Replacing Zinsco breakers with Connecticut Electric


Phoenix, AZ
I am working on two large estimates to fix 194 apartment units that all have Zinsco Panels in them. What are your thoughts on replacing all of the breakers with Connecticut Electric versions? While this option is not perfect, my understanding is that the Connecticut Electric breakers do resolve some of the design issues with the original Zinsco panels? Assuming the bussing is still in good condition I was considering this as an option.

The other option is to replace all 194 sub panels with new Eaton BR panels however if the first option is doable I think they would rather go with it.


Electron manager
NE Nebraska
Isn't the existing panels probably large enough you could actually set a modern load center inside the old cabinet and maybe need to do some metal working to get it to trim out nicely but beats having to repair walls should you have replaced everything?


Senior Member
Northern California
Solar and Energy Storage Installer
My understanding is that Zinso had issues with both busbars and breaker internals. And I've never been clear if the CE breakers really resolve the issue with breaker internals either. Would I accept the liability risk for that on 194 panels? Hell no.


Senior Member
Saw a article where older breakers were tested & the aftermarket breakers fared worse then the listed/OEM, ones, Zinsco/Sylvania is so obsolete & problematic that getting rid of them now is better then slapping a costly bandaid on, Eaton BR is the cheap line that fills the void that Zinsco left.


Staff member
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Electrical Engineer
One of the big problems with Zinsco was that the bus corrodes and the breakers clips don’t grip right. Supposedly Connecticut Elec. beefed up the breaker clips, but if you are getting a better grip on a crappy bus, is that inherently safer? I’m not convinced.