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Swapping Out A Breaker Panel | Most-Buyed Power Tools

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Swapping Out A Breaker Panel
Swapping Out A Breaker Panel

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Swapping out a potentially hazardous 1962 (FPE) Federal Pacific / ZINSCO breaker panel. How to replace an old breaker panel step by step. Though these panels can last many years with no problems, there’s the “potential” that a fault can occur which results in a circuit breaker melting and possibly fire in the breaker panel. As a result, most insurance companies will not insure homes with these panels installed unless the old breaker panel has been replaced. Buyers of homes with these panels may also be unable to get a mortgage. They would have to pay cash for the home. These problems are not limited to (FPE) panels. Other breaker panels also have problems, such as Challenger. I have seen many of those panels with burned/pitted busbars which result in a loss of contact between the circuit breaker and busbar. Also be sure to check out my electrical panel inspection video which also shows common problems at the link below.

Disclaimer: Working with electricity can be very dangerous and result in injury or death. The viewer accepts full responsibility for any injuries or deaths which may result from a lack of experience or knowledge. This channel will not be held liable. ALWAYS check local building codes before working on any electrical system.

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43 Comments

  1. ATTN: At the time this video was made, the ONLY purpose was to swap out a 50yr old "Main" (One and only)panel that worked perfectly, but was deemed
    potentially unsafe. In the video that was accomplished. I understand
    that the NEC "considers" it a subpanel, even though it's a main. I also
    mentioned that I would be upgrading the meter can/main disconnect, as
    well as replace the service entrance conductors with 2/0 wire so the new
    panel could handle the full 200A. Since this video was made, the meter can was replaced, and a main breaker installed inside the new panel, so any neutral / ground issue comments are no longer an issue. Thanks!

  2. Great job explaining the parts of the panels and the process involved so clearly… Thank You!

  3. this is a great video, however that panel is a zinsco, not a federal pacific, the colored handles like that are zinsco which also had fire issues, federal pacific breakers had red handles.

  4. I have thus Zesco (sp?) Panel and once in a while one particular circuit arc's . I clean d contacts and its good for 6 months, then i replaced d CB but it still arcs. Ever since i added my fish tank to d circuit after about 6 years on it ,d power goes for 1,2,3 minutes out but CB doesnt trip , I toggle d switch ,power comes on it dies this for about a week (20 times) then it stops like nothing happened and 6 months later it does it again.

  5. The reason why the breakers are called "Stab-Lok" is because the replacement of the panel and breakers stabs your wallet.

  6. I live in a subdivision built out in the 1950’s. All the houses had FPE breaker panels and as of 2020 there have been no house fires. The breakers work fine as I have found out for decades when I overload a circuit.

  7. I have a split bus panel at my old house and it’s already 200 amp lines I have a ge main breaker panel it has a 200 amp main breaker in it the old panel is cutler hammer ch breakers I believe I’m doing a code compliant project 👍

  8. I would have used a Square-D Homeline panel — not a GE. GE panels are of the lowest quality of the panels readily available nowadays. "G.E., we bring bad things to life!"

  9. It’s not always easy to do without fixing drywall but an experienced electrician doesn’t have to fix any drywall. I’ve done many of these

  10. Ok first off I'm not an electrician, my son is and his friends are too busy to work for me. You bonded the ground and neutral, I assume you were not going to consider arc fault breakers because, it's WORKED for 50+ years. It might even be grandfathered in. I'm up grading a 60 year old general switch, at least I have "br" breakers. 👍J

  11. That's not a FPE panel that's a Zinsco panel. They were different brands. Zinsco brand panels should be replaced as well but not for the same reasons.

  12. We did a leasespace in a 3 story building with nothing but 3 phase FPE equipment. To my surprise the circuits would trip quick.

  13. Is it okay for me to stick a multimeter in ohm mode in an outlet's neutral and ground holes to check to see if the system is bonded or not?

  14. Two observations, you did not mention nor am i able to confirm how you handled multiwire branch circuits that share a neutral. I would have suggested adjoining pairs with black and red colored wires are always wired in such a fashion that blacks are on one pole of the bus-bar and and the reds are always on the other pole of the bus-bar. It does not matter which pole singlewire circuits go on as they do not share the Neutral. Though several people already said this, I would advise grounds to always be on their own bus. There was more than enough room in the panel to mount separate ground buses and tie then separately to the Neutral bus.

  15. It's funny how you improperly say the words "strips" and "straight". SHHHTRIPS and SHHHHHTRAIGHT. ha ha. Otherwise, I enjoyed the tutorial very much.

  16. because your main breaker is outside that panel becomes a sub panel, so your ground and neutral wires should be separated and isolated.

  17. Once again very nice. Some things you explained in detail in fact was better than my Electrician instructor.

  18. Hi Electronics & More, I hope your doing well. E & M is one of my goto channels, most excellent, well explained tutorials. Perhaps you have seen All American Five Radio, Richard 'Rick' McWhorter, he provides great graphics and explanations, like your videos. I Thankyou for your time, effort & sharing of your knowledge. You are very credible and therefore a goto channel. Happy to be subscribed. May I ask, do you live in the Bahamas? Happy Holidays, take care, C.

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