a newer AC system
  • You’ve upgraded your home with new, more powerful appliances
  • You’ve installed a Tankless Water Heater, Pool or Hot Tub
  • You’ve added on to your home

Who Should you Contact for an Electrical Panel Replacement?

At Positricity, we can help you with all your electrical panel needs. You need an experienced electrician who will diagnose and fix the problem immediately. This is not a do it yourself project and should not be delayed, the stakes are too high. If you are unsure as to whether you have a faulty electric panel, do not hesitate to have your unit inspected. If your home or business needs an electrical panel upgrade, or you’ve received a notice to replace your electrical panel, this task is best left to the trained professional electricians at Positricity. We can not only assist you with the electrical panel upgrade, but we will do all the insurance paperwork for you as well.  With 24/7 service, we are available when you need us the most. Schedule your appointment today!

Related Posts
  • Electrical Panels: Must-Know Safety Information Read More
  • Top three reasons your Clearwater, FL home needs an electrical panel replacement Read More
  • Reasons to Replace That Old Electrical Panel Read More