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ZINSCO SYLVANIA ELECTRICAL PANELS
GTE Sylvania Zinsco breaker & panel identification: here we provide text, labels, and equipment photographs used to help identify Zinsco and GTE-Sylvania-Zinsco electrical panels and circuit breakers, and we include photographs of a Zinsco look alike marketed by Kearney.
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This website discusses the electrical, fire, and shock hazards associated with Zinsco electrical components, circuit breakers, electrical panels, including certain Sylvania electrical panels and breakers which are in fact of the same product design and origin.
IDENTIFY SYLVANIA-ZINSCO - How to Identify Zinsco-like Sylvania Electrical Panels and Circuit Breakers by Electrical Panel Labeling
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about how to identify GTE Sylvania Zinsco electrical panels and and circuit breakers
Question: My electrical panel has the flat busbars but is not labeled Zinsco
My home was built in 1983 and has a circuit breaker panel labeled Sylvania GTE. I have inspected the entire thing- there is no Zinsco marking anywhere, including on the box or breakers, and the Sylvania label is different from those shown in the identification photographs, as is the Underwriter Labs label. However, it does have the bus bars that are strips of metal that run perpendicular to the back of the panel box. Do those bus bars indicate it is a Zinsco style Sylvania, or is that a design that was used outside of Zinsco? Thanks, A.C.
A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem in electrical components such as panels and circuit breakers.
That said, The Zinsco-Sylvania panels I've seen and of which others have provided still more photos included a label that presented both the Sylvania and Zinsco names. But I don't rule out the possibility of some Sylvania labels where you don't see the word Zinsco, either from a particular manufacturing period or because a label could have been peeled off.
The flat busbars perpendicular to the panel back you describe might indicate the panel is a Zinsco design. You or someone who is qualified can (WATCHOUT FOR ELECTROCUTION HAZARDS) open the panel, remove the cover, and inspect one of the breakers: if you see that the breaker matches the Zinsco breaker designs shown in our website article photos - that is, the characteristic Zinsco breaker with a mounting slot and a clip that connects the breaker to the bus bar, then you can know with confidence that it is or is not the Zinsco design, regardless of being labeled as just Sylvania.
I would avoid any unnecessary unplugging and re-plugging of circuit breakers because if it's the Zinsco design, the plug-in procedure on aluminum or even copper plated aluminum bus bars cuts the copper plating and can encourage arcing, bad connections, and overheating or failures in the equipment.
Send us some photos of the whole panel (use the CONTACT link at top, left, or bottom of our web pages), all panel labeling, the bus and a breaker, and we can also most likely confirm what you've got.
Such added details can help us understand what's happening and often permit some useful further comment. What we both learn may help me help someone else.
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