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Panel Upgrade

Before and After - Upgrade Your Panel Today

"Thousands of out dated electrical

panels are in use right throughout the Treasure Coast in manufactured housing, condominiums, and single family residences. Don't let an out of date electrical panel put your home and loved ones at risk!"

The Wizard

A panel upgrade is just what it implies. It is an upgrade from the existing electrical panel. With all the new appliances, and technical devices we now have in our Treasure Coast homes, we find that older homes might not have sufficient power available to handle the increased demand. In many cases that means a service change is required. This includes not only an upgrade in your electric panel. But an upgrade in your meter socket and wire size between the meter and panel. 

 

 

Panel Swap Out 


A panel swap out is usually required to alleviate a problem with the existing panel. Sometimes a breaker might overheat to the point that the buss bar in a panel gets burned. The conductors between the meter and panel may become loose and burn out the main lugs, especially common when aluminum conductors were used.

Whether you are upgrading or replacing your electrical panel, rely on Your Neighborhood Electricians at Electrical Connections to do the job right!

Know Your Out Dated Electrical Panels -- Avoid Fires -- Save Lives!

For almost four decades, (1950s-1980s), Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) was one of the most popular manufacturers of electrical panels in the entire United States. And, they were installed in millions of homes including many right here on the Treasure Coast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are also many reports that FPE circuits in the off position still send power to the circuit. This can cause electrocution when working on a circuit you believe to be off.

FPE panels are most common in homes built between 1950 and 1980. Federal Pacific Electric will likely be written on the cover of your breaker box. Inside, look for the name Stab-Loc (the brand name of the circuit breakers).

ZINSCO Panel

Zinsco or GTE-Sylvania panels were popular electrical panels installed in homes throughout the 1970s. Zinsco is now defunct, but many homes still have these panels.

The circuit breakers inside many Zinsco panels melt to the main ‘bus bar’. This means the breaker can’t trip, even when there’s a short or overloaded circuit. So if there ever is a short or other problems, the surge of power melts wires and starts fires in your home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Split Bus Panel

Today's modern circuit breaker has a single metal bus. That means, electricity comes into the panel, passes through a main breaker and to the bus. The bus then connects to each individual circuit breaker, providing power to your entire home. You can then shut off power to the bus (and therefore your entire home) simply by turning off the main breaker.

 

 

Rebuilding or repairing your circuit breakers can prevent uncalled for downtime and in many cases is more cost-effective than replacing your existing equipment. Our know-how ensures that we can perform top quality repairs, modifications, rebuilding and maintenance on most circuit breakers and larger frame molded case breakers of all brands.

  • These panels are extremely unsafe.

  • FPE electric panels’ circuit breakers fail to trip when they should (when there’s a short circuit or circuit overload).

  • This problem has lead to thousands of fires across the United States.

How to tell if you have one? The name Zinsco anywhere on the panel is a sure sign it should be replaced. Also, many GTE-Sylvania or Sylvania panels are simply re-branded Zinsco panels or contain the problem Zinsco design. These should also be replaced. 

 

However, not all Sylvania and GTE-Slyvania branded panels are dangerous. So if you have one, Call Electrical Connections to inspect it to see if it has the problematic design.

Find an electrician in Jensen Beach today.

Split-bus electrical panels are different. They have 2 buses and no single main disconnect. They have up to 6 breakers labeled “main”.

 

One of these main breakers controls power to half (the bottom) of the breakers in the panel. The other main breakers connect directly to the first bus.

Split-bus electrical panels are different.

 

They have 2 buses and no single main disconnect. They have up to 6 breakers labeled “main”.

 

One of these main breakers controls power to half (the bottom) of the breakers in the panel. The other main breakers connect directly to the first bus.

"This is a photo of a split bus panel with front cover removed. You can see how the top 3 breakers are connected directly to the incoming power (large black wires at the top). Then the 3rd breaker supplies power to the lower breakers (see the blue wires connecting them).

By themselves, split-bus panels aren’t unsafe. However, these types of panels haven’t been used for over 40 years.

 

That puts them past their expected lifespan, meaning the circuit breakers may not trip as they are designed to.

Plus, electrical code no longer allows for multiple disconnects." The Wizard

Split Bus
Replace a fuse box.

How to tell if you have one: Open the front cover of your electrical box. Are your breakers divided into 2 groups? Is there no single disconnect breaker?

These are good indications that you have a split-bus panel.

More Panel Dangers

Fuse Boxes

Odds are that if you have a fuse box you already know it because you have had to replace fuses.

Fuses aren’t inherently unsafe. They work just like circuit breakers (except they can’t be reset and must be replaced.) However, most fuse boxes in homes today are unsafe because they’ve been modified to try to serve today’s higher energy demands.

Homeowners (and sometimes contractors) create problems in many fuse boxes that make them unsafe. Here are a few:

  • Placing too many things on a single circuit. Because fuse boxes typically have fewer circuits, homeowners often end up plugging in too many electrical appliances to a single outlet. That leads to fuses that blow a lot, which can lead homeowners to...

  • Replace a fuse with a bigger fuse. If you replace a 15-amp fuse with a 20-amp fuse (or larger), your fuse may stop blowing. However, you’ll also create a massive fire hazard. The wires in that circuit are only rated for 15-amps, not 20! 

Find an electrician in Jupiter.

"Fuse boxes are old electrical panels that use fuses instead of circuit breakers to protect your wires from becoming overloaded. When a circuit draws too much electricity, the fuse burns out and must be replaced. The Wizard

  • Replace the fuse with something metal. Some homeowners go a step further and insert a metal object (like a penny) where the blown fuse once was. Again, this eliminates blown fuses, but also completely removes the safety that fuses provide. Your wires could pull large amounts of electricity, overheat and start a fire. 

If you are not sure if you have a fuse panel, find your main electrical panel and open it up. Instead of a bunch of switches (circuit breakers) you should see fuses.

If you have any of the electrical panels here, give us a call right now! We are dedicated to your safety. Now that you have knowledge about your home's electrical panel, use it to stay safe and stay alive!

Images From Actual Panel Short and Fire...

Don't Let This Happen To Your Home!