Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panel
Being a homeowner comes with its own set of responsibilities, from regular maintenance and repairs to ensuring the safety and security of your family. While most homeowners may assume that their house is in perfect condition, there may be hidden dangers lurking behind their walls. One such danger is the Federal Pacific circuit breaker panel, which has been the subject of controversy and concern for several decades.
As a homeowner in the 02907 zip code of Cranston Providence, Rhode Island, you may have come across the name B&K Electric. We are a family-owned and operated electrical business based in Warwick, RI, with a strong focus on community and customer service. With over seventeen years of experience, our team of electricians has been proudly serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island. We specialize in electrical repairs, panel maintenance, and installations, and we are the go-to electrician for homes and businesses in the Warwick area and greater Providence area.
But why is the Federal Pacific circuit breaker panel such a concern for homeowners, and why should it be addressed by a licensed electrician? In this article, we will delve into the history of the Federal Pacific Electric Company, explain the dangers of their circuit breaker panels, and offer solutions for homeowners to ensure the safety of their homes.
History of the Federal Pacific Electric Company
The Federal Pacific Electric Company was founded in 1920 and became one of the leading manufacturers of electrical equipment in the United States. Their products were widely used in homes, businesses, and industrial settings. However, in the 1980s, concerns began to arise about the safety of their circuit breaker panels.
The company’s circuit breaker panels were designed with a unique feature called the Stab-Lok® system, which was supposed to improve the reliability and performance of the panels. However, it was discovered that this system had a major flaw – it failed to trip during overloading or short-circuit situations, leading to potential electrical fires.
The Controversy Surrounding the Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panel
In the 1980s, several independent studies were conducted to test the safety and reliability of the Stab-Lok® system. In one study, it was found that out of 49 circuit breaker panels, 28 of them failed to operate properly when subjected to short circuits, while 19 failed to operate during overloading. This meant that the circuit breakers did not trip, and the electrical current continued to flow, potentially causing severe damage or fire.
The findings of these studies sparked a nationwide controversy, and the Federal Pacific Electric Company was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1980. However, their products remained in homes and buildings, as they continued to be sold by other companies under the Federal Pacific name.
The Dangers of Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panels
So, what makes the Federal Pacific circuit breaker panel such a hazard? When a circuit overloads, the circuit breaker is supposed to trip, and the electrical current is cut off to prevent damage or fires. However, in the case of the Federal Pacific panel, the Stab-Lok® system was found to be unreliable and unable to trip during overloading or short circuits.
This means that the panel could be outdated and pose a significant fire risk to your home. Additionally, these panels may also pose a threat of electrocution, as they cannot handle the modern electrical demands of homes and can overheat, causing sparks and potentially causing a fire.
What Can Homeowners Do?
If your home was built between the 1950s and 1980s and has not had significant electrical upgrades, there is a high chance that it may have a Federal Pacific circuit breaker panel. As a homeowner, it is crucial to have this panel inspected and evaluated by a licensed electrician to ensure the safety of your home and family.
At B&K Electric, we highly recommend homeowners to replace their Federal Pacific panels with modern, safe alternatives. Our team of experienced electricians can inspect, evaluate, and offer solutions for replacing these dangerous panels. We also offer regular maintenance and repairs for all types of electrical panels to ensure the safety and functionality of your home.
The history of the Federal Pacific Electric Company and their circuit breaker panels is filled with controversy and concern. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety and security of your home, and addressing any potential hazards, such as the Federal Pacific panel, is vital. Don’t wait for a potential disaster to strike – have your panel inspected by a licensed electrician today. Trust B&K Electric, your go-to electrician for all your electrical needs in the Warwick area and greater Providence area.