Electrical Panels

The heart of the electrical system in your home or business is the electrical panel. The flow of electricity into your investment property from the electrical provider starts here. Since this is the point of origin, it is imperative for this to be installed right from the start.

There are several key factors an electrician needs to know in order to get this part correct. For example: what is the total amperage needed? This will determine the wire size for the service, the size of the main breaker, how many breakers will be needed and the size wire for the grounding system. The next step will be how many circuits will need to be single or double pole? Then, which ones will need to be AFCI or GFCI or AFCI/GFCI combination type breakers? It’s not a simple task to say the least.

That is precisely the reason why EPX specializes in educating clients of the dangers associated with FP- Federal Pacific & Zinsco panels. Contact us today for a free consultation and estimate.

FP – Federal Pacific Panels

Was your investment property built between 1950’s through the 1990’s? If so, it might have a FP- Federal Pacific electrical panel with Stab-Lok circuit breakers. If you do, there is a significant risk of breaker malfunction and fire. The breakers inside the panel are designed to guard your property against serious electrical problems by preventing shorts and overloads at the breakers. When a short or an overload occurs, the breaker is supposed to trip, which in turn provides protection by shutting off power to the circuit. But if a breaker is defective, old and not operating properly, the risk of a fire becomes imminent. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousand of properties run the risk of fires everyday due to these brands. 1 out of 4 Stab-Lok / FP breakers are defective and will not properly trip into the off position. An estimated 2,800 fires each year are caused by Federal Pacific panel breaker malfunction.

Federal-Pacific-Dangerous-Electrical-Panel

Recommended to Replace

Zinsco Panels

Zinsco panels- AKA GTE-Sylvania’s design flaw is the circuit breaker’s connection to the bus bar that becomes loose, causing arcing which causes overheating. Long term exposure to this heat can cause the breaker to weld itself to the bus bar, making it impossible to remove. Far worse, it can cause the breaker’s contacts to weld together preventing the breaker from tripping causing a potential fire hazard. These panels could leave property owners at risk for both fire and electric shock because it fails to operate properly as much as 25% of the time. Most Zinsco panels that are still in use are more than 40 years old. As time has passed, electricians and home inspectors have found that these panels do not show any problems for many years, but these panels can overheat, melt, and arc due to the increase of electrical demands. When this occurs, it causes the components inside of breakers to burn out, which prevents the breaker from tripping and leading to a significant fire hazard.
Zinsco Panel

Recommended to Replace

Importance of Grounding

Grounding in your home or business is essential for your breakers to trip as fast as lightning when there’s an electrical problem in the system. According to the NEC, grounding means- Connected (connecting) to ground or to a conductive body that extends the ground connection.

Without proper grounding, breakers take longer to trip or depending on the brand of panel you have installed, it might not trip at all. Hiring a licensed electrician to inspect your panel is a good preventative maintenance step to assure your electrical panel has proper grounding.

AFCI/GFCI Protection

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) is a hyper-sensitive device that provides extra protection in your home or business. According to the NEC, AFCI is a device intended to provide protection from the effects of arc faults by recognizing characteristics unique to arcing and by functioning to de-energize the circuit when an arc fault is detected.

Areas of protection for residential properties include- kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, or similar rooms or areas.

This is very important when little kids or elderly folks are present, in case they stick a metal fork in the living room plug to protect them. It also protects your home from potential fires caused by a faulty appliance or device.

Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is a water-shock protection device. According to the NEC, GFCI is a device intended for the protection of personnel that functions to de-energize a circuit or portion thereof within an established period of time when a ground-fault current exceeds the values established for a Class A device.

Areas of protection for residential properties include- bathrooms, garages, outdoors, crawl spaces, basements, kitchens, sinks, boathouses, bathtubs and laundry areas.

Areas of protection for commercial properties include- bathrooms, kitchens, rooftops, outdoors, sinks, indoor damp and wet locations, locker rooms with associated showering facilities, garages, crawl spaces, unfinished ares of basements, laundry areas, bathtubs and shower stalls.

Water is highly conductive, as you may see in a lot movies. That’s why GFCI protection is essential to keep you alive when an accident or stupid happens.

AFCI-GFCI Electrical Panel Protection

Emergency Cut Off Switch

Emergency Cut Off Switch is the Main Breaker that shuts off the entire electrical panel. This is an important device when there is a major electrical problem because by turning it off, it shuts off the power to the panel. According to the NEC, Overcurrent Protective Device is capable of providing protection for service, feeder, and branch circuits and equipment over the full range of overcurrents between its rated current and its interrupting rating.

Older electrical panels do not have this device. If it doesn’t have it, you’ll have to turn off each and every circuit breaker in the panel in order to shut off the power. A new electrical panel requires this device. By adding an emergency cut off switch to your electrical panel, it will provide an extra level of protection.
FP-Emergency Cut Off Switch