These are more common than you would think. This electrical panel is one of the worst I have seen:
The most common bad electrical panels do not have all these problems but they may have one or two. The most common bad electrical panels are actually identified by their brand: Federal Pacific, Sylvania, and Zinsco, however, it is surprising how often distribution or sub-panels are incorrectly wired.
If you buy a house with this type of bad electrical panel you might have trouble getting insurance! Not only that, but the panel could also overheat and catch fire. Federal Pacific Electrical panels have been known for a long time to be a potential problem but there are still many homes in Pinellas County that have these bad electrical panels. Federal Pacific electrical panel breakers have been known to fail to trip at a higher rate than standard panels. When a breaker doesn’t trip, an electrical surge will likely cause the wires to melt and possibly cause a fire. Many Federal Pacific Electric panels and breakers can operate properly for years, but they can also malfunction unexpectedly. Simply replacing the circuit breakers is not sufficient. You need to have the entire panel replaced. There is always a Distribution Panel inside the house – may be in the garage, hallway, kitchen, or utility room. Watch out for the words “Stab-Lok” which is a give-a-way that this is a Federal Pacific panel.
The Right Time For a Panel Upgrade...
Many Pinellas County homes have outdated breaker panels. When many older homes were built, they were designed for as few as 60 or 100 amps using just a couple of circuits. The purpose of a circuit breaker is to safeguard your home by tripping and turning off in instances when the wire from the electric panel is overloaded. Older electrical systems might not have functional circuit breakers that trip, even when the circuit is loaded beyond an acceptable level.
Buildings today require a minimum of 125-amp service with modern appliances and tech devices dominate homes and businesses. If you have less, it is time to upgrade your breaker panel.
If you are using an outdated breaker or something goes wrong, there will inevitably be power trips, loss of power, and possibly even damage to your appliances and wiring.
Whether you need panel upgrades, a repair, installation, or routine maintenance, we can help. Our electricians know the ins and outs of breaker panels. If anything is wrong with your panel or if you suspect a problem, reach out to us right away for analysis.