Electrical Distribution Panel Box Fires

© 2005-2010 Dr. Ray Franco, PhD., PE    r.a.franco@ieee.org


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Federal Pacific Electric - Panel Box

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Commercial Fire - Downtown Gulfport, MS (F05-20).

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Fire First Vented Out This Window - Near the Main EDP (F05-20).

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Severe Arcing at the 2nd from the Top Left Circuit Breaker;
Wire Insulaton on the Right Consumed by the Fire (F05-20).

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Center Cover Plate for Circuit Breaker Screws (F05-20).

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Major Damage to 2nd from the Top Left Circuit Beaker;
Insulating/Seperating Strips Burned Out in Top Center (F05-20).

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Breaker Welded to the Bus and Plastic Blistered (F05-20).

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Large Copper Ball Covering Breaker Screw (F05-20).

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Side View Depicting Copper Ball and Screw (F05-20).

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Copper Balls Found Inside Breaker's Plastic Housing (F05-20).

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Manufacturer's Tag - Federal Pacific Electric (F05-20).


Zinsco Panel Boxes

Zinsco circuit breakers are notorious for arcing and welding to the aluminum power bus. Even thought this homeowner worked for an electric utility company, he allowed the electrician to bypass the bad spot in the bus without replacing it. The first time I tried to remove Zinsco circuit breakers from a panel box, every circuit breaker in the panel box was tack welded to the power bus.

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Zinco Panel with Missing Circuit Breaker

Zinsco Panel Box with Missing Circuit Breaker (F09-026).

Zinco Panel with Cover Removed

Zinsco Panel Box with Cover Removed (F09-026).

Zinco Panel with a Section of the Power Bus Melted

Damage to Power Bus as a Result of Arcing (F09-026).

Melting of Power Bus

Melting on the Zinceo Power Bus as a Result of Arcing (F09-026).

GTE-Sylvania/Zinsco Panel Box

In 1973, Zinsco was Purchased by GTE-Sylvania (F10-007).


This Zinsco combination Meter Socket / Electrical Distribution Panel just about burned my friend's house down.

Zinco Combition Meter Socket / EDP

Zinsco Combination Meter Socket / Electrical Distribution Panel
(F10-073).

Zinco Panel with Cover Removed

Zinsco Combination Box Without Cover (F10-073).

Zinco Damaged Circuit Breaker

Zinsco Damaged Circuit Breaker (F10-073).

Zinco Circuit Breaker with Bus Bars

Zinsco Circuit Breaker with Bus Bars (F10-073).

References: http://www.inspectapedia.com/electric/Zinsco.htm


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GE - Panel Box

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This Home was Under Construction. The Fire Occurred
Three Days After Power was Connected (F06-016).

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The Electrical Service was Underground
and Entered on the Side of the Carport (F06-016).

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One of the Power Cables had Arced and Melted the
the Steel Panel Box on the Left. (F06-016).

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Severed Power Cable and Melted Steel (F06-016).

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The Panel Box was Idenified as a GE TM2020CCU (200 Amps),
and an Exemplar Purchased (F06-016).

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All of the Aluminum Components in the Circuit Beaker
Panel on the Right Melted (F06-016).

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The Arrows Depict Where the Two Power Cables and
the Ground Cable Connected to the Panel (F06-016).

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The Copper Bus Under the Right Power Lug (PW #2)
has been Severed by Arcing (F06-016).

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The cable on the Left Does Not Fan Out, Nor Did the
the Lug Screw Cut into the Same Number of Strands (F06-016).