Heavy-Up ,Repair ,Service
Written by Larry Cook

3 Old Electrical Panels that Should be Replaced

Failures of electrical panels can result in dangerous electrical arcing between the circuit breaker and buss bar or from a circuit breaker’s failure to trip because of an overload. Either can lead to a build up of high temperatures and eventually a fire.

Many houses that were constructed from 1950 to 1980 typically had one of the following three brands of electrical panels: ITE Pushmatic, Zinsco and the most notorious, Federal Pacific Electric. Call an experienced and licensed electrician if your home has one of these still installed and replace it with a modern model to protect your home and family. 

ITE Pushmatic

Some older circuit breakers and electrical panels do not necessarily have a design flaw that pose as a shock or fire hazard. However, they may be obsolete like the ITE Pushmatic. Finding replacement circuit breakers for them is very difficult because they are no longer manufactured. You may find one on eBay, but their prices will be high. The design of the ITE Pushmatic panel makes it impossible to have new circuits and loads added because of the limited space within the panel.


Zinsco electrical panels are judged to be obsolete by experts because of the serious flaw in the way circuit breakers were designed to lock onto the aluminum buss bar. As time passes, the connection from the circuit breaker gradually loosens, resulting in arcing and high temperatures building up on the buss bar. As a result, the circuit breaker can fail, creating a fire hazard.

Federal Pacific Electric (FPE)

Notorious because of much negative publicity, FPE electrical panels have been under investigation and taken to court many times because their Stab-lock circuit breakers were poorly designed.  When a circuit overload or short circuit occurs, they often fail to trip, resulting in unimpeded electrical flow. Consequently, there is a fast buildup of high temperatures and fire eventually results.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:

For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.