Federal Pacific Breakers
As a homeowner in the North Providence area of Rhode Island, you may not have given much thought to the breakers in your electrical panel. After all, they’re designed to protect your home from dangerous electrical currents, so why should you worry about them? But the truth is, there’s a hidden danger lurking in some of these breakers that could put your home and your family at risk.
B&K Electric, a family-owned and operated electrical business based in Warwick, RI, has been proudly serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over seventeen years. We understand the importance of keeping your home safe and up to code, which is why we specialize in electrical panel maintenance and installation. We want to ensure that your electrical system is not only functioning properly, but also that it is safe for you and your loved ones. And that’s why we want to shed light on a little known but potentially dangerous issue with Federal Pacific breakers.
Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) was one of the leading manufacturers of circuit breakers, panels, and other electrical equipment between the 1950s and 1980s. Millions of their products were installed in homes across the United States, including many here in North Providence. In fact, it was estimated that around 28,000 homes in Rhode Island still have FPE panels and breakers installed.
However, despite their widespread use, there have been numerous reports and studies that have suggested serious flaws in the design of these breakers. In fact, experts have called them one of the most dangerous electrical products ever installed in American homes.
The issue with FPE breakers lies in their inability to trip when they are supposed to. This means that in the event of an overload or short circuit, the breaker may not trip and the wires in your electrical system may be overloaded, leading to a potential fire hazard. This is especially concerning due to the age of these breakers, as components can degrade over time, making them even more prone to failure.
But that’s not all. According to a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, FPE circuit breakers also have a higher rate of failure when compared to other brands. This means that even if the breakers do trip, there is a higher chance that they may not be able to cut off the power as intended, potentially causing serious safety hazards for you and your family.
Another issue with FPE breakers is that they have been found to be mislabeled and do not meet the safety standards set by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). In fact, UL revoked FPE’s listing in 1982 due to numerous failures during testing. This means that the UL mark on these breakers may not be trustworthy, leaving homeowners unaware of the potential dangers.
So, what can you do as a homeowner in the North Providence area to ensure the safety of your home and your family? The first step is to hire a licensed and experienced electrician to inspect your electrical panel. They will be able to determine if you have an FPE panel and breakers, and if they are functioning properly.
If it is found that you do have an FPE panel, it is highly recommended to have it replaced with a newer and safer model. This is not a DIY project and should only be done by a licensed electrician. Attempting to replace the panel yourself can be dangerous and may also result in a code violation.
At B&K Electric, we specialize in electrical panel maintenance and installation. Our experienced electricians can inspect your panel and determine if you have an FPE panel that needs to be replaced. We will then work with you to select a new panel that meets safety standards and fits your specific electrical needs.
As a homeowner in the North Providence area, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers posed by Federal Pacific breakers. With millions of these breakers still in use, it is crucial to have your electrical panel inspected by a licensed electrician to ensure the safety of your home and your loved ones. Don’t wait until it’s too late; contact B&K Electric today to schedule an inspection and ensure the safety of your home.