Listed below are some electrical panels that are usually marked “defective” on a home inspection. In most cases, the panels should be evaluated by an electrician and upgraded.
- Fuse Style Panels: These panels are very old and have pull out fuses for mains and screw in fuses for circuits. Wiring in the home is usually a 2 wire system with no grounds. Most insurance companies will not give home owners insurance with this type of panel. This type of panel is usually 60amp, but have seen some 70amp and 100amp (pictured).
- FPE Panels: This particular panel is an older upgrade from the above pictured panel. It was installed in some homes from 1950’s to 1990. A quick google search will reveal the issues with this type of panel. It has been deemed “unsafe” in most cases, as the breakers have been known not to trip and overheat. Although extensive searches reveals no true evidence on the failure rate compared to other panels. Due to age and known issues, it is highly suggested to have the panel evaluated by an electrician and in most cases it is upgraded. Since most of these are already 100amp, it’s just a matter of changing the panel.
- Push-Matic Panels: Similar to the FPE panel as far as having issues with the breakers. The difference is with the breakers being of a “push” style instead of a “lever”. This also is an older style panel that should be evaluated and again in most cases upgraded.
In summary, if you have any one of these in your home, we suggest having an electrician take a look at it. Another issue is because these panels are older and we start having the need for more circuits in our homes, they have limited room (circuits) and we find a lot of double tapping. This is when two wires are connected to one breaker. This situation also needs to be repaired by an electrician.