Many homes in the United States have Federal Pacific Electrical Panels. Homeowners must understand that these panels are dangerous and increase the risks involved. Homes that are 20 to 70 years old will likely have a Federal Pacific Electrical Panel. If your home does, you need to replace it immediately.
Reliance Electric introduced Federal Pacific Electrical Panels in the 1950s. Millions of homes in America used Federal Pacific equipment, but the numbers are dropping quickly. Since they’re unsafe, you need to replace FPE panels.
The Dangers Of FPE Breakers
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission warns Americans that Federal Pacific breakers are unsafe. It is common for these breakers not to trip during a short-circuit or overload. The breaker should trip to protect your home, but FPE breakers have a higher failure rate.
They can experience lock-up issues too. A lock-up occurs when the breaker trips and stops tripping. It will never trip again even if the circuit is overloaded. FPE panels are blamed for more than 2,800 electric fires each year.
Much of this has to do with the cheap materials Reliance used. In addition to this, there are several problems associated with Federal Pacific breakers.
- The box is crowded
- When pushed to the off position, the breakers do not turn off
- Arcing could happen at the bus
- When the front cover is off, the breakers may trip for no reason
- Breakers may not be tightly connected
Repairing a Federal Pacific Electrical Panel is not a good idea. Instead, you should replace it. Most qualified electricians will not repair FPE panels because they cannot guarantee their safety after that.
Do I Have An FPE Electrical Panel?
Is your home 20 to 70 years old? If so, there is a good chance that you have an FPE panel. Reliance Electric has gone out of business, so there are no new FPE panels. Electricians will find these panels in older homes.
When trying to identify your electrical panel, you should look for Federal Pacific Electric logos. Also, look for the name Stab-Lok.
Cost To Replace
You’ll need to replace the electrical panel. To do that, you will need to hire a professional electrician. The final price will depend on the electrician you choose. However, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $2,000.