Zinsco or GTE-Sylvania panel brands were popular for electrical panel installations in homes throughout the 1970s. Zinsco is now defunct, but many homes still have these panels and your electrician can help you identify.
Why they’re unsafe
The circuit breakers inside many Zinsco panels melt to the main ‘bus bar’. This means the breaker can’t ever trip, even when there’s a short or overloaded circuit. So if there ever is a short or other problems, the surge of power melts wires and starts fires in your home.
How to tell if you have one
The name Zinsco anywhere on the panel is a sure sign it should be replaced. Also, many GTE-Sylvania or Sylvania panels are simply re-branded Zinsco panels or contain the problem Zinsco design. These should also be replaced.
However, not all Sylvania and GTE-Slyvania branded panels are dangerous. So if you have one, an electrician will need to inspect it to see if it has the problematic design.