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Why You Need to Replace Your Circuit Breaker


Your home’s circuit breaker protects your electrical system from damage caused by too much current. Without a circuit breaker, a power surge could fry your home’s appliances and devices. Besides ruining your expensive kitchen appliances, a poorly performing circuit breaker can cause a deadly house fire. Outdated Zinsco and Federal Pacific circuit breaker panels are particularly susceptible to electrical damage. Here are some reasons why most electricians recommend replacing your circuit breaker if you’ve inherited a Zinsco or Federal Pacific model.

How Defective are Zinsco and Federal Pacific Circuit Breakers?

Zinsco circuit breakers connect to the main busbar of your home’s electrical system and don’t cut off current during an overload scenario. Besides failing to short a sudden surge when they should, Federal Pacific circuit breakers also allow electricity to move through power lines even when they are switched to the off position.

Dangers of Zinsco and Federal Pacific Circuit Breakers

When Zinsco and Federal Pacific circuit breakers fail to trip or break current through an electrical line during a power surge, wires can melt and start a house fire. Federal Pacific circuit breakers that allow electricity to flow while appearing to be switched off can also lead to electrocution for those who maintain the panels.

Who Should Be Worried About These Circuit Breakers?

Builders installed Zinsco circuit breakers in millions of homes during the 1970s, and Federal Pacific panels enjoyed the same popularity in houses that were built from the 1950s to the 1980s. While manufacturers recalled these panels years ago, some older homes still have these defective and dangerous circuit breakers.


Flickering lights, malfunctioning appliances, soot on the panel, and a burning smell at your breaker box are just a few signals that you have a problem with your circuit breaker. If you experience any of these signs, call ElectricMan immediately at (972) 362-1804.