Federal Pacific Electric Panel
For most homeowners in the zip code 02905 of Washington Park Providence, Rhode Island, their electrical panel is rarely given a second thought. It’s tucked away in a corner of the basement or garage, seemingly functioning without any issues. But what many homeowners don’t realize is that their seemingly harmless electrical panel could be a ticking time bomb.
As a licensed, experienced electrician, I have seen firsthand the danger and damage that Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panels can cause. And unfortunately, many homes in the United States, including the ones in Providence, are still equipped with these unsafe panels. In fact, one report estimated that there are still up to 28 million FPE panels in use across the country.
B&K Electric, a family-owned and operated electrical business based in Warwick, RI, specializes in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation. Our electricians have been proudly serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over seventeen years. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the dangers of Federal Pacific Electric panels and why it is crucial for homeowners to replace them as soon as possible.
The Troubling History of FPE Panels
Federal Pacific Electric was a well-known manufacturer of electrical panels in the 1950s and 1960s, and their products were widely used in homes and businesses across the country. However, their equipment quickly gained a reputation for being dangerous and unreliable.
In 1980, a study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that FPE panels had a high failure rate and were not properly tripping when there was an overload or short circuit. This meant that the panels were not adequately protecting homes from electrical fires, electrocution, and other hazards.
Despite this alarming discovery, the company continued to deny any safety issues and instead chose to settle out-of-court in multiple lawsuits. Eventually, FPE was forced to shut down in the early 1980s, but unfortunately, many of their panels remain in homes across the country.
The Dangers of FPE Panels
The main problem with FPE panels is that their circuit breakers do not always trip when there is a fault or an overload, as they are supposed to. This can lead to overheating, arcing, and even fires within the panel or throughout the home’s electrical system.
Furthermore, FPE panels were not built to modern safety standards, and their components may not be able to handle the electrical demands of today’s appliances and electronic devices. This can lead to overheating and potentially cause damage to connected devices or pose a safety hazard to the occupants of the home.
Additionally, FPE panels have been linked to a higher risk of electrocution due to faulty connections and subpar insulation within the panels themselves. This is a serious concern for homeowners, especially those with small children or pets who are more prone to accidents.
Replacing FPE Panels: A Necessity, Not an Option
Despite the known dangers of FPE panels, many homeowners in Providence and across the country have not yet replaced them. This could be due to a lack of awareness, as many homeowners are simply not aware of the risks posed by these panels.
It’s also important to note that FPE panels are no longer manufactured, meaning that replacement parts are not easily available. This can make it challenging for homeowners to have their panels repaired in case of an issue. Additionally, many insurance companies may refuse to insure homes with FPE panels, leaving homeowners without the necessary coverage in case of an electrical fire.
Furthermore, when it comes time to sell your home, you may run into difficulties due to the presence of an FPE panel. Many home inspectors will flag these panels as unsafe, and this can significantly lower the value of your home or even lead to a failed sale.
Protecting Your Home and Family
As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your home and family. One of the critical steps to achieve this is by replacing your FPE panel with a modern, safe panel. However, this is not a DIY project and should only be done by a licensed electrician.
At B&K Electric, we have years of experience in replacing FPE panels with modern, safe options such as Square D or Siemens. We understand the importance of thorough inspections and proper installation to ensure the safety of your home and family.
If you are a homeowner in the zip code 02905 of Washington Park Providence, Rhode Island, we urge you to contact B&K Electric today to have your FPE panel replaced. Don’t wait for a potential disaster to occur. Protect your home, family, and peace of mind by scheduling an appointment with our team of dedicated electricians today.