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Federal Pacific Electrical Panel


Located in the bustling zip code 02903, downtown Providence, Rhode Island is full of beautiful historic homes and buildings. As a homeowner in this area, you take pride in maintaining your property and ensuring the safety of your family and visitors. However, there may be one potential danger lurking in your home that you may not be aware of – a Federal Pacific Electrical Panel.

At B&K Electric, we understand the importance of maintaining a safe and functional electrical system in your home. As a family-owned and operated business based in Warwick, RI, we have been proudly serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over seventeen years. Our team of skilled electricians specializes in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation, making us the go-to electrician for homeowners and businesses in the Warwick area and the greater Providence area.

As a licensed electrician, it is our responsibility to inform our clients about potential hazards in their homes. In this article, we will dive into the details of a Federal Pacific Electrical Panel and why it poses a danger to your residence. We will also discuss the signs that indicate you may have one in your home and what steps to take to ensure the safety of your family and property.

What is a Federal Pacific Electrical Panel?

A Federal Pacific Electrical Panel, also known as FPE or Stab-Loc panels, was a popular brand of electrical panels used in homes from the 1950s to the 1980s. The panels were manufactured by the Federal Pacific Electric Company and were installed in millions of homes throughout the United States, including homes in downtown Providence.

These panels were designed to regulate and distribute electricity throughout the home. However, FPE panels gained a notorious reputation due to their faulty circuit breakers, which have been reported to not trip when overloaded. This means that in the event of an electrical overload or short circuit, the circuit breaker may not trip, causing a potential fire hazard.

Why are they a Potential Danger?

The main issue with FPE panels is the faulty circuit breakers. In the event of an overload or short circuit, the circuit breaker is supposed to trip and shut off the current to prevent a fire. However, due to a design flaw, the breakers may not trip, leaving the circuit active and potentially leading to a fire.

In addition to the faulty circuit breakers, FPE panels have been found to have other defects, such as bus bars (the metal strips that conduct electricity) that may not be properly connected, which can lead to arcing or sparking. This is a serious safety concern as arcing can produce high temperatures and possibly cause a fire.

Signs of a Federal Pacific Electrical Panel

If you live in an older home in the downtown Providence area, there is a chance that you may have an FPE panel. Some signs that indicate you may have one include:

1. Flickering Lights: If you notice that your lights flicker when you turn on certain appliances or devices, this may be an indication of an overloaded circuit, which could be caused by a faulty breaker or panel.

2. Tripping Breakers: If your circuit breakers are frequently tripping, it could be a sign that they are unable to handle the electrical load in your home. This could be due to a faulty FPE panel.

3. Burning Smell: If you smell a burning odor in your home, it could be a sign that there is a malfunction in your electrical system. This should be addressed immediately, as it could lead to a fire.

4. Discoloration or Scorch Marks: If you notice any discoloration or scorch marks on your FPE panel or outlets, it could be a sign of arcing or sparking, which poses a fire hazard.

What Should You Do if You Have a Federal Pacific Electrical Panel?

If you suspect that you have an FPE panel in your downtown Providence home, it is essential to have it inspected by a licensed electrician. We highly recommend replacing the panel with a newer, safer model.

Replacing an electrical panel is not a DIY project and should only be done by a licensed electrician. Our team at B&K Electric can provide you with a professional inspection and recommend the best course of action for your home. We offer panel maintenance, repairs, and installation, ensuring that your home’s electrical system is safe and up to code.

In Conclusion

As a homeowner in the beautiful downtown Providence area, your top priority is the safety and well-being of your family and property. A Federal Pacific Electrical Panel puts that safety at risk and should be addressed immediately. We highly recommend having your panel inspected and replaced by a licensed electrician to ensure your home is free from potential hazards.

If you live in the zip code 02903 or anywhere in the greater Providence area, contact B&K Electric for all of your electrical needs. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing quality service and ensuring the safety of our community. Don’t wait until it’s too late, have your FPE panel inspected today.


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