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Federal Pacific Breaker Box


The thought of a faulty electrical system is enough to make any homeowner anxious. After all, electricity is the backbone of our daily lives and plays a significant role in keeping our homes and businesses running smoothly. However, what most homeowners in zip code 02905 Washington Park Providence, Rhode Island don’t realize is that their old Federal Pacific breaker box may be posing a potential danger.

At B&K Electric, we understand the importance of having a safe and reliable electrical system. As a family-owned and operated electrical business in Warwick, RI, we have been serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over seventeen years. We specialize in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation, making us the go-to electrician for homeowners and businesses in the Warwick and greater Providence area.

But why is the Federal Pacific breaker box a cause for concern? In this article, we will delve into the history and potential hazards of this common household electrical equipment. As professionals in the field, it is our duty to educate homeowners on potential electrical hazards and provide solutions for a safer home. So, if you are a homeowner in the United States, especially in the residential industry, this article is for you.

Understanding the Federal Pacific Breaker Box

In the early 1950s, Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) dominated the market for circuit breakers, supplying over 28% of all circuit breakers in the United States. The Federal Pacific breaker box was commonly installed in homes built between the 1950s and 1980s, and some homes may still have them today. The main purpose of a breaker box is to protect your home’s electrical system from overload or short circuiting, which can cause fires or other safety hazards. However, what homeowners in the residential industry do not know is that the Federal Pacific breaker box was built based on a flawed design and is not as safe as it should be.

The Flawed Design of Federal Pacific Breaker Box

The main issue with the design of the Federal Pacific breaker box lies in its internal components. The breakers are designed with a Stab-Lok mechanism that connects to the buss bar, which is responsible for distributing electricity throughout the panel. When a circuit is overloaded, the breaker is supposed to trip and cut off the power supply, preventing overheating and potential fires. However, in the Federal Pacific breaker box, this mechanism often fails to trip, creating a potential hazard.

There have also been instances where the Stab-Lok mechanism has been known to become stuck or glued to the buss bar, which means the breaker stays in the on position even if it should be tripped. This is especially dangerous during times of power surges, where the breaker should trip to prevent overloading the circuits. With the Stab-Lok mechanism failing to trip or becoming stuck, there is a high risk of fire or other electrical hazards.

The Other Hazards of Federal Pacific Breaker Box

Apart from the faulty design, the Federal Pacific breaker box has several other potential hazards. One, in particular, is the aluminum buss bars used in the construction of the panel. These were known to be a poor conductor of electricity, leading to overheating and breakdown of the panel’s internal components. This could result in power surges or even a complete failure of the electrical system.

Moreover, the Federal Pacific breaker box was never tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or any other national certification laboratory for safety standards. Instead, the breakers were merely self-certified by FPE, which raises concerns about the quality and reliability of the equipment. This lack of testing has raised serious doubts about the safety of the Federal Pacific breaker box and has led to several lawsuits against FPE.

The Importance of Replacing Your Federal Pacific Breaker Box

With all the potential hazards associated with the Federal Pacific breaker box, it is essential to have it replaced immediately. As a homeowner in zip code 02905 in Washington Park Providence, Rhode Island, it is crucial to have an experienced and licensed electrician inspect your electrical system and replace the Federal Pacific breaker box with a newer, safer panel.

At B&K Electric, we recommend having your Federal Pacific breaker box replaced with a newer panel that is tested and certified by UL or another nationally recognized safety laboratory. This will not only ensure the safety of your home but also help with the resale value in case you decide to put your home on the market.

The process of replacing your Federal Pacific breaker box may involve some rewiring and rearranging of electrical components, which is why it is essential to hire a professional and experienced electrician. Our team at B&K Electric has the knowledge and expertise to handle such complex electrical projects while adhering to safety standards and regulations.

As a homeowner in the United States, addressing potential electrical hazards such as the Federal Pacific breaker box should be a top priority. The faulty design and lack of safety testing make this panel a potential danger to your home and family. So, ensure the safety of your home and loved ones by replacing your old Federal Pacific breaker box with a newer, UL certified panel. And remember, always hire a licensed electrician for any electrical repairs, panel maintenance, or installation.


Federal Pacific breaker box,

electrical hazards,

panel replacement