Federal Pacific Panels Are Dangerous

If Your Home Has A Federal Pacific Electrical Panel Then Your Home is at Risk!

Federal_Pacific_Panel

What is a Federal Pacific Electric Panel?

Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) was one of the most common manufacturers of circuit breaker panels in North America from the 1950s to the 1990s.  If your home was built between 1950 and 1990 and is equipped with a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) circuit breaker panel with Stab-Lok circuit breakers, you run a significant risk of breaker malfunction and fire.

Millions of their panels were installed in homes across the United States. During the last 50 years, electricians and home inspectors often found Federal Pacific Electric panels failed to provide proper protection to homeowners and their families. Experts now say that FPE panels can appear to work fine for years, but after one overcurrent or short circuit, they can overheat and become fire hazards.Federal_Pacific_Circuit_Breaker_Stab_Lok

The breakers inside the panel are designed to guard your home by preventing circuit overload, short circuits and outside power surges coming into the panel. When an overload occurs, a breaker protects you by tripping, thus shutting down the power to the circuit. When a breaker fails to trip, an extreme amount of power from the outside electrical supply surges into the panel and circuits.   Once that happens, the electricity can cause the wires to melt and the panel can then overheat and catch fire.  There have been thousands of documented home fires due to FPE panels and breakers not working properly.  The real danger is that many Federal Pacific Electric panels and breakers can work properly for years but then can suddenly fail and malfunction, causing a potential disaster.

Watch the following report from Fox19 News about Federal Pacific Panels:

 

Why is a Federal Pacific Panel dangerous?

Multiple tests done on FPE breakers since the 1980s have proven that 1-in-4 Stab-Lok breakers are defective and will not properly trip off. Federal Pacific Electric was found to have committed testing fraud and a cover-up, labeling the breakers as meeting the standards set by the UL when in reality, they were defective.  The company has been out of business for years.  In 1983, the Consumer Product Safety Commission closed its two-year investigation and decided that it was impossible to create a product recall issue at the time because of budget issues, even though FPE panels and breakers were installed in millions of home that to this day run risk of an electrical fire. An estimated 2,800 fires each year directly result from Federal Pacific panel breaker malfunction.

The following pictures illustrate the results from FPE panels and breakers not operating properly.

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Damaged Federal Pacific Panel

What are the problems with a Federal Pacific Panel?

There are 3 major problems with a Federal Pacific Panel:

1. FPE panels may not meet today’s updated safety codes.

  • Wires may be crowed inside the panel box.
  • Bus bars may be spring-mounted.
  • Breakers may still be active when in the down position.
  • Split-bus breakers no longer meet updated safety codes.

2. FPE panels have significant design flaws

  • Breakers may unexpectedly trip when the deadfront cover is removed.
  • Breakers may have loose connections to the bus bars.
  • Breakers are often jammed within their sockets, which can cause overcrowding in the panel.
  • Breakers can easily split when placed into sockets.

3. FPE panels may have manufacturing defects.

  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission found that FPE panels may be unfit for homes.
  • The materials to construct the breakers may be weak.

What should I do if I have a Federal Pacific Panel?

If you own a home built between 1950 and 1990, check your breaker box. A Federal Pacific Electric panel will usually have its name or logo on the front cover (see photo above). Inside, you will find the name Stab-Lok printed near the center or side of the panel (see photo above). The intact breakers will have the signature red strip that runs across the front. (Zinsco is another panel manufacturer who has similar problems.  Zinsco panels are not very common but they should also be replaced if found).

If you find you a Federal Pacific panel or Stab-Lok breakers or simply think you might have an FPE panel, call Apollo Home and we can we will:

  • Provide a 100% FREE in-home Safety Inspection
  • A quote to replace the panel, if you are found to have one.

Your home’s electrical system is constantly being used and the circuit breaker panel is one of its most important parts.  It protects you from power surges.  When it is not working properly, then a disaster can occur.

Call Apollo Home at 513-271-3600 and get peace of mind about your circuit breaker panel.