A professional home inspector will inspect many areas of the home including the home’s structure, plumbing, and electrical systems. One of the scariest components of a home is the electrical system especially when a component of the electrical system fails an inspection. One part of a home’s electrical system that often requires replacing is the electrical panel. Lifeline Home Inspections will share some of the most common problems found with a home’s electrical panel and how professional home inspectors can help.
Old Electrical Panels or Boxes
Home’s that may have been built in the 1990s are often using outdated electrical panels also known as electrical boxes. Old outdated electrical panels can be very unsafe. They lack certain safety devices such as fuses or circuit breakers that are designed to trip or shut off the power during power surges if too much electricity flows through the home or if electrical overheating occurs. There are three types of unsafe electrical panels that are still being found during home inspections.
Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Recall
From the 1950’s to the 1980’s FPE was one of the most popular electrical panel systems used. FPE manufactured electrical panels were installed in millions of homes throughout America. It wasn’t until later that we discovered FPE panels failed to trip when a circuit became overloaded. Even when the circuit is in the off position, power is often still surging through the circuit, which needless to say isn’t very safe.
Unsafe Zinsco Electrical Panels
The Zinsco panel was introduced during the 1970’s. The Zinsco panel brand lasted for about 50 years and then went out of business due to their unsafe electrical panels. During their years of operation, homes across America were installed with Zinsco panels. Why was the Zinsco panels deemed unsafe? The circuit breaker inside the panel was known to melt and fuse to the main bus bar. Once the breaker melted, it couldn’t trip and shut off power. This led to overheating within a circuit which could then lead to house fires.
Fuse boxes are old electrical panels that used fuses versus breakers. When a circuit becomes overloaded, a fuse will overheat and burn out. When this happens it needs to be replaced. Fuse boxes aren’t considered an unsafe electrical system, but there are far more efficient ways to manage your home’s power. This older method of preventing overloads should be replaced to help maintain proper energy control for modern power demands.
Home & Commercial Building Inspections & More in Fulton, Spalding, Coweta, Douglas, Pike, Upson & Fayette County, Georgia
When a home inspector goes through a home electrical system they will see what type of electrical panel is used in the home and its condition. If one of these top three electrical panels are found in the home often the home inspector will let you know and often recommend replacing the electrical panel with a more modern and safe electrical panel. Your home electrical system is essential and can be dangerous, which is why it is on every home inspectors checklist. If you are living in an older home, consider having your home inspected to ensure the home’s safety and condition. For all of your commercial and residential professional inspections, contact Lifeline Home Inspections today and schedule our services.