GTE Sylvania/Zinsco Electrical Panels & Insurance
Zinsco electric panels could leave property owners at risk for both fire and electric shock as a result of failing to operate properly as much as 25% of the time. Commonly installed in the 1970s. Failures that could lead to fires and shock ceased production. Bus bars corrode easily and can melt to breakers. Insurance companies can make you replace certain panels. The GTE Sylvania/Zinsco panel is no exception in this arena. If your home inspector or electrician finds this panel, you will have to replace it.
Background Information & Identification
The Sylvania panel can be found through three names: GTE, Sylvania, or Zinsco. This type of panel was mainly installed in the 1970s. Besides looking at the label of the panel for the name, this panel has pastel-colored breakers that are in one row down. This is contrary to other breakers that are in two rows and black colored.
Issues with the Panel
After electrical panel installation became widespread, fire and electric shock hazards began to arise.
To summarize the problem, panel bus bars can easily melt and overheat. This will trip the breaker and prevent it from properly cutting power to the circuit. Eventually, the circuit breaker will show "off" but current may still be flowing.
Also, the electric panel contains a fair amount of aluminum. Aluminum is known to expand and contract. Aluminum can overheat more than other metals. As the aluminum corrodes, the rust becomes non-conductive, restricting the flow of electricity. Additionally, overheating issues can cause fires.
If you have any further questions about the Zinsco/Sylvania electrical panel, please do not hesitate to contact Pro-Elements Home Inspection for more information.