How Safe is Your Electrical System

The following is a letter that was sent to the Board of Directors of Homeowners Association of Gold Greek Townhouses property based in Sacramento, CA. This letter discusses how the residents of Gold Creek may be at risk due to faulty electrical construction. Unfortunately, many other residents in Sacramento live with this faulty electrical construction, which could end up being a very costly repair or even might put resident’s safety at risk. If you believe that your home may have been installed with a Zinsco panel, please let us know immediately.

   Information report for 

Gold Creek Townhouses HOA

September 01, 2021

Re: Electrical Panels

To: Board of Directors

I’ve composed this letter at Naomi Candello’s request regarding the current electrical panels being used on the Gold Creek Townhouses property.

My name is Will Hammack and I am the owner of Will’s Resource Electric, and also a home inspector. Naomi Candello, a recent home buyer in your complex, contacted me with concerns about her electrical panel. In her inspection report from Cal Pro Inspection Group dated June 16, 2021; the inspector made the following statement on page 17: “The main electrical service panel contained circuit breakers manufactured by Zinsco. Zinsco breakers are known to have a high rate of trip failure when exposed to overheating. Failure to trip during overheating is a potential fire hazard. Information about Zinsco circuit breaker problems is widely available on the internet. Panel upgrade should be considered”. Naomi hired me to replace her electrical panel to meet the NEC electrical codes.

The overall design of the Zinsco panel includes aluminum bus bars, which are subject to corrosion and overheating as energy demands increase. Once a breaker becomes taxed, subsequently melting to the bus bar, there is an inability of the breaker to adequately trip, and power continues to surge into the panel and associated downline circuits. At this point, the panel is not able to be shut off manually and power is continuing to be supplied to the panel until the service can be terminated or wires melted.

It took a class-action lawsuit in 2002 to get a recall on Zinsco panels, but because the company no longer exists, you cannot contact the company to have your panel replaced. Aftermarket replacements are available, but it would be more economical to just replace the entire panel. I would be willing to assist by offering a discounted rate. 

Also, please be aware that the panel design has changed to meet new NEC electrical codes that are enforced by the city and utility company. The new panel will stick out from the wall to allow for the new grounding features as required to meet the updated NEC electrical codes, and are not allowed to be set inside the wall where most are located. The exterior gray metal electrical box can be painted the same color as the current wood panels so that they color match your current color scheme.

If anyone has any questions, please call, text or email me and I will make myself available for further discussion.

Best Regards,

Will Hammack, Owner

Will’s Resource Electric & Lighting

2517 Tower Ave., Sacramento, CA 95825

(916) 676-3737

License #1045629

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