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How to Know If Your Electrical Panel Is Safe | HedgeHog Electric

Unless the circuit breaker needs to be flipped back on, most people don’t think about their electrical panel. But there are some older models of electrical panels which you should check for, as these panels are very dangerous and need to be replaced by one of our licensed and insured electricians.

If you are concerned that your home may have one of these older, unsafe electrical panels, below are the brands that are considered dangerous as well as what you should check for in a regular electrical panel.


While not all older electrical panels are dangerous, there are certain types of panels that should be immediately replaced if you find it installed in your home.

  • Edison “Type” Electric Panel Box – As one of the oldest panel boxes still around, the Edison panel box was produced by many manufacturers, resulting in many older homes still having this box. However, it has a very high failure rate and should be swapped out. If you are worried that you have this panel, the easiest way to identify it is by its round, glass fuse box knobs.
  • Federal Pacific Panel Board – Many homes that were built between 1950-1990 have Federal Pacific panel boards with Stab-Lok breakers. After a host of reports of electrical fires, an investigation in the 1980s found that 1 in 4 of the Stab-Lok breakers were unable to trip, which meant they couldn’t prevent electrical problems. To identify these dangerous panels, look for the name Stab-Lok in between the breakers, as well as red tips on the breakers themselves.
  • Zinsco/Zinsco-Sylvania Home Electric Panel – Popular in the 1970s, the Zinsco panel has severe design issues that have resulted in electrical shocks and fire hazards. However, homes still exist which have this panel. You can tell if your panel is a Zinsco if it has bright colored breakers which are gree, pink, blue, yellow, and red. Also, the breakers will be thin, unlike the more modern thicker breakers.
  • Pushmatic Home Electric Panel – Unlike the other panels we mentioned, the Pushmatic panel is not known to be a huge fire hazard but is old, and the company is out of business, which means replacement parts are incredibly difficult to obtain. You can tell you have a Pushmatic panel if it has buttons instead of breaker switches.


Unless you are a trained and licensed electrician, it is best that you do not tamper with your electrical panel. However, there are some visual cues you can look for to help you determine if you need to call in one of our electricians. Some electric box red flags are:

  • Circuit breakers are different sizes
  • Moisture or rust on the panel
  • Loose panel box
  • Makes popping or crackling sounds
  • Insect or other pest damage around panel box

Whether you live in Northern Utah, Southern Utah, or somewhere in between, you can count on HedgeHog Electric. We provide top-quality service and can help you with all your electrical needs. To work with one of our experienced electricians, contact us today.