Electrical Panels in Home Inspections

Over the years we have seen just about every type of electrical panel installed with just about every degrees of competency.  Just because a panel is new doesn’t mean that it was installed correctly.  Make sure you have it inspected.  Here’ are four samples of what you might see in order of oldest to newest: Fuse Box

This Bryant fuse panel is connected to knob and tube wiring.  I can’t find anything on the Internet about its age.

The bid to replace this panel and upgrade the wiring in the house is $3200

This older panel will be replaced by the buyer.

Federal Pacific Electrical Panel

The Federal Pacific panel was the subject of a class action lawsuit.  The most common response is, “replace it.”  Have an electrician give you a definitive answer for your situation.  Most bids in Portland come in right around $1600-$1800.

Newer Electrical Panel

This is a 200 amp panel.  Keep in mind that you can do you own electrical but there is very little you can do without a permit.

3 Comments on “Electrical Panels in Home Inspections

  1. I would agree with replacing the older panels. Sometimes even if they look good they could end up being a fire hazard.

  2. Every home inspector I know recommends replacing Federal Pacific panels every time. More often than not, other older panels are safe, but they may not have the capacity to power the added modern appliances in the home. Fuse boxes are just old, usually do not provide grounding for branch circuits, can have wrong size fuses installed, and can be jury-rigged to operate without any fuse installed. They should be replaced.

  3. We have found that replacing the panels altogether are the most safe way to prevent major damage.

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