FPE (Federal Pacific Electric) Circuit Breakers

The FPE’s were widely used between 1950 – 1990 and are considered problematic. The Consumer Product Safety Commission conducted an investigation and found the panels did not fully comply with the Underwriters Laboratories, Inc requirements. The investigation was closed in 1983, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported they did not have enough date to consider the panels pose a risk to consumers. Official Report. During the investigation experts found that over 50% of the tested breakers failed to trip.

These circuit breakers never were officially recalled, but are widely known to be faulty.

Do you have FPE at your house? Some things to consider before calling your local electrician.

  1. Was your home built between 1950 – 1990?
  2. Has your home had any electrical work done during or after that time frame?
  3. Does your panel have any marking saying, “Federal Pacific Electric or FPE” front cover, inside box and or saying Stab Lok? Also, breakers may have a red stripe cross the switches.

*This is for educational purposes only and we are not recommending if the reader should or should not hire an electrician. The electrical panel in question, may have some of, none of them and or all of these things regarding the considerations. It’s important to have a licensed electrician determine the risk and if in need of replacement.

Cite: “The Danger of Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panels.” All Electric Services, 26 Oct. 2019, https://www.allelectric.com/blog/2019/october/the-danger-of-federal-pacific-circuit-breaker-pa/.

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