Common Electrical Problems that Old Homes Face


Do you have an old home with old electrical work? If so, you could be at risk. Our Atlanta and Marietta electricians share some of the most common risky electrical problems that old homes face.

Four common electrical risks in old homes:

Zinsco Panels

Zinsco or GTE-Sylvania panels were incredibly popular during the 70s. Despite Zinsco no longer being around today, many homes still have these panels inside. The circuit breaker in these panels can melt to the main bus bar, hindering the breaker’s ability to trip when it needs to. If there is a short circuit, the wires can melt and cause a fire. Not all Zinsco panels are at risk, so have an electrician look at yours if your home has one.

FPE Panels

Federal Pacific Electric panels are extremely unsafe, despite being installed into millions of homes throughout the 50s to 80s. These panels’ circuit breakers fail to trip when there is a circuit overload or short circuit. If a panel’s circuit breaker doesn’t trip when it’s supposed to, it can lead to an electrical fire in your home. If your breaker box has “Federal Pacific Electric” written on the front and “Stab-Lok” branded on the inside of the panel, your home could be at risk.

Fuse Boxes

Fuses boxes are not inherently dangerous. In fact, many homes have fuse boxes and are not at risk. The risk with fuses comes from using them in an unsafe way to serve today’s energy demands. By placing too many things on a single circuit, replacing a fuse with a bigger fuse, or replacing the fuse with something metal creates a potential fire hazard.

Split-Bus Electrical Panels

Again, these kinds of panels are not dangerous by themselves. What makes them dangerous is the fact that they haven’t been used for over 40 years. If your home has a split-bus electrical panel, it could be past its expected lifespan. The circuit breakers may not trip as they are designed to.

To learn more about how you can solve these problems, contact Lightning Bug Electric and speak with a member of our team.

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