Home Inspection Centennial, Co. Electrical Distribution Panel

This Zinsco distribution panel was found during a condominium inspection in Centennial Colorado. Zinsco panels are reputed to have a high rate of circuit breaker failure which can result in a fire or shock/electrocution. This Condo also had aluminum wiring. Note the purple wire nuts in the panel used for copper pigtailing.

I recommend that you consult with a qualified electrical contractor concerning the necessity for replacing this service panel.
Information about defective Zinsco panels is widely available on the internet. 

Why Do Zinsco Panels Malfunction?

Experts Have Identified Two Major Reasons

Experts report that Zinsco circuit breaker panels may have two major faults that could pose a danger:

1. Zinsco panels may not meet today's updated safety codes.

Production of Zinsco panels halted in mid-1970s. Experts say that Zinsco panels produced during this time would not receive today’s UL listing. They would not be allowed to be sold to the general public because they no longer pass current safety codes. Safety standards that were once acceptable years ago are no longer considered safe.

2. Zinsco panels may have significant design flaws.

Experts report that the identified design flaws in Zinsco panels are not shared with other panels of similar age. Some of the problems include:

o                    Certain components of the panel contain aluminum.

o                    The connection between the breakers and the bus bar is often not solid.

o                    The bus bar appears to corrode easily.

o                    Breakers may appear to be off, yet internally the panel is still conducting electricity.