Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) was one of the most common manufacturers of circuit breaker panels in North America from the 1950s to the 1980s. You should be aware of Federal Pacific Electrical Panel fire hazards. Millions of their panels were installed in homes across the country. Yet, as the years passed, electricians and home inspectors often found Federal Pacific Electric panels failed to provide proper protection to homeowners and their families. Experts now say that FPE panels can appear to work fine for years, but after one overcurrent or short circuit, they can overheat and become fire hazards.
When a breaker fails to trip, an extreme amount of power from the outside electrical supply surges into a home’s panel and circuits. Once that happens, it cannot be stopped or shut off manually. Electricity will burn until it runs out of fuel or the wires melt. The panel could overheat and catch fire, causing serious harm to a home and its occupants. Many Federal Pacific Electric panels and breakers can operate properly for years. But if and when they do malfunction, a disaster could occur.
A Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) circuit breaker panel can appear to be working properly for years. BUT experts warn that if a Federal Pacific Electric panel experiences an overcurrent or short circuit, it may not keep the electrical circuits from overheating and could possibly pose a fire hazard.
FPE panels may not meet today’s updated safety codes.
Federal Pacific Electric panels were produced from the mid-1950s well into the 1980s. Experts say that FPE panels produced during that time frame would not conform to today’s updated safety codes and would no longer be allowed to be sold to the general public. Safety standards that were once acceptable years ago are no longer considered safe. Some of the examples cited by experts as to why FPE panels would not pass today’s updated safety codes are:
Federal Pacific Electric panels may have manufacturing defects.
Using UL 289 test conditions, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that Federal Pacific Electric panels may be unfit for homes. The materials used to construct the breakers may be weak. As a result, the breakers may not trip, and the panel could be susceptible to catching on fire.
The circuit breaker panel is one of the most important parts of a home’s electrical system. It constantly distributes and receives electricity. The panel protects homes from power surges and other possible hazards. With regular maintenance by a licensed electrician, experts say that today’s electrical panels can function properly and protect homes for 30 years or more.
How can Allen Electrical Help?
If you suspect that you may have a Federal Pacific Electric, Zinsco, or an outdated circuit breaker panel in your home, or in any event, you have not had your panel inspected recently, you owe it to yourself and your family to contact Allen Electric for an inspection.
Allen Electric is a licensed full-service electrician that is familiar with the potential hazards and dangers of Federal Pacific Electric, Zinsco, fuse boxes and outdated panels and is able to provide you with an In-Home Estimate to replace these hazardous panels.