As a homeowner, it’s easy to overlook your home’s devices, appliances, and systems when they’re working just fine. However, unexpected hazards could lurk just out of sight — especially if you have a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) circuit breaker panel.
If you have electrical panels in your home, checking them to ensure they’re up to code is important. As you probably already know, a circuit breaker panel plays a significant role in the safety and function of your electrical system. This panel can help prevent short circuits and power surges — all of which pose fire hazards.
Now, you might be wondering, are Federal Pacific breakers safe? The answer to this question is an irrefutable “no.” Unfortunately, all Federal Pacific panels are bad. If you plan on selling your home, there’s a high chance that a home inspector will identify your panel as being a clear-cut safety hazard.
Let’s discuss what Federal Pacific breakers are and why they’re considered so dangerous.
What Are Federal Pacific Breakers?
When it comes down to it, the circuit breaker panels manufactured by Federal Pacific Electric company work just like any other type of electrical panel. This panel is responsible for distributing electrical power throughout your home. If a power surge unexpectedly occurs, the circuit breaker trips as a means of protecting your home against potential fires and shocks.
Federal Pacific breakers, which are sometimes called “FPE Stab-Lok breakers,” were largely popular among homeowners from the 1950s to the 1980s. Many homes were equipped with these devices — which means your current residence could have one as well.
If you were wondering if Federal Pacific breakers are safe, you might be frightened to learn that they can become defective over time. All-in-all, it’s important to recognize that all Federal Pacific panels are bad and fail to meet safety guidelines.
Why Are Federal Pacific Breakers Considered Dangerous?
Some homeowners might think that Federal Pacific breakers are safe — but that is certainly not the case. Although these panels can appear to work perfectly fine for a few years, they can still fail to trip unexpectedly, which can lead to the circuit breakers catching fire.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has tested Federal Pacific breakers in the past and discovered that they were defective in one way or another. For instance, they discovered many of the breakers failed to trip.
How to Know if You Have a Federal Pacific Electrical Panel
It’s probably safe to say that you don’t think about your electrical panel all that often. However, now that you know all Federal Pacific panels are bad, it’s crucial to find out if you have one in your home. As we mentioned previously, these panels were installed in homes from the 1950s to the 1980s. So if you have an older home, it’s time to do a quick inspection.
The good news is that there are some signs that can indicate whether or not a home has Federal Pacific electrical panels and breakers. For example, the exterior of the panel will most likely have the Federal Pacific logo or name displayed on it. If you don’t see any dead giveaways on the outside of the panel, open it up and look for any branded lettering or logos inside the panel.
Upgrade Your Electrical Panel Today
“Are Federal Pacific breakers safe?” If you ask a licensed electrician this question, you’ll most likely receive an outright “no.” Believe it or not, all Federal Pacific panels are bad because they were not tested to meet specific standards. Plus, these circuit panels are known to catch fire when a short circuit or power surge occurs — which certainly shouldn’t be the case.
You should feel safe knowing that your home’s electrical panel is working properly to keep your family safe. Fortunately, you can trust Harts Services to provide you with reliable circuit breaker and panel services in Tacoma, WA, and the surrounding areas.
Our team of experts is here to help you stay comfortable and safe. If you need an electrical panel upgrade in Tacoma, you can count on us to meet your needs with a high-quality solution.
Since 2013, we’ve strived to provide our local communities with services that they can trust. When the time comes for an outlet repair, circuit breaker replacement, or any other electrical service in Tacoma, we’re ready to assist you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!