During our inspections we often see main electrical panels that have been recalled and are recommended to be replaced.
The main electrical panel takes the electrical power from the street and distributes it to all the circuits in the home. Each circuit is protected by a circuit breaker. The circuit breaker is intended to stop the flow of electricity before a wire inside a wall overheats and becomes a fire hazard. Obviously, the functionality of the circuit breakers is especially important to avoid a potential fire. Unfortunately, some defective and unsafe circuit breaker panels were installed in homes over the years and this presents an electrical safety hazard because the circuit breakers may not do their job and consequently start a fire.
I recommend that you look at the panel to figure out who the manufacturer is. If it’s one of the following manufacturers, contact an electrician for further evaluation and advice.
The following panels should be replaced period, end of story.
1) Federal Pacific
4) ITE/bulldog Pushmatic
Secondly, electrical panels may be unsafe just based on age. A good rule of thumb is 30 years. Usually you can locate the date of manufacture on the inside of the panel door. If you can’t get a date, we recommend calling an electrician for an evaluation. Remember, Circuit Breakers are electrical/mechanical devices which age and can become faulty over time. Faulty circuit breakers present an electrical safety concern.
Better safe than sorry!