Fires waiting to happen

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Realty West CalBRE #01458572

Welcome to Mission Valley


Today's post is a guest post by
San Diego home inspector Russel Ray.

Real estate solutions — Unlocking the secrets of your home 

Zinsco electric panelElectric panels are not supposed to cause problems. They are supposed to prevent them. There are some electric panels that have problems associated with them — Federal Pacific Electric (FPE), Zinsco, Sylvania when they bought the Zinsco brand; they are just Zinsco panels under another name.

Whenever I find such panels, I recommend that they be replaced "before close of escrow." Some real estate agents don't like me specifying when something should be done, but I'm trying to protect the interests of my Clients. Those three brands are latent but significant fire hazards. The last thing I want to see is two real estate agents fighting over when to replace the electric panel. I have told them when to replace it — before close of escrow. There should be no discussion now other than who wants to pay how much to replace it.

In February 2012, over in Florida, after a house burned down, investigators blamed the FPE "Stab Lok" panel. Action 9 discovered other fires and the information about the FPE Stab Lok panels, information that we home inspectors know all too well.

Sellers like to take me to task by saying, "That panel has been there for thirty years and hasn't caused any problems." Electirc panels in and of themselves don't cause problems. They prevent problems, like a fire when the dishwasher shorts out. Some panels, like those mentioned, don't prevent such problems. They fail miserably.

If you have an FPE, Zinsco, or Sylvania panel, call your electrician now and have it replaced. It's not worth the risk of losing your home and all your possessions, valuable, and memories.

To read the complete article about the fires in Florida and the investigation by the Action 9 news team in Orlando, click Fires waiting to happen.

Federal Pacific Electric Stab Lok panel


Originally posted at Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

♪♫ I play the piano to relax ♫♪


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This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Home Improvement
California San Diego County
federal pacific electric
circuit breakers
breaker box
electric panels
stab lok

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Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage - Brampton, ON
Our Family Wants To Help Your Family!

Important stuff Jim and Russel. Once advised of the need to change something like this no one should argue. This is for safety reasons.

May 21, 2012 10:58 AM #1
Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi
The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi - Lodi, CA
The Nines Team in Lodi

Jim - I appreciate the outreach ... from both you and a generation-removed home inspector!  Thanks for sharing ... both of you!

May 21, 2012 11:01 AM #2
Peggy Chirico
Prudential CT Realty - Manchester, CT
REALTOR® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate

Hi Jim - This is great information from Russel - I miss his posts and his presence.

May 21, 2012 11:33 AM #3
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert
Jim and Russel, Smart idea having Russel being a guest n Blog writer. Yolanda and I are on vacation and will be back after Memorial Day. Jim thanks for all the both excellent and funny comments you made on my blog. Have a great holiday and Yolanda says to give you two her best.
May 22, 2012 12:10 PM #4
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

So much has been written about the FPE panels and still there are so many out there. The path to changing them out most likely will be through the home inspectors....

May 23, 2012 10:12 PM #5
Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
26 Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

Jim - we need your guest poster to come back. We miss him and his silly ways.

May 24, 2012 05:49 AM #6
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Apex, NC
Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489

Jim & Russel - Great post and great way to look out for the interest of the client! 

May 25, 2012 09:32 PM #7
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

thanks for the guest post by Russel.. we all miss him.... it is good to see his work again!

May 28, 2012 12:29 AM #8
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Sitterle Homes - Richmond, TX
Sitterle Homes


            Just stopping by to say hi to you and Russel. I hope you guys have a great day! Take care and I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Jun 03, 2012 01:32 AM #9
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct
I mis the fun, informative, antidote Russel Ray blog. maybe it' time to forgive and forget, I vote for his return and stir up the pot a wee bit more :-)
Jun 13, 2012 03:50 AM #10
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

OK so according to a reliable inside source ..... "Russel chose to leave ActiveRain on his own"

Best of luck to him and everyone else.

Jun 13, 2012 07:57 AM #11
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

Hi, David. Yes, Russel took off to WordPress. He has a home inspector WordPress web site at and a photography WordPress blog at

Jun 13, 2012 08:53 PM #12
Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain
Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain - Cottonwood, CA

Hey guys,

We just replaced a 400amp Zinsco. It was original from 1976 with, "no apparent problems." However we let the owner know there could be no warranty, on the addition or remodel work, without the panel change out. The owner wisely chose to upgrade. There was telltale signs of heat stress, on the breakers, that weren't noticable until the panel was removed.


Jun 20, 2012 11:00 AM #13
Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Jim, thanks for giving Russel a "voice" again here on AR. Good info on these panels.

Jul 20, 2012 06:14 PM #15
James A. Browning
Browning Real Estate School/REO Institute - International, IT
MRE REOCertified(R) SSCertified

Hello, thanks for the information on your post! Please, join our group on LinkedIn, ‘REO Institute’. We share Real Estate information regarding market trends, Short Sales, BPOs, REOs, OREs, BOVs, ideas, Education/Training, and Commercial Education. We value you your comments, ideas, and opinions about the Real Estate Industry. Thanks, James


James A. Browning MRE, CEO & Founder, REO Institute

Jul 23, 2012 02:46 AM #16
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX

Jim: Stopped by to see if you had a current blog here on AR. 

Hope you and Russel are having a great summer.

Aug 08, 2012 10:17 AM #17
Janna Scharf
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert

Hey Jim, miss seeing you and Russel around AR.  Hope all is well in your world!

Aug 29, 2012 10:20 AM #18
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"

Jim  I stopped by to inquire about Russel - got my answer.  I'm settling on a condo where the Federal Pacific panel.  Is Russel planning to return

Sep 16, 2012 09:29 AM #19
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Hi Jim and Russell!  And Zoey the Cool Cat!

Nov 10, 2012 02:55 PM #20
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Jim Frimmer

Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist
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