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Why are Challenger electrical panels not insurable?
Sunday, March 1, 2020
Challenger brand electrical panels were installed in homes from the 1970s through 1990s, with last production in 1994. But they have since been found to have a defect that causes the bus bars to overheat under normal operating conditions. The overheating causes cyclical expansion and contraction of the the bus bars, creating a gap between the bus bar and breaker and consequent electrical arcing, which has caused meltdown of the panel components in some cases.
We are not sure if all Florida insurance companies won't accept this brand of panel, but know that several of them decline coverage until the panel is replaced. It’s worth noting, however, that there have been no recalls of Challenger panels by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and only a limited recall of some 120-volt Challenger breakers in the late 1980s.
Two other panel brands that are not insurable are Federal Pacific and Zinsco-Sylvania. See our blog posts Who is the manufacturer of those "bad" electric panels? and Why are Zinsco and Sylvania-Zinsco electric panels a problem? to learn more.
And to figure out how old a Challenger panel is, go to How do I determine the age of a Challenger electrical panel?
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