Service Panel Safety
Is Your Electrical Panel Safe?
Your electrical panel is the control center for all the electricity that flows through your home. That’s why it’s important to have your electrical panel inspected annually by a qualified electrician. The experts at Metro Electric can inspect your electrical panel so you can avoid fire damage and personal injury due to an unsafe or outdated unit. The need for inspections becomes even more vital if you’ve made changes to your electrical wiring, after you’ve installed new appliances or if your electrical panel is more than ten years old. Occasionally, an electrical panel may also need to be replaced because of age, stress or heat damage. Other times a specific model may have been removed by Underwriters Laboratories due to safety concerns. There are a few electrical panels that at one time were commonly installed, but have been removed from the UL list.
Below, you can find a few electrical panels that have been deemed hazardous, and should be replaced to ensure a safe and efficient electrical system.
Outdated Electrical Panels
Homeowners can run into problems with outdated panels created by quality manufacturers. Regardless of how well made a product is, time will render almost any physical object useless eventually. With today’s high dependency on electronics, older units simply can’t perform the basic functions of the average modern household or business. If you are experiencing frequent power failures, tripped breakers, unreliable circuits or other electrical issues, you might need to get an inspection. Chances are, if your electrical panel was built before 1990, then your electrical panel is probably in need of a repair or replacement.
Common Reasons to Upgrade / Update:
- Flickering lights
- Overheating conductors
- Two-pronged power outlets
- Appliances that won’t run at full power
- Frequently tripped circuit breakers
- Corrosion or rust on the circuit breakers
- Crackling sounds coming from the electrical panel
- Heat produced by the electrical panel
- Excessive extension cord use
- 60-amp or 100-amp electrical service
- Non-GFCI outlets near water sources
Our certified and insured electricians are ready to help make your electrical system safe and effective. Call Metro Electric today to make a convenient appointment.
Federal Pacific Electric
The most notorious electric panel is the Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok panel, also known as an FPE panel, Federal Pacific panel, or Stab-Lok. Testing by the Consumer Product Safety Commission has shown these breakers to have an unacceptably high rate of failure, which creates a safety hazard. Testing has also proven that virtually every panel installed in the United States contains defective breakers. Finally, FPE committed fraud by falsifying their UL testing, making their UL listing void.
Zinsco Electric Panels
Zinsco panels often can fail to operate properly and may leave homes and homeowners at risk to both fire and electrical shock. These panels can work fine for years, but as homes have increased energy demands, these panels may overheat and portions of it melt. If a breaker melts to the bus bar of the panel and can no longer adequately trip in case of an overcurrent or short circuit, an extreme amount of power from the outside electrical supply surges into a home’s panel and circuits. Once that happens, it cannot be stopped or shut off manually. Electricity will burn until it runs out of fuel or the wires melt. The panel could overheat and catch fire, causing serious harm to a home and its occupants.
Take a look at your electrical panel, if you have one of these, call Metro Electric right away!
We are The Home Electric Experts!
Metro Electric specializes in troubleshooting and replacing old residential electrical systems throughout Oakland and Macomb County and we have seen numerous electrical panels fail due to old age. Electrical panel failure can lead to electrical arcing between the circuit breaker and buss bar or through a circuit breaker failing to trip during an overload condition. Both of these situations can cause heat build-up and ultimately fire. Remember, it’s cheaper to install a new electrical panel than recovering from a whole-house electrical fire.