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Outdated and Dangerous: Why Federal Pacific Electric Panels Need to Go PCA Inspection


One panel that has been a cause for concern is the Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panel. In this blog post, we'll explore the reasons why many experts recommend removing FPE panels to ensure the safety and reliability of your electrical system.

The Controversy Surrounding FPE Panels

Federal Pacific Electric panels were commonly installed in homes between the 1950s and 1980s. However, over the years, these panels have become the subject of controversy and concern within the electrical industry. The primary issue lies with the circuit breakers, specifically the Stab-Lok design, which has been found to have significant reliability and safety issues.

  1. Breaker Failures and Ineffectiveness

Numerous studies and investigations have revealed that FPE circuit breakers may fail to trip as intended during an overcurrent or short circuit. This failure poses a serious fire hazard as the breakers are unable to disconnect power when needed, potentially leading to overheating of wiring and electrical components.

  1. Inaccurate Tripping: A False Sense of Security

Even when FPE breakers do trip, there is evidence suggesting that they may provide a false sense of security. Tests have shown that some breakers labeled as "tripped" may still allow power to flow, further compromising the safety of the electrical system.

  1. Aging Components and Lack of Support

Another concern is the age of FPE panels and breakers. As these components age, their reliability diminishes, increasing the risk of electrical failures. Additionally, Federal Pacific Electric is no longer in business, making it challenging to find replacement parts. This lack of support raises questions about the long-term viability of these panels.

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