Federal Pacific Electrical Panels Are Fire Hazards
22 Jan, 2020 / Comments: Comments Off on Federal Pacific Electrical Panels Are Fire Hazards / By Corey Haywood
Do you have a Federal Pacific Electrical Panel, which is also known as FPE? These electric panels were sold and installed in masses back in the ’50s throughout the ’80s. The Federal Pacific Electrical Panel was one of the most popular circuit breaker panels during those periods. Unfortunately, many of the homes that were built during that time still have the same electrical panel.
The real problem with the electrical panel is the stab-lok circuit breakers, which were poor quality and failed to do their job. This has been documented in publications like the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., which both issues stern warnings about the product. It was determined that 30% of all panels had failed at some point.
Why Should You Be Concerned?
It became known that often when the circuits became overloaded, the breakers within the Federal Pacific Panel failed to trip and became a fire danger. What is scary was when this happened, the breakers heated up, and wires melted. When this happens, it is nearly impossible to turn the breaker off due to possible electrocution and often melts other wires within the electrical panel.
What to Look For?
If you have an old Federal Pacific Electrical Panel, you should call a professional electrician to come and evaluate the condition of it. If you notice scorch marks, burnt wires, or loose breaker switches, then you will want to get your electrical panel upgraded right away. Any of these signs of unusual wear should be of immediate concern as they pose a potential fire risk.
Correct Size Electrical Panel
Nowadays our homes use more and more power with all our electrical devises and home gadgets. The electrical panels that most houses had installed back in the day aren’t suitable to handle today’s demands. If your home experiences flickering lights, frequent breaker trips, warn outlets, and switches, you should be concerned. These are all signs that your electrical service cannot handle the demand of your household.
Plan for larger amperage than what you will need. The popularity of electric vehicles also will take a toll on your home’s electricity. Even f you aren’t planning on getting an electric vehicle soon, that may change down the line, and you will want your home to be prepared. To charge an EV quickly, you will need a charge that takes 220 volts. Often older homes will need an electrical panel upgrade to handle the power required for a level 2 EV charger.
The Upgrade Process
If your home needs an upgrade, be sure a licensed electrician does it. Ensure that the company pulls the necessary city permits and plan for your electricity to be off for a few days. It can take a full day to complete an electrical panel upgrade. You should then allow an extra day for an inspector to sign off on the work the following day. This process will vary from city to city, and your electrician can help fill you in on what to expect.
How Can VoltGen Help?
Give us a call, and we can perform an inspection on your old Federal Pacific Electrical Panel. If it is deemed unsafe, we can provide several options to make your home safe. At VoltGen, we are fully licensed and work throughout Southern California.