How old is too old a panel

K8MHZ

Senior Member
Location
Michigan. It's a beautiful peninsula, I've looked
Occupation
Electrician
I have in my collection of electrical memorabilia, a service box that was working and nixed by the city inspector. The house it was in turned into a rental, so it was subject to city inspection. This was about 2007 or so. It was a 30 amp 120 volt (not 120/240) box with an inspection sticker from 1919. It had fused neutrals. Functionally, it was fine as everything in the house worked prior to the power being cut. For some reason the inspector had a cat when he saw it and had the POCO snip the drop.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
I have in my collection of electrical memorabilia, a service box that was working and nixed by the city inspector. The house it was in turned into a rental, so it was subject to city inspection. This was about 2007 or so. It was a 30 amp 120 volt (not 120/240) box with an inspection sticker from 1919. It had fused neutrals. Functionally, it was fine as everything in the house worked prior to the power being cut. For some reason the inspector had a cat when he saw it and had the POCO snip the drop.
I've seen a 30a 120v fuse box. Neat, for sure
 

JoeNorm

Senior Member
Location
WA
Follow up from OP. Is it assumed a panel swap can be done in a day? How bout two panels side by side, one a sub of the other. Not neat and not well labeled. If it can't be done in a day, what's your procedure?

Thanks
 

garbo

Senior Member
Let's say you are going to embark on some substantial rework of a main panel in a residence. Whether it be a remodel or adding a backed up loads panel for a Gen or ESS.

When is the panel old enough to say we need to replace it. Does old equipment warrant replacement alone? Or does it have to be old as well as compromised some other way.

I know this is mainly a judgment call, but looking for input. The particular panel(s) that sparked this question are functional but pretty messy and quite old(at least 30 years). There is signs of past arching.

On one hand I want to replace them. On the other hand that's a can of worms in itself and I want to let sleeping dogs lie.

How do you make the call?
A lot depends on panel location. If it was installed in a dry not overly humid location liked a heated/air conditioned basement would last 60 years. Where I live thousands of homes were built from 1960 to 65. Probably 75 % of original pushmatic panels are still in service. I was never a fan of outdoor panels. Within 10 to 15 years they had rust and loaded with bugs & spider webs. This area has natural gas for cooking heating & water heater so loads are low.
 
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