Monthly Archives: April 2017

Do You Have A Zinsco Panel?

 
Zinsco Panel Boxes May Produce Dangerous Situations ….
 
At one time, Zinsco panels were extremely popular and installed in many homes throughout North America but many are obsolete today! Electricians and home inspectors discovered that certain Zinsco panels often can fail to operate properly as much as 25% of the time and can be a fire or shock risk to homeowners.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Zinsco Panel Boxes and Report Flaws
* Zinsco panel may not pass updated safety codes. Leading experts on panel safety says that older Zinsco panels would not receive today’s UL listing. These panel can’t be sold to general public because they don’t meet current safety codes. Safety standards that were once acceptable years ago are no longer considered safe.
* Zinsco panels may have been created with significant design flaws. Zinsco panels reportedly have defects not shared by others. Often times breakers have loose connection making them useless.
* Zinsco Electric panels may have manufacturing defects. Experts noted design flaws in older panels that may not share with other panels. For example, some components are aluminum; the connection between the breakers and bus bar may not be solid; and breakers can appear to be off, yet the panel still allows power to flow.
 
 

Zinsco panels may contain hidden damage that cannot be easily seen. Only professional electricians should explore the panel due to the risks of electric shock. Please give ARC Electric Company and we would be glad to assist – 704-821-7005!

 
 

Outdated and Potentially Hazardous Panels

Outdated and Potentially Hazardous Panels Should Be Inspected Immediately!
 
The panel box is one of the most important parts of a home’s electrical system. It constantly distributes and receives electricity. The breakers in the panel boxes are designed to protect homes from over currents or short circuits and any possible damage they may cause. With regular maintenance by a licensed electrician, experts say that today’s panels can function properly and hopefully protect homes for 30 years or more.
 
If you suspent that you may have a Federal pacific Electric Panel, an older Zinsco panel, an outdated panel in your home, or in any event, you have not had your panel inspected recently, we recommend that your panel be inspected immediately by a qualified electrician.
 

If you believe you may have one of these panels, please call ARC Electric Company for a free estimate to upgrade your electrical panel (704) 821-7005

 
 

Expert Opinion on Zinsco Panel

 
We started this series because we came across a very informative electrical panel safety alert from a consumer safety company and in part of the series they sought out an experts opinion as well electrician and homeowners accounts.
 
Expert Opinion on Zinsco Panel
“These circuit breakers do not offer the level of over current and fire protection provided by most other electrical panels and circuit breakers. This equipment presents greater risk of fire or other electrical hazard. Where Zinsco electrical panels are discovered in buildings, they should be replaced to reduce some very real fire and shock hazards.”
 
“Where Zinsco electrical panels and Zinsco circuit breakers are in use, arcing, contact-point burn, and even circuit breaker case blow-out have been observed in the field. A principal Zinsco circuit breaker point of failure appears to be at the point of contact where the circuit breaker contacts clip onto the electrical panel bus, combined with the use of aluminum electrical panel bus.”

Dan Friednman
Educator, Author, and Building Failures Researcher

 
 
Examples of Damage Created by Zinsco Panels:
Below are the 2 excerpts from emails sent to Dan Friedman from electricians regarding their experience with Zinsco panels. Below are the excerpts:
 
Email dated 09/02/2003 – I was at a site to do an estimate and noticed a Zinsco panel. I asked the customer if it was alright to check it, and he agreed. He said the only trouble he knew about was the water heater didn’t always give them real hot water. I pulled the panel cover off and everything looked okay. I checked the breakers with a volt meter, and it had proper voltage at all circuits. Then, I started (carefully) removing breakers and found the top (water heater circuit) breaker had welded itself to the buss and came apart when I tried to remove it. (This could be very dangerous for a homeowner or home inspector!) I removed several other breakers and found them to be badly damaged, and the bussing was burnt in several locations. After seeing the situation it was not hard to convince the owner that it was time to replace the Zinsco panel.
 
04/15/2003 – I recently stumbled upon a Zinsco and asked the customer if it was okay to inspect. With the okay, I proceeded to pull the cover off. The breakers and panel looked to be in great shape. There was no obvious heat damage or signs of conductor damage. Upon removing the breakers, I found serious damage to the breakers and bussing. One had become welded to the buss. Another breaker fell apart when I tried to remove it. The panel did not have a main breaker, so there was no way to shut off power to the top section! This could have been extremely danagerous if a homeowner had tried to remove the breaker to replace it or check it.
 
 

If you believe you may have one of these panels, please call ARC Electric Company for a free estimate to upgrade your electrical panel (704) 821-7005

 
 

NC 811 Press Release – Safe Digging Month

Gov. Cooper Proclaims April as North Carolina Safe Digging Month
 
NC811 reminds local residents to call 811 before all digging projects
 
GREENSBORO, NC (April 17, 2017) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued a proclamation announcing April as NC Safe Digging Month at the Capital Building in Raleigh. These proclamations have been requested and obtained annually since 1988, a full 12 years before the formation of the common ground alliance. The proclamation reminds NC homeowners to call 811 before starting any outdoor digging project.

April marks the start of spring digging season, so NC811 and Gov. Cooper are encouraging homeowners to call 811 before they dig to prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages. Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.
 
“Neglecting to call 811 before digging can have dangerous consequences,” said Gov. Cooper. “I urge every North Carolinian to take the time to use this valuable service.”
 
Governor Cooper took a moment to discuss with the group how the process works. When calling 811, homeowners are connected to NC811, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested
digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, stakes or paint. Once lines have been accurately marked, digging can begin around marked lines.
 
“We join the governor in strongly encouraging individuals and companies to call 811 before they begin digging,” said Louis Panzer, Executive Director – NC811. “By having underground
lines marked, homeowners are making an important decision that can help keep them and their communities safe and connected.”
 
Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, necessitates a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, building a deck and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.
 
Visit www.nc811.org or www.call811.com for more information about 811 and the call-before-you-dig process.
 
Media Contact:
Ann Rushing
336-944-5518
annrushing@nc811.org
 
 
 

Spring Email – Hop Into Savings

HOP into Spring with Electrical Safety Tips!
 
 
Warmer weather makes for an increase in outdoor work, both on the job and at home. We wanted to touch base on a few electrical safety tips that can help ensure your safety during outdoor activities.
 
Following a few simple safety rules can help reduce the number of electrical accidents:
* Ladders—even those made of wood—that come into contact with a power line can prove fatal. Keep all ladders at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines.
* Unplug outdoor tools and appliances when not in use.
* Inspect power tools and appliances for frayed cords, broken plugs and cracked or broken housings. Repair or replace damaged items.
* Water and electricity do not mix. Avoid damp conditions — including wet grass — when using electricity.

 
 
Please note our office will be closed on Friday, April 14th in observance of Easter. Our staff and technicians will be spending time with their loved ones. Thank you for understanding!
 
Our homes are a busy place; installing a KOHLER whole home generator will keep that rhythm going by providing dependable protection during an unexpected power outage. KOHLER offers some of the best warranties in the business with a 5-year, 2,000-hour protection, plus a corrosion-proof enclosure that’s built to last.
Learn More
 
As always, we appreciate our customers feedback, even when its the bad stuff. As a a company we take every review seriously; it not only helps to acknowledge the technicians who have gone above and beyond but also helps us improve areas of concern. Again, we greatly appreciate your feedback!
Learn More
 
 
 

Good Friday – Closed!

ARC Electric Company will be closed Friday, April 14th in observance of Easter. Our staff and technicians will be spending time with their loved ones. As always, please call our office for the on-call technician if its an emergency!
 

 
 

Expert Opinion on Federal Pacific Panels

 
We started this series because we came across a very informative electrical panel safety alert from a consumer safety company and in part of the series they sought out an experts opinion as well electrician and homeowners accounts.
 
Expert Opinion on Federal Pacific Electric Circuit Breaker Panels
The presence of a Federal Pacific panel in a home should be classified as a ‘Safety Defect’. The Federal Pacific breakers are primary safety devices of questionable operating reliability. The breaker’s function is to stop certain electrical sequences that could lead to fire in the building. If an electrical fire hazard develops somewhere in the building, the breaker is supposed to trip and minimize the possibility of fire ignition. If the breaker is defective, fire is more likely to result. There is no question that the Federal Pacific Stab-Lok panels should be replaced. There is no practical and safe alternative”
 
Dr. Jess Aronstein BME, MSME, PhD
Consulting Engineer Specializing in Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok Electric Panels and Circuit Breakers: Information for Inspectors and Homeowners

 
 
Examples of Damage Created by Federal Pacific Elecric (FPE) Panels:
Below are the 2 excerpts from emails sent to Dr. Jesse Aronstein from a homeowner and an electrician detailing their experience with a FPE panel.
 
Email dated 08/07/1999 – “Last month a co-worker was responding to an apartment maintenance request … He found the breaker on .. and no lights … Thinking that there was a loose connection at the first fixture he returned to the shop for a ladder. What we didn’t know was that the problem was a short and that the Federal Pacific breaker had failed to trip. We never had a chance to return with the ladder, the fire department interrupted our repair…”
 
Email dated 07/12/2002 – “We had a fire in my home Tuesday due to over-current and FPE Stab-Lock Panel 100 amp service. The panel failed to trip and fire occures within a wall. We have been in this home one month. The home was inspected and we were given no warning about Federal Pacific Electric panels…”

 
 
 

Federal Pacific Panels – Are they safe?

 
Let’s try an experiment … go to Google and type in “Federal Pacific panel” or “Federal Pacific”; what pops up? Within the first pages of Google the titles of pages are Is my Federal Pacific Safe? Are Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panels Safe? Should all Federal Pacific panels be replaced? …. see where I am going with this?
 

Federal Pacific Panel


Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) was a common manufacturer of residential electrical panels in the US from the 50’s through the 80’s. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of FPE panels were installed in homes; over time electricians and home inspectors saw as many as 60% of all Federal Pacific Electric panels would fail to provide proper protection to homeowners. Many experts believe that certain FPE panels will work fine for years, but after an over current or short circuit the panel could over heat and become hazardous. Federal Pacific Electric Panel boxes have 3 reported major faults:
 
* Federal Pacific Electric panels may not pass updated safety codes. If a FPE panel has been in a residence more than 15 years and hasn’t been serviced by a licensed electrician there’s a possibility the breakers have depreciated. The breakers could possibly not trip properly and protect an electrical system from over heating!
* Federal Pacific Electric panels may have a serious design flaw. FPE panels reportedly have design flaws not shared by other panels of similar age. For example, often certain breakers have loose connections making them useless; should an over current happen, the breakers could melt instead of tripping.
* Federal Pacific Electric Panels may have manufacturing defects. Experts report that FPE panels may be unfit for your home because of manufacturing defects. The materials used during construction of the breakers may be weak. As a result, the breaker may not trip and your panel could be susceptible to catching on fire.
 
If you believe you may have a Federal Pacific panel, please call ARC Electric Company for a free estimate to upgrade your electrical service (704) 821-7005

 
 

Electrical Panel Safety – Outdated Panels

Many outdated electrical service panels can’t handle current electrical needs and this may leave your home open to potential hazards. Now, more than ever, we rely on electricity to power our lives; electronics, appliances, clock radios, chargers and the list could go on. While newer homes and the electrical panels are built to hold current loads, older homes with older outdated electrical panels were built before many of these modern, electronic conveniences.

Unless it’s been upgraded, electrical systems in older homes cannot safely handle the demands of today’s society.

Outdated panel boxes can present major issues; among a variety of older panels, there are two distinct types that should be upgraded. Both offer a unique problems to homes; one type is a fuse box and one is a split-bus panel.
 
Fuse Boxes were the precursor to the electrical panel box. When an over current or short circuit happened, a fuse would pop and blow out; having to be replaced. This would get costly and on occasions people would put the wrong amp fuse back in – this would become a fire hazard.
 
Split-bus panls create a unique challenge – these panels do not have a main breaker; they have a smakker breaker feeding the bottom half of the panel. The smaller breakers have beenknown to melt or burn due to excessive strain.
 

If you believe you may have one of these panels, please call ARC Electric Company for a free estimate to upgrade your electrical panel (704) 821-7005