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How old is a Walker EQ Load Center electrical panel? Is it unsafe?
Thursday, January 14, 2021
The Walker Electrical Company was founded by Ralph Walker in 1939 in Atlanta, Georgia. It was absorbed by I-T-E sometime in the 1950s, and then I-T-E itself went through several mergers beginning in 1968, and was eventually acquired by Siemens. The Walker brand appears to have been abandoned in the late 1960s, so any panel with a Walker namplate is at least 50 years old. The photo above was from an original panel installed in a 1963 home. Unfortunately, we know of no serial number to decode for the exact age, but you can use our article How do I determine the age of an electrical panel? to find clues that will help you get the approximate year of manufacture.
We do not know of any verified safety problems or design defects with Walker panels, but they are problematic just based on their age. The boxes and breakers are likely corroded, the original breakers are long past their serviceable life, and there are often newer breakers by different manufacturers in the panel—which may not connect securely to, or be rated for installation in, a Walker panel bus. Here’s an example below.
Because I-T-E also manufactured Pushmatic breakers, you may find a Walker panel with Pushmatics installed. Go to our blog post How old is a Pushmatic electrical panel? is it safe? for more info. Also, see our Who is the manufacturer of those "bad" electric panels? and How old is a Wadsworth breaker panel? and Why are Zinsco and Sylvania-Zinsco electric panels a problem? and Why are Challenger electrical panels not insurable?
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Field Guide for Home Inspectors, a quick reference for finding the age of 154 brands of HVAC systems, water heaters, and electrical panels, plus 210 code standards for site-built and manufactured homes, and the life expectancy rating of 195 home components. Available at amazon.com for $19.95.
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