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Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panel


B&K Electric specializes in electrical repair, panel maintenance and installation in the Warwick area and the greater Providence area. As a family-owned and operated business, we take pride in providing top-notch customer service and being deeply rooted in our community. We have been proudly serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over seventeen years. Our team of experienced electricians is dedicated to providing efficient and reliable electrical services for both homes and businesses.

As a homeowner, one of the most crucial components of your electrical system is the circuit breaker panel. At B&K Electric, we have come across many homeowners in the zip code 02905 of Washington Park, Providence, who are unaware of the importance of their circuit breaker panel or the potential dangers that it poses. In this article, we will be discussing the Federal Pacific circuit breaker panel, its history, potential hazards, and the steps homeowners can take to ensure the safety of their household.

History of Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panel

The Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) was a manufacturer of electrical equipment, including circuit breaker panels, that was widely used in residential homes from the 1950s to the 1980s. During this time period, FPE circuit breaker panels were installed in millions of homes across the United States, including in Rhode Island.

FPE circuit breaker panels were considered affordable and reliable, and their popularity grew rapidly. However, in the late 1980s, the safety of these circuit breaker panels was called into question when reports of fires and electrical malfunctions started to surface.

Potential Hazards of Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panel

The biggest concern with FPE circuit breaker panels is their failure to trip when there is an overload or short circuit, which is the essential function of a circuit breaker. This can result in fires, electrical shocks, and other serious hazards. In fact, a study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that FPE circuit breakers had an alarming failure rate of up to 80%, whereas the acceptable failure rate is below 1%.

The main reason for this high failure rate is due to a design flaw in the Stab-Lok technology used in FPE circuit breakers. This design flaw has been linked to a combination of manufacturing defects and inadequate testing, which ultimately led to the failure of the circuit breakers to trip in the event of an overload or short circuit.

Additionally, due to their age, these circuit breakers may have worn out over time and may not be able to handle the electrical demands of modern appliances, leading to further safety concerns.

Steps to Ensure Safety

If you are a homeowner in the 02905 zip code of Washington Park, Providence, and your home was built between the 1950s and the 1980s, there is a high possibility that your circuit breaker panel is an FPE. It is crucial to have your circuit breaker panel inspected by a licensed electrician to ensure the safety of your household.

At B&K Electric, we recommend replacing FPE circuit breaker panels with newer and safer options such as Square D Homeline or Eaton Cutler Hammer. Our team of experienced electricians can perform a thorough inspection and provide you with recommendations on the best course of action to ensure the safety of your household.

We also suggest that homeowners regularly schedule maintenance for their circuit breaker panels, regardless of whether they have an FPE or a newer panel. This will help to identify any potential issues and ensure that your electrical system is operating at its optimum level.

End thoughts

As a homeowner, it is crucial to prioritize the safety of your family and your home. This includes ensuring that your electrical system, particularly your circuit breaker panel, is up to date and functioning properly. If you are located in the United States and work in the residential industry, it is essential to be aware of the potential hazards of FPE circuit breaker panels and to take the necessary steps to ensure their safety.

At B&K Electric, we take great pride in our work and are committed to providing top-notch electrical services to our community. Our team of licensed electricians is well-equipped to handle any circuit breaker panel maintenance, repair, or installation needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us for all your electrical needs in the Warwick area and the greater Providence area.


FPE Circuit Breaker,

Electrical Safety,

Home Maintenance