How do I determine the age of a Challenger electrical panel?

Friday, August 6, 2021

The first two numbers in a stamp at the wiring diagram on the door of a Challenger panelboard are the week of manufacture, and the third digit is the year. This does not tell you which decade, which will have to be determined from other clues. The example above was in a house built in 1990, so we were able to determine a 1989 production date.

    Challenger panels were produced until 1994. They have had multiple manufacturer recalls, and many insurance companies will not accept them. See our article Why are Challenger electrical panels not insurable? for more on this. 

    Also see our blog post How do I find out the manufacturer of an electrical panel?  

    To find the age of other home components, go to How can I find out the age of a roof? and How do I determine the age of my air conditioner? and How do I determine the age of my water heater? For life expectancies, visit What is the average life expectancy of the components of a house? 

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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about ELECTRIC PANELS:

What causes copper wires to turn green or black in an electric panel?  

What is the maximum number of circuit breakers allowed in an electric panel?

When should a corroded or damaged electric panel cabinet or disconnect box be replaced? 

What is a tandem circuit breaker? 

When did arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) breakers first become required?

Can an electric panel be located in a closet? 

Can an electric panel be located in a bathroom? 

Can you add circuit breakers by different manufacturers to an electric panel if they fit?

My circuit breaker won't reset. What's wrong?  

What is a split bus electric panel?

How do I identify a combination AFCI (CAFCI) circuit breaker? 

What does a circuit breaker with a yellow or white test button indicate? 

What is the maximum gap allowed between the front of a recessed electric panel box and the wall surface surrounding it? 

What is the difference between GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers? 

What is the difference between "grounded" and "grounding" electrical conductors? 

What does it mean when a wire is "overstripped" at a circuit breaker?

Why is an old fuse panel dangerous?  

Why is the circuit breaker stuck in the middle? 

What is a double tap at a circuit breaker?

• What do I need to know about buying a whole house surge protector? 

What is the maximum allowed height of a circuit breaker (OCPD) above the floor?

• What is the maximum height you can mount an electric panel above the floor? 

• What is the code required clearance in front of an electric panel?

What is the main bonding jumper and where do it find it in an electric panel? 

   Visit our ELECTRIC PANELS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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