Electrical Panel Brands: Not All Are Created Equal

Is your home outfitted with either a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) or GTE Sylvania-Zinsco electrical panel, or is the panel more than 10-years-old? If you answered “yes,” you’re encouraged to contact a qualified electrician as soon as possible for a thorough inspection of the panel. Doing so will safeguard you and your home against faulty designs and potential electrical hazards.

Know Your Electrical Panel Brand Name, Service Date 

Once you’ve located your home’s electrical panel, look closely for the manufacturer’s name and record of its latest service date. Possible electrical panel manufactures include Siemens, General Electric, SquareD, etc. To identify a PFE panel, look for “Federal Pacific Electric” stamped on the cover of your breaker box, and Stab-Loc, the interior circuit breaker brand name, on the inside of the panel. Zinsco panels are clearly labeled as such, or as GTE-Sylvania or Sylvania. Not all Sylvania and GTE-Sylvania branded panels are dangerous.

Federal Pacific Electric and GTE Sylvania-Zinsco Electrical Panels 

Millions of FPE and GTE Sylvania-Zinsco electrical panels were installed in residential properties in the Western U.S. between 1950 and 1980, despite public service announcements warning against the potential dangers caused by these panels. Eventually, FPE was charged with violating the Consumer Fraud Act by knowingly selling circuit breaker panels not meeting UL standards, nor suspending energy when a current experienced an electrical surge. Zinsco electrical panels were publicly advised against and eventually made defunct due to multiple design flaws and fire hazards.

All electrical panels, no matter the brand, should be inspected every 10 years; home renovation projects, appliance upgrades and the introduction of advanced technology devices into the home are also good reasons for an electrical panel inspection. Only a highly qualified electrician will be able to tell you if your electrical panel is safe or not. Ensuring a properly functioning electrical panel will protect you and your home from power surges, short circuits and other potentially disastrous situations.

If you’ve discovered an FPE or GTE Sylvania-Zinsco electrical panel in your home, or your panel is more than 10-years-old, MZ Electric is your go-to for inspections. Our technicians are fully licensed and have a wide range of experience in the electrical industry. We offer extremely competitive rates for all your electrical needs. Ask about available discounts for teachers, military and seniors, as well as referral coupons.