Main Panel Ovehaul (Pictures)
I had asked, on a different DYI forum, about feedback on replacing this older Zinsco main panel and I got some suggestions, but would like to get a second opinion here.
Many people suggested a complete replacement. However, having such a job done entirely by the standard trio of Electrician, Power-Company, City-Authority would make the cost of such a project explode (I got estimates in the $2100-$2400 range) and, of course, this would also exclude any DIY involvement - i.e. no fun.
One option I had initially thought of was simply replacing the old Zinsco breakers with modern retrofit breakers - since the bus bars seem in ok shape, and no breakers seem to be fused to the bus bars. But after getting some justified negative feedback, I am convinced this is not a good option.
Another option that was proposed, which I do like, was to
(a) install a new (sub)panel just adjacent to the existing main panel (below the existing main panel might be the only choice here),
(b) keep the existing main breaker,
(c) route the main power lines (2 hots, neutral and ground) into the new (sub)panel below,
(d) rip out the old Zinsco breakers and busses, and
(e) put contemporary style breakers in the new (sub)panel and then splice the load circuits a short distance to the new (sub)panel below.
I had some initial reservations about introducing splices in the main panel, but apparently that is ok, so this looks like a good option to me.
Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated . . .