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ByDave Rongey © Ask the Electrician 2017 Author, Licensed Electrical Contractor
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Zinsco Magnetrip Breakers and Electrical Panels

Should I replace my Zinsco Electric Service Panel? Zinsco Magnetrip Panels and Circuit Breaker Problems.


Guide to Zinsco Magnetrip Panels and Circuit Breakers
Electrical Question: Should I replace my Zinsco electric service panel?

This home electrical question came from: Brad, a Handyman from Spokane Washington.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your home electrical question Brad.

Should You Replace Your Zinsco Electrical Panel

Zinsco Circuit Breakers

Skill Level: Advanced – Licensed Electrical Contractor, Not Recommended for Homeowners.
Tools Required: Electricians pouch of hand tools and the various power tools necessary for the specific service upgrade.
Estimated Time: Depends on the type of panel and available access to the project area.
Precaution: This is an extensive project that should be performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Notice: Making changes to the Electrical Service Panel should be done with a permit and be inspected.

Zinsco Magnetrip Panels and Circuit Breaker Problems

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

6 Responses to “Zinsco Magnetrip Breakers and Electrical Panels”
  1. Lisa Jones says:

    I am trying to help my dad replace an old (dead) breaker it is a 20 amp double pole Magnatrip type RC 38. Does anyone know what we can replace that with that will fit in the same box?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Lisa,
      Replacement circuit breakers for the Zinsco brand are now available from the Sylvania brand. The Sylvania circuit breakers are available from your local hardware stores, or online at several outlets. Circuit breakers are best replaced by an electrician who can also inspect the panel to make sure the contact surface has not been damaged.
      NOTE: Work in electrical panels is not recommended for homeowners or individuals who are not certified or licensed electricians.
      Dave

  2. carol says:

    I need to find a breaker that will work in a Zinsco box but it needs to be a bolt in style, and all I can find out there is a used plug in. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  3. Steven weeck says:

    I have a Pannel that is a Magnetrip with Zinsco breakers in it. It has had more than one person working on it over the years and I have a little bit of a mess in it. I have removed some of the wires that went to knowhere. (220 just cut laying on top of the duckwork no caps) I have a question about the dbl breaker problem I have read about. Can you give me a better discription on them. Thank you

  4. bob kristunas says:

    I have a 200A Zinsco panel. No problems at all, but Ive heard the stories. Is there away I can tell if I need to replace it so Im not totally at an electricians mercy?

    Thanks Bob K

  5. Donna, potential home buyer in WA. says:

    I have a question, rather than a comment and it is also about the Zinsco Magnetrip. I just returned from a home inspection where the inspector showed me that the home I am looking to buy has this. He highly recommended having it inspected by an electrician and replaced. What I am finding online really does reinforce what he told me about them. Are you of the same opinion? The home I am looking to buy was built in ’46 and I don’t know exactly how old the box is.

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