Federal Pacific Electric Panel
When thinking about home maintenance, many homeowners in Providence, Rhode Island may not consider the electrical panel to be a top priority. However, the functioning of a home’s electrical panel is crucial for the safety and efficiency of the entire electrical system. In many older homes, the electrical panel is often overlooked and could pose a serious danger if not properly maintained. One type of electrical panel that has been found to be particularly hazardous is the Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panel.
As a homeowner in the 02909 zip code of Providence, you may have come across the term “Federal Pacific Electric panel” while searching for an electrician to service your residence. You may be wondering what exactly is a Federal Pacific Electric panel and why is it causing such concern in the electrical industry? In this article, we will delve into the history, dangers, and necessary actions to take in relation to FPE panels.
Overview of Federal Pacific Electric Panels
Federal Pacific Electric panels were widely used in homes and buildings between the 1950s and 1980s. They were known to be a budget-friendly option and were installed in millions of homes across the United States, including in Providence, Rhode Island. These panels were manufactured by the company Federal Pacific Electric, which was founded in New York in 1929.
At the time of its production, FPE panels were considered to be reliable and high-quality. However, in the 1980s, serious concerns began to arise about the safety of these panels. It was discovered that these panels were not designed and assembled to meet necessary safety standards. As a result, the company was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1980 and was ultimately shut down in 1983.
The Dangers of Federal Pacific Electric Panels
The main reason for the downfall of FPE panels was their inability to trip and shut off power during an overload or short circuit. This meant that in the event of a malfunction, the panel would not be able to cut off the dangerous flow of electricity. This could lead to serious hazards such as electrical fires, electrocution, and damage to appliances and devices plugged into the panel.
In fact, a study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the 1980s found that FPE panels had a high failure rate compared to other brands. It was estimated that these panels caused over 2,800 fires, 13 deaths, and 14 injuries.
Additionally, as these panels aged, their components became worn out and contributed to the problem of not being able to trip during an overload. This means that even if your home’s FPE panel has been functioning properly for many years, it may still become hazardous over time.
Actions to Take for Homeowners with FPE Panels
If you are a homeowner in Providence, RI with an FPE panel in your home, it is important to take action. The first step would be to schedule an inspection with a licensed electrician who is familiar with FPE panels. They will be able to assess the safety of your panel and make recommendations for necessary repairs or replacements.
If it is determined that your FPE panel is indeed a hazard, it is crucial to have it replaced. Due to the high failure rates of these panels, it is not recommended to simply repair or upgrade the existing panel. A complete replacement with a newer, safer panel is the best course of action.
In addition, if you are looking to sell your home, it is important to replace your FPE panel before putting it on the market. Most home inspectors will flag an FPE panel as a safety issue, which could lead to potential buyers backing out of the sale or asking for a reduced price.
Choose a Reliable and Experienced Electrician for FPE Panel Replacement
When it comes to replacing an FPE panel, it is crucial to choose a reliable and experienced electrician. At B&K Electric, we have been serving the residents of Providence, RI and the greater Providence area for over seventeen years. Our team of licensed electricians is well-versed in FPE panel replacement and we guarantee top-quality service and safety for your home.
As a family-owned and operated business, we understand the importance of community and customer service. Our goal is to ensure the safety and satisfaction of our customers, and we will do everything in our power to make that happen. Make us your go-to electrician for your home or business in the Warwick and Providence areas and rest easy knowing your electrical systems are in good hands.
If you are a homeowner in Providence, RI with an FPE panel in your home, it is crucial to address this safety hazard. Schedule an inspection with a licensed electrician and take necessary action to replace your FPE panel with a safer and more reliable option. Don’t put your home and family at risk – choose B&K Electric for your FPE panel replacement needs.