Zinsco circuit breakers

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  1. pishta

    pishta I know I'm right....

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    Are these a time bomb ready to cause a fire? Recall material? Panel is GTE/Sylvania circa 1954 and I keep tripping a 20A with the portable A/C on and a few other things on that circuit. I'm not ready to drop a G on a new panel but maybe there is an updated breaker that fits this 'plug in' model? I used to deliver this stuff and there were 10s of breaker manufacturers that made compatible breakers. looks like this, breaker probably looks like this

    [​IMG] s-l1600.jpg
     
  2. rustycowll69

    rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

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    yeah, those were bottom of the barrel quality breakers. They were sold by cheap home improvement stores back in the 70's. I had them in a house I owned way back when. They were barely functional when new.
     
  3. Murray

    Murray FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Have you replaced the breaker yet? They can become "weak" and will easily trip when they shouldn't. Replacing it will fix that.
     
  4. Garrett Ellison

    Garrett Ellison Amateur driver on public roadway, do not imitate.. FABO Gold Member

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    Pics of the backside plug in please? Wouldn't it be standardized to N.E.C.C. regulation requirements so that a standard circuit breaker will fit in where it is?
     
  5. tonysrt

    tonysrt FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I have a federal Pacific box and they were noted for not tripping under a load and causing house fires. So although it is U.L., the Fed Pacific, approved still wondering how shit was checked back in the 70's.
     
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    • rustycowll69

      rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

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      dave heerensberger's pay n pak used to sell them. they sold out to eagle. then, I think Lowes may have bought them out.
       
    • engine man

      engine man Member

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      pull the breaker thats tripping look at the bus bar its attached to may be burning up quite common with those panels and also look at the breaker where it plugs onto bus bar
       
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      • YY1

        YY1 Well-Known Member

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        Hard to find and expensive replacements.

        Have been recalled years ago.

        Replace the panel.

        Went through that in 2013 at my shop.

        Breaker would trip every other day.

        My research looking for a replacement turned up the above.
         
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        • 4spd340Swinger

          4spd340Swinger Well-Known Member

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          I just did a 200 amp Cutler CH 42 space panel and service upgrade today (overhead). I charged $1600 with inspection fees and I was $300 less than two other contractors (need to charge more). If you can do it for a grand, do it. If it is a grand for just the panel.....:(
           
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          • pishta

            pishta I know I'm right....

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            Well...a G is out of the question at the moment. Ill shut her down and pull the offender and swap it with one of the other 5 20A in there, maybe its a weak one as @Murray says...maybe ill replace it with a "Murray" panel? They look inexpensive enough and my buddy is an electrician. Thanks.
             
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            • Dfr360cuda

              Dfr360cuda MAGA Again

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              Amp clamp it.
              20 amps is 20 amps.
              A/C should be on a dedicated circuit.
               
            • 4spd340Swinger

              4spd340Swinger Well-Known Member

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              You are a phone man aren't you? I spent 22 years at Ma Bell as a splicer, T1, Prequal Tech. Always OT to work! :poke:Just playing with you. Money is hard to come buy these days.
               
            • rustycowll69

              rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

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              I haven't replaced a panel in about 10yrs, but I recall Cutler Hammer is pretty high end. Most of the money in a panel change, isn't so much the box as it is all the breakers. I believe Square D, or GE are good panels, and good breakers. Up here they sell them in HoDePo. I don't think it would cost more than a grand, but I'll admit I haven't priced one lately. Perhaps you could double up on some circuits on some breakers for awhile, and buy more breakers later.
              I have bought some copper wire, though, and that has really gone up.
               
            • pishta

              pishta I know I'm right....

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              Its a roller...a big Samsung R2D2 unit with a flex hose out the window. Not easy putting that on its own circuit.
               
            • autoxcuda

              autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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              I mostly see Eatons, Siemens, Square D, for residential 200A and under panels out here in So Cal. Must be EUSERC rated, ring type.

              If you’re overhead you should be able to go 200A.

              You have to call in for an electric co. Meter Spot (Tustin) before you replace or buy anything. Electric Co. may need to upgrade your OH wire. Almost always in your particular situation no cost to you since you are “adding load” IF wire needs replacing.

              If it’s UG, that’s a different ball game.
               
              Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
            • Dfr360cuda

              Dfr360cuda MAGA Again

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              ///////////////////////////////

              You have an A/C and “a few other things”
              Let’s say your A/C unit is 1500 watts. That’s 12.5 amps. Add a microwave, refrigerator, vacuum etc. They draw a lotta current. A 60 watt light bulb is 1/2 amp. If you’re at 20 amps a new breaker or new panel won’t solve anything. You need to check your current load.
               
            • YY1

              YY1 Well-Known Member

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              Zinscos are a fire hazard.

              That's why they were recalled.

              You comfortable with that?

              Especially knowing a breaker is constantly tripping?
               
              Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
            • YY1

              YY1 Well-Known Member

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              Low bid on my job in '13 was $2000.

              That included a new 200A Square D panel with 6 20A, 2 30A and 1 60A breakers and a 75 foot run of #6 in compression tight 1" EMT to a 60A sub-panel I already had.

              The panel it's self is not terribly expensive.
              The breakers do add up, though.

              I could have installed it myself, but it was a write-off and I have a receipt in case anything disastrous should have happened.

              As it turned out, a tenant who moved out tried to claim the panel box was his.
              Sorry Charlie, I got a receipt.
               
            • Demonracer

              Demonracer 71 Demon 00 Ram 16 Chrysler 300S 05 Caravan FABO Gold Member

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              Look into a company called Relectric, they recertify a lot of the old & obsolete breakers. They are even located in sunny California.
               
            • 67Dart273

              67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              I have no advice other than to urge you to put things aside and get this done. In my HVAC days I've seen a few of the infamous "something Pacific" boxes were absolute junk. But the worst was one of the boss's sons, young, married, kid, who bought a decent manufactured home, all electric. "Something wasn't working" on his "about a year old" place so I went over there. Some of the large breakers (electric furnace/ dryer/ range / etc) were not making good contact on the buss bar and were heating up and losing contact. I don't remember what brand the thing was, but his dad gave him a kick and he had it pulled out of there.

              SHIT LIKE THIS SHOULD BE A LAWSUIT on the jerks who designed and manufactured it.
               
            • pishta

              pishta I know I'm right....

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              The portable A/C doesnt move. Its the branch circuit that it has to be on has the LCD TV, desktop computer and cable box. what size romex would be required to give it its own 15A circuit, 12/2 or 14/2? Its a 50 foot run to the outlet that I can split top and bottom. raised foundation, would be easy to pull a circuit to that location.
               
            • rustycowll69

              rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

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              I'm not an electrician, but I always opt for 12ga. If you should ever want to extend a circuit, and/or add some load, you're covered. Yes, it costs more, but the peace of mind and options available down the road make it a bargain.
               
            • YY1

              YY1 Well-Known Member

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              The only place I ever use 14 is lighting only circuits.
               
            • Dfr360cuda

              Dfr360cuda MAGA Again

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              I don't see a Main either.
               
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