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Federal Pacific Electric Panel


When it comes to ensuring the safety of your home, one of the most overlooked yet critical components is the electrical panel. As a homeowner in Cranston, Providence, Rhode Island, it is important to be knowledgeable about the electrical system in your home, and in particular, the Federal Pacific Electric Panel. This panel, also known as the FPE panel, has a troubled history that has raised concerns among homeowners and electricians alike.

At first glance, the FPE panel may seem like just another ordinary electrical panel. However, further research paints a more concerning picture. The Federal Pacific Electric Company was a popular manufacturer of electrical panels in the 1950s and 1980s, with millions of their panels installed in homes across the country. However, in the 1980s, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launched an investigation into the safety of FPE panels, which eventually led to the company’s bankruptcy and the discontinuation of their panels.

Despite this, it is estimated that millions of homes still have FPE panels installed, with many homeowners unaware of the potential hazards they pose. Here in Cranston, Providence, Rhode Island, it is important for homeowners to understand the risks associated with FPE panels and take necessary steps to mitigate them.

At B&K Electric, a family-owned and operated electrical business based in Warwick, RI, we are committed to keeping our community safe. For over seventeen years, our experienced and licensed electricians have been providing expert electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation services to the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island. Our goal is to educate homeowners about the potential hazards associated with FPE panels, and to offer solutions to ensure their safety and peace of mind.

Hazards of FPE Panels

According to the CPSC investigation, FPE panels have a high potential for failure, resulting in a higher risk of electrical fires. The main reason for this is due to a design flaw that causes the breakers to fail to trip when faced with an overload or short circuit, leading to overheating and possibly causing a fire.

Furthermore, the FPE panels have been found to have a higher rate of failure in comparison to other brands of panels. This is particularly concerning because the older the panel is, the higher the chances of failure. As many of these panels were installed several decades ago, the risk is even higher.

Identifying FPE Panels

The first step to ensuring your safety is identifying whether your home has an FPE panel installed. One of the easiest ways to do this is by looking at the main circuit breaker or the label inside the panel door. If the label says Federal Pacific Electric or Stab-Lok, then your panel is likely an FPE panel.

However, it is important to note that not all FPE panels have the name or label mentioned above. Some may only have a small, red dot or a red strip on the breakers themselves. If you are unsure about the type of panel in your home, it is best to consult with a licensed electrician for further evaluation.

Solutions for FPE Panels

If your home has an FPE panel, there are several solutions available to ensure the safety of your home and family. The most effective solution is to replace the entire panel. This can be a more costly option but provides the peace of mind that your home’s electrical system is up to code and safe.

Another option is to have a licensed electrician conduct a thorough inspection of the panel and its components. This can help identify any potential hazards and allow for necessary repairs or replacements. An experienced electrician can also install new breakers that have been tested to ensure they meet current safety standards.

It is important to note that simply replacing the breakers without addressing the underlying issues with an FPE panel is not a recommended solution. This only addresses a fraction of the problem and does not eliminate the risk of failures and potential fires.

Education and Awareness

As a homeowner, it is important to be proactive when it comes to the safety of your home. In the case of FPE panels, education and awareness are crucial. By understanding the potential risks and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure the safety of your family and your home.

At B&K Electric, our electricians are committed to educating and informing homeowners about the potential hazards of FPE panels. By working together with our community, we can ensure that homes in Cranston, Providence, and the greater Providence area are safe and up to code.

The bottomline

It is easy for homeowners to overlook potential hazards in their homes. However, as we have seen with FPE panels, the consequences of neglecting these hazards can be dire. As a homeowner in Cranston, Providence, Rhode Island, being aware of the potential risks associated with FPE panels is crucial for the safety and well-being of your family.

If you suspect that your home has an FPE panel installed, do not hesitate to reach out to B&K Electric for a thorough evaluation and appropriate solutions. Our experienced and licensed electricians are dedicated to serving the residential industry in Warwick and the greater Providence area. Trust us to be your go-to electrician for any electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation needs, and rest assured that your home’s electrical system is in good hands.


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