Electric Panel Replacement
An electric panel is like the brain of your building’s electrical system. It houses your breakers and directs where power is run throughout your home. Your electric panel is the most important piece of your electrical system in your home. All of the high voltage power running to your home or building passes through your panel. Your electrical panel then reroutes that power to the different circuits. Many things can cause your panel to fail and cause serious damage to your property.
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Electric Panel Dangers
Electrical panels carry a heavy load of energy that can become very hot extremely fast. One simple failure from your electrical panel can become a serious problem within minutes. Check out the video above to see just how fast a failed electric panel replacement can become a disaster.
Electric Panel Problems
As panels age, some of the wiring can become loose and electricity will “arc” or jump from one conducting source to another. This arcing can send high voltage power to anything that conducts electricity. It may shoot electricity to a nearby piece of metal or other conductive material or send too much power through a circuit. Either of these scenarios can lead to electrical fires, electrocution, and other serious problems. Some panels are no longer accepted by the NEC standards because they fail so consistently.
Working with an electric panel is advanced electrical work and very dangerous for someone that is not properly trained.
Electric Panel Replacement Benefits
Electric panel replacement not only makes your home safer, but also adds several conveniences to your electrical system, such as:
- The ability to add more circuits
- Lowering electric bills with more efficient electrical system.
- Fixing any problems from previous electrical work
- Increasing the value and safety of your home
- Reconfiguring certain circuits to make them more efficient
- Switching out existing equipment for more up-to-date material
- Upgrading your power, allowing you to use more electricity in your home
Electric Panel Inspection & Rejuvenation
If you suspect that your panel may need attention, but not a replacement, ask about our special Panel Safety Inspection & Rejuvenation. This service will feature a licensed electrician performing a detailed inspection and longevity maintenance on your panel. Some panels just need some basic maintenance to continue operating safely. Our expert Utah electricians can give your panel the TLC it needs to keep your home safe.
During the Electric Panel Inspection & Rejuvenation, our licensed electrician will:
- Check the panel for arcing or jumping power
- Check the loads making sure they are all correct
- Strip all of the wires and re-terminate the ends
- Update any minor defective equipment and diagnose any safety issues with your panel.
To learn more about our Electrical Panel Inspection & Rejuvenation, call 801 207-7976 or fill out our contact form.
Outdated and Unsafe Panels
Aside from normal wear and tear that all electric panels experience. Some brands and models contain design flaws that have since caused them be recalled and discontinued. Unfortunately, many of these panels are still in Utah homes. Some of the usual suspects include Zinsco & Federal Pacific brands but any panel made before the 1990’s could have these design flaws. These panels are especially dangerous because often the breakers don’t trip. This means that a problem will happen and you won’t know because power will still be running through the circuit even though there are issues. If you suspect that your panel may be heading down the road to failure, call us today and get a free estimate to switch it out before it causes severe electrical damage to your home.
Zinsco Electric Panel Replacement
Zinsco was started Zinsmeyer Co. and was founded by Emile Zinsmeyer in the late 1920’s. The company’s founder and family invented many things that changed the way circuit breakers are used today. Many still say that the company was groundbreaking and paved the way for other electrical companies and products to flourish. In 1943, Matrin Zinsmeyer purchased the company and changed its name to Zinsco. This company sold many popular electrical products in its day, including many residential and commercial electric panels. Many safety issues were not detected until later. The company was bought by GTE Sylvania in 1973 and stopped selling panels shortly thereafter.
Zinsco Electric Panels
Zinsco panels have been recalled and are considered obsolete in modern construction. There are several issues that make this type of panel unsafe, but the main problem is concerning the bus bar. As these panels aged, the connection with the bus bars and the panel tend to break loose. This leads to arcing and eventual overheating. This excess heat will often fuse the bus bar but will also fuse the breakers together as well. This leads to a serious fire hazard as these breakers will no longer trip.
Another issue that is common with Zinsco brand panels has to do with tripped breakers. Oftentimes a breaker will trip and become locked. These locked breakers cannot be reset. These breakers are hard to find as most suppliers no longer carry them. Even if you did replace the breaker, you would still have serious issues with your panel and would only be applying a temporary remedy.
Modern electric code will not allow these risky panels to be installed in new homes or buildings. It is also highly recommended that anyone who currently has a potentially dangerous panel should have them replaced.
In this test, however, the breaker failed to trip. The excess power continued to flow causing massive problems. With 60 seconds, the romex sheathed wire was already on fire and had reached an excess of 500 degrees! You can see that the wire is red hot after only 20 seconds into the filming. This scenario would almost certainly lead to an electrical fire and may take only a matter of minutes.
Electrical panels in this condition are fairly common. A simple search online will show the national concern for this major safety hazard.. If a breaker fails to trip even one time, your home could be minutes away from a major electrical fire. If you are interested in learning more about the safety of your panel, read our post on Electric Panel Signs of Failure.