If your home was built between 1950 and 1990, please keep reading, because it may be that the hidden danger is in your FPE electrical panel.
Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panels (FPE aka Stab-Lok) have a much higher (up to 68%) failure rate. These panels are proven to have a design flaw that prevents the breaker from tripping in cases of short circuits or overloading. This puts your home at a much greater risk of fire. The risk becomes greater with double pole breakers that are used on higher load circuits such as clothes dryers, ovens, and air handler units for AC and heat.
Insurance Companies are becoming more and more unwilling to cover homes with FPE panels. In fact, because of the increasing number of fire claims from FPE panel malfunctions, insurance carriers are more and more requiring a 4 point inspection and replacement of these panels (and Zinsco Panels), before they will cover or renew homeowner’s insurance policies.
A few more things you should know:
- FPE Panels were banned from sale in 1983 but were never recalled because the governmental agency that investigated this matter cited budgetary concerns and closed the case.
- Federal Pacific Electric is no longer in business, having filed bankruptcy after numerous class action lawsuits. Their Underwriter Laboratories (UL) safety rating was revoked because they were found to have committed fraud in presenting their panels as safe.
- Don’t just take our word on this. You can find more information by typing “Federal Pacific FPE Hazard” into your favorite search engine.
- What will this cost? We are experts at panel change-outs, but there is no one-size-fits-all. The price will depend on a number of variables, such as the amperage of your panel, whether it’s a single family or multi-family home, and other issues such as the condition of the existing panel, whether you’d like to upgrade, and whether or not your panel is complicated to gain access to and work on. We promise to do our best to keep things cost efficient for you, but we have to take into account these variables in order to give you an individual price. We will say that costs typically range from $950-$1500, including permitting, labor and all materials, and we do give you guaranteed upfront pricing.
Bloggers Note: Because your safety is our primary concern, we want you to always be aware of and informed about anything electrical related that could affect your well-being and the safety and security of your home and family. Upcoming: we’ll be addressing the most commonly asked questions we get from clients, and we’ll be adding information and updates on electrical issues of interest to homeowners, so please check back often, and feel free to email us at info@APelectric.org with general electrical questions you’d like answered or to suggest electrical topics you’d like to see some information on.