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Federal Pacific Breaker Box


Attention all homeowners in Downtown Providence, Rhode Island (02903), if you have a Federal Pacific breaker box in your home, this article is for you. As a licensed electrician serving the residential industry for over 17 years, I have seen my fair share of electrical problems and hazards. And one issue that keeps resurfacing is the Federal Pacific breaker box.

B&K Electric, a family-owned and operated business based in Warwick, RI, has been proudly serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island. We specialize in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation, and we believe it is our responsibility to educate our community about potential dangers and issues related to electrical systems in their homes. And one of the biggest dangers we have come across is the Federal Pacific breaker box.

Known for manufacturing electrical panels and distribution equipment, Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) was a popular brand in the 1950s and 1960s for residential and commercial use. In fact, it is estimated that up to 28 million homes in the United States were equipped with FPE panels. However, these panels have been surrounded by controversy and safety concerns for decades.

The FPE panels are known for their thick, red-handled breakers that were designed to trip and protect your home’s electrical system from overloading. However, numerous reports have shown that they fail to trip properly and can cause your electrical system to overheat, leading to a potential fire hazard.

One of the main reasons for this issue is the design of the breakers. FPE panels were designed with thin, spring-loaded breakers that were easily compromised, and did not meet industry standards. In addition, they were poorly manufactured and failed to meet proper testing requirements.

In a test conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the 1980s, it was revealed that FPE breakers failed to trip at an alarming rate. In fact, they had a failure rate of up to 60%, which is significantly higher than the acceptable 5% industry standard. This means that in an event of an electrical overload, the breakers in FPE panels are unlikely to trip, which can result in significant damage to your home and pose a serious safety hazard.

In addition to the failure to trip, some FPE panels also have issues with their bus bars, which are the metal strips that connect the breakers to the electrical source. These bus bars can become loose or corroded over time, causing them to overheat and potentially start a fire.

As a licensed electrician, I have seen firsthand the danger that the FPE panels can pose to homeowners. In my experience, many homes in Downtown Providence and the greater Providence area still have these panels installed, which is a major concern for their safety and well-being.

If you live in a home built between the 1950s and 1980s, there is a high chance that your home is equipped with an FPE panel. To determine if you have one in your home, you can check your electrical panel for any signs of branding or look for the thick, red-handled breakers. However, the best way to ensure the safety of your home is by getting a professional electrician to inspect your electrical system.

It is easy to overlook potential hazards in our homes, especially when it comes to electrical systems that are hidden behind closed walls. But the safety of our homes and families should always be a top priority. So, if you are a homeowner in Downtown Providence or any other area in the United States, it is crucial to get your electrical panel inspected by a licensed electrician.

At B&K Electric, we have seen the devastating consequences of malfunctioning FPE panels, and we are dedicated to keeping our community safe. As a locally-owned and operated electrical business, we take pride in our work and strive to provide exceptional customer service. Our electricians are highly trained and experienced in dealing with all types of electrical issues and are equipped with the latest tools and technology to ensure the safety of your home.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact B&K Electric today and schedule an inspection of your electrical panel. Let us help you safeguard your home from potential hazards and give you the peace of mind you deserve.


Federal Pacific breaker box,

electrical hazards,

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