Panel/Fuse Box Repair & Replacement
When electrical fires happen, the reason is often failure of the fuse box or breaker panel. Many of these are decades out of date and fail simply because of age. Electricians have noticed that two older brands, both long out of business, have been responsible for a higher percentage of home fires than any others. Those brands are Zinsco and Federal Pacific.
Some products get a bad reputation because they richly deserve it, and these are good examples. Zinsco, founded in the early 1930s in St. Louis, Missouri, was in business until 1973, when it was sold to GTE-Sylvania. Subsequently, some equipment was made using the original design under the brand Zinsco-Sylvania.
All this equipment is now outdated because of its deplorable safety record. Zinsco circuit breakers can come loose over time, causing arcing and heat buildup. This can become so severe that the breaker and bus bar melt together and the contacts get permanently connected, depriving the breaker of the ability to trip. At this point, there is nothing to stop the heat from continuing to build up until a fire results.
The Federal Pacific Electric Company is another brand with a bad reputation. Their products were among the most common household electrical equipment in the U.S. from the 1950s to the ‘80s. Only after millions of them had been installed was it noticed that they had a tendency to overheat, even after working fine for years.
This instance resulted in a legal case in which the New Jersey State Court ruled that FPE had knowingly sold substandard electrical equipment. Federal boxes were shown to frequently overheat to the point of melting or even burning through the breaker, resulting in an explosion and probable fire.
Homeowners in our service area with these panels should contact us immediately. We are licensed, insured and ready to help you get rid of that old fire hazard. Give us a call for your safety and peace of mind.