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Federal Pacific Breakers


Homeownership in the United States is a dream for many, and the residents of Providence, Rhode Island are no exception. Known for its charming historic homes and eclectic neighborhoods, Providence is a city where many families put down roots and invest in a home to call their own. As a homeowner, one of the most important responsibilities is ensuring the safety and functionality of the electrical system in your home. This is where B&K Electric steps in – a family-owned and operated electrical business located in Warwick, Rhode Island, serving the residents of Providence and the surrounding areas.

At B&K Electric, we understand the importance of keeping your home’s electrical system in top shape. Our experienced and licensed electricians have been proudly serving the community for over seventeen years, specializing in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation. As an established and trusted company in the region, we have seen our fair share of electrical issues, including the use of Federal Pacific breakers, which have been a topic of controversy and concern for many homeowners. In this article, we will delve into the details of Federal Pacific breakers and provide insights that every homeowner should know.

What are Federal Pacific Breakers?

Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) was a popular manufacturer of electrical panels and circuit breakers in the United States from the 1950s to the 1980s. Their panels were installed in millions of homes across the country, including in Providence’s neighborhoods like ELMHURST, WASHINGTON PARK, and FEDERAL HILL. However, in the early 1980s, concerns began to rise over the safety and reliability of these panels.

The controversy surrounding Federal Pacific breakers mainly stems from their tendency to malfunction and fail, leading to a higher risk of electrical fires. Where homes are equipped with various electrical devices, it is crucial to have a safe and reliable electrical panel to power your household. However, many homeowners with FPE panels are unaware of the potential dangers lurking behind their walls.

Potential Hazards of Federal Pacific Breakers

As with any electrical system, the potential for hazards increases with age. FPE panels have been in use for several decades now, and with time, it has become evident that there are significant flaws in their design and construction. The most pressing issue is that FPE breakers were not designed to trip when overloaded, leaving the circuit vulnerable to overheating and causing fires. This is a severe safety concern that has been the center of the controversy surrounding these panels.

In addition, it has been found that FPE breakers have a high failure rate. In some cases, the breakers do not trip at all, even when severely overloaded, causing damage to the electrical system and posing a fire risk. This is especially concerning for homes with older wiring, which can be overloaded more easily and are not equipped to handle the excessive heat.

Furthermore, there have been reports of FPE panels failing to disconnect power even when the main service disconnect switch is turned off. This poses a significant risk for electricians and firefighters who may think the power is off when working on the electrical system. It is also essential to note that FPE panels have been linked to several house fires in the past, causing property damage, injuries, and even fatalities.

What Should You Do if You Have a Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?

If you own a home in Providence, RI, and have concerns about your electrical panel, it is essential to have it inspected by a licensed electrician. At B&K Electric, our electricians are trained and experienced in identifying issues with FPE panels and providing reliable solutions.

If you do have an FPE panel, it is crucial to have it replaced as soon as possible. This is not a task that should be undertaken by a DIY enthusiast, as it requires professional knowledge and expertise. Our team at B&K Electric specializes in panel replacements and can help you choose a safe and reliable panel that meets all the code requirements for your home. It is also recommended to have your panel inspected regularly, even if it is not a Federal Pacific breaker, to ensure it is functioning correctly and does not pose any safety risks to your home.

Key point

As a homeowner, it is essential to understand the potential hazards of Federal Pacific breakers and take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of your home and family. If you live in Providence, Rhode Island, and need assistance with your electrical panel, B&K Electric is here to help. We prioritize the safety of our customers and guarantee quality workmanship in all our services. Let us be your go-to electrician for all your electrical needs.


Federal Pacific breakers,

electrical hazards,

panel replacements