The Dangers of Old Electrical Panel

Several decades ago, electricians frequently installed the old electrical panel types, specifically the Zinsco and Federal Pacific Electric panels in many homes. Back then, both brands were deemed reliable and presented no significant issues. However, with time and increasing household electrical demands, electricians began to observe that Zinsco and Federal Pacific struggled to handle the escalating load. Currently, both brands have acquired notoriety for being potential hazards in any home they inhabit.

Old Electrical Panel

Why Are Zinsco and Federal Pacific Electric Panels Dangerous?

The old electrical panel types such as the Zinsco can trigger both fire and electrical shock due to their myriad design defects. The following are common factors that lead to malfunctions in these panels:

Some parts within the panel feature aluminium wiring. As this wiring ages, it rusts, compromising the effectiveness of the electrical conductor. Moreover, the aluminium wiring can induce overheating within the panel. The bus bars in these panels are prone to damage and destruction. The interior tripping mechanisms of the breakers sometimes become stuck. This can falsely suggest that the breaker is off, when in actuality, it remains on. As a result, the breaker ceases to provide overload protection, potentially causing panel overheating and sparking a fire.

In conclusion, Zinsco panels fail to adhere to today’s advanced safety codes. Production of these panels ceased in the mid-1970s, and the panels manufactured during those years are ill-equipped to manage modern electrical requirements.

Old Electrical PanelFederal Pacific Electric panels, another variety of the old electrical panel, are also detrimental to your home’s safety. They might function normally for several years, only to fail suddenly due to overcurrent or a short circuit. This can occur for several reasons:

  • Wires may become overcrowded within the panel box.
  • Breakers may trip unpredictably after removing the dead-front cover.
  • In addition, the breakers can have loose connections.
  • Breakers often get jammed within their sockets, leading to overcrowding within the panel.

Just like Zinsco panels, Federal Pacific Electric panels fail to meet today’s advanced safety codes.

What to Do if You Have an Old Electrical Panel Like Zinsco or Federal Pacific Electric at Home?

Considering the above, it’s crucial to regularly inspect your old electrical panel. Bear in mind that only a trained and certified technician should replace your home’s panel. Do not attempt to do it yourself unless you possess specialized training. The Fuse team can assist you in assessing your panel’s condition and replacing it if necessary. Spare yourself the hassle and ensure that your old electrical panel poses no risk to you and your loved ones. You can reach us at (408) 721-2530 or via email at We’ll promptly schedule an inspection!


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Deena D.
Very nice, knowledgeable, and helpful technician. Provided the options and associated costs. Would use this company again.
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Ron B.
We chose Fuse to do the HVAC portion of our home remodel and we're very happy with their work! They installed a full Mitsubishi Mini-split heat pump system all throughout our house in 6 rooms. It was a massive job and they did the work relatively quickly and efficiently. The supervisor, Maxim, was very friendly and knowledgeable. Out of several bids that we got, theirs was the only one that gave us everything we wanted at a competitive cost. We'd be happy to recommend Fuse! We also had Fuse Electric work on the electrical portion of our home remodel, for which I wrote up a separate review.
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Great service. They respond really fast and did a great job fixing my thermostat issues.
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Manu B.
We got our duct work completely replaced in our 50 yr old home. They recommended the work, other companies didn't do this much due diligence and mentioned about asbestos but FUSE technicians went step ahead and climbed into attic and our crawl space to ensure there were no asbestos to begin with. Honest people and very competitive if not best quote I got. Moreover the installer, David and Jeremy worked 2 long days non stop to get work done at our home with 100% satisfaction. David explained everything to me and provided other recommendations for future. He is the most honest technician I have encountered in so long. Because of David I wouldn't hesitate to work with FUSE again. Thank you for such a great work. Very happy and highly recommend FUSE!!
K R.
K R.
The technical crews were excellent; very knowledgeable and capable. They were able to do our HVAC, water heater and ductwork replacement even when faced with several unexpected and very challenging situations. David in particular worked some very long hours to get everything installed correctly. The administration side had a few glitches, but everything worked out OK. I would recommend them, but if you are eligible for the Penninsula Clean Energy interest free loan, be sure to apply for it before the work is completed.
Matthew J.
Matthew J.
Exceptional service from FUSE HVAC! They installed a Mitsubishi HVAC system in our home, and we couldn't be happier. The team was professional, knowledgeable, and efficient throughout the process. Our home is now perfectly comfortable year-round, thanks to their expertise. From consultation to installation, everything was seamless and hassle-free. Highly recommend FUSE HVAC for anyone looking for top-notch HVAC solutions!
Amitabha C.
Amitabha C.
Fuse HVAC installed Mitsubishi Heat pump in my house and completed the project on 31st March 2024. David and Jeremy started the project and David finished the installation. David worked Saturday and Sunday until 11 PM to complete the work. It took 4 1/2 days. I am very happy with the work that David performed. I was watching the process of installation of the pump and was very satisfied to see that after finishing each step David will spend 10-15 min inspecting the work that he did to make sure that there was no mistake. The result was that during pressure testing to check for gas leakage or when the heat pump was run there was no unanticipated issue. The new ductwork that was installed by FUSE passed the HERS test. FUSE is also installing the attic fan to keep the air circulation going and keep the attic cooler. FUSE was referred to by my friend who used them for installing a similar heat pump and although they were a little more expensive than a few quotes I got from other vendors, I decided to go with them based on my friend's recommendation. I had made a right choice! My only criticism for FUSE is they are not able to estimate the time that it will take to finish the project. They told me it will be done in 3 days but it took 4 1/2 days. My project needed the air handler to be moved to the attic but because the space which had the gas heater was too narrow for the air handler. On the whole it was a good experience working with FUSE. They kept us warm for two days with heater fans and David worked Easter Sunday until 11 PM to install and start up the system without hurrying up at any step to get the installation completed earlier. A big thanks to him and to his assistant Jeremy!

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