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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Visited the in-laws who live in Denver last week. Got the "bring your tools" phone call before we left. The microwave quit and there is no power to the receptacle above the range which normally powers the microwave.

It was wired with a very special #16 extension cord rated for wall penetration and 20A branch circuits.

But really that was not the problem. The Zinsco bus failed where it makes contact with the breaker.

I replaced the special extension cord, polished the bus as best as I could and bought a replacement breaker from big orange ($70!!).

The next time any circuit on the panel has a similar failure, some lucky electrician in Broomfield, CO will get to replace the whole shebang.

All the breakers seemed a bit loose, but I made sure they were pressed in as far as they would go.

Has anyone seen this Zinsco bus failure before?

EJPHI
 

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Ambassador of Amps
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thats almost always where they fail, yeah ive seen it before.
 

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Small Potatoes
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Do you have any theory about what causes this?

EJPHI
Google is you friend...

Zinsco
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Zinsco was a manufacturer of circuit breakers and electrical distribution panels, founded by Emile Martin Zinsmeyer and his son Martin Emile Zinsmeyer in the early 1930s. Originally the West Coast division of the Frank Adam Electric Company, whose main facility was in St Louis, Missouri, the company became independent as the Zinsmeyer Company following the onset of the Great Depression. The younger Zinsmeyer took over the company from his father in 1943 and renamed it Zinsco. [1] The company was sold in 1973 to GTE-Sylvania, who continued to manufacture breakers and panels to the original Zinsco design for some years; this product line is now discontinued.
Zinsco electrical equipment is considered obsolete, due to a design flaw in which the circuit breaker's connection to the bus bar becomes loose, causing arcing and subsequent overheating. Long term exposure to this heat can cause the breaker to fuse to the bus bar, making it impossible to remove. Even worse, it can cause the breaker's contacts to fuse together, thus preventing the breaker from tripping even in an overcurrent situation, thereby causing a potential fire hazard. [2]
Aftermarket replacements for the Zinsco breakers are available; however, it may be more cost effective simply to replace the entire panel with a more modern and safer design from another manufacturer, depending on the number of breakers to be replaced. If the bus bar shows signs of corrosion, or if any of the breakers show signs of overheating, the panel should be replaced entirely. Many electricians advocate replacement of the panel in any case, due to its historically poor reliability.
Manufactures of Zinsco Style Breakers:
Zinsco
Sylvania and GTE-Sylvania
Challenger
Kearney
Milbank
Thomas & Betts
Connecticut Electric - Unique Breakers Inc. (UBI)
References[edit]

Jump up ^ Zinsco History as told by the founder's great-granddaughter
Jump up ^ Mechanism of failure for Zinsco breakers
This electronics-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.
www.zinscoelectrical.info
Categories: Electric power distributionManufacturing companiesElectronics stubs
 

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EJPHI said:
Visited the in-laws who live in Denver last week. Got the "bring your tools" phone call before we left. The microwave quit and there is no power to the receptacle above the range which normally powers the microwave.

It was wired with a very special #16 extension cord rated for wall penetration and 20A branch circuits.

But really that was not the problem. The Zinsco bus failed where it makes contact with the breaker.

I replaced the special extension cord, polished the bus as best as I could and bought a replacement breaker from big orange ($70!!).

The next time any circuit on the panel has a similar failure, some lucky electrician in Broomfield, CO will get to replace the whole shebang.

All the breakers seemed a bit loose, but I made sure they were pressed in as far as they would go.

Has anyone seen this Zinsco bus failure before?

EJPHI
If these are the narrow zinsco I'm familiar with, I never seen replacements for them at big O.
 

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Senile Member
I make all the electrons line up for their Flu shots
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I'm reporting you to Joe T for doing work in Colorado without a contractors license, insurance, and bond. And no permit and inspection.
 

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Haha... The old, "i'd like to take advantage of your skills while you are here for the holidays" call from family.
 

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3xdad said:
Haha... The old, "i'd like to take advantage of your skills while you are here for the holidays" call from family.
I got one too. My wife's aunt. Now I have to drive an hour each way to see why "seems like 1/2 the house is out". I just hope I don't have to replace the whole panel. The only reason I said yes is because with those symptoms it's really easy to get taken advantage of someone and she has 4 kids 3 in college and her husband just walked out one day to live with his other wife and family.
My wife's a teacher, she once said " glad I don't get asked to tutor some kid every time I go to a family reunion". I'd like to add I did a panel change and wired a basement on my honeymoon.
 

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EJPHI said:
Visited the in-laws who live in Denver last week. Got the "bring your tools" phone call before we left. The microwave quit and there is no power to the receptacle above the range which normally powers the microwave. It was wired with a very special #16 extension cord rated for wall penetration and 20A branch circuits. But really that was not the problem. The Zinsco bus failed where it makes contact with the breaker. I replaced the special extension cord, polished the bus as best as I could and bought a replacement breaker from big orange ($70!!). The next time any circuit on the panel has a similar failure, some lucky electrician in Broomfield, CO will get to replace the whole shebang. All the breakers seemed a bit loose, but I made sure they were pressed in as far as they would go. Has anyone seen this Zinsco bus failure before? EJPHI
You should recommend they replace the panel when they get a chance and before the next failure. Because it will fail again. You just put a band aid on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm reporting you to Joe T for doing work in Colorado without a contractors license, insurance, and bond. And no permit and inspection.
Fair enough, at least I posted some pictures he might like so maybe I'll get off easy.

EJPHI
 

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You should recommend they replace the panel when they get a chance and before the next failure. Because it will fail again. You just put a band aid on.
This is very true and the repair can go out again very quickly.
 

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they sell for $70 each?? I have a assortment of maybe 30-60 of them (been awhile since Ive looked in that box)... I would gladly sell them all, I have had them around for a few years and there pretty much useless to me most my clients live in new homes... $70... ill start the bidding at $8

**Edit** I know Zinsco is crap, so dont come back mad at me for selling you crap.
 
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