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Federal Pacific Panel


As a homeowner in the quaint zip code of 02904 in North Providence, Rhode Island, you take great pride in maintaining the beauty and functionality of your residence. From landscaping to interior design, you pay attention to every detail to make your house a cozy and safe haven for you and your family. However, have you ever spared a thought for the electrical panel in your home? The one component that often goes unnoticed, yet plays a crucial role in powering all your appliances and keeping your home running smoothly.

Whether you recently purchased a new home or have lived in your current one for many years, it’s essential to know what type of electrical panel you have and its condition. One type that has gained notoriety in recent years is the Federal Pacific Panel, also known as FPE panel. These panels were commonly installed in homes in the 1950s to 1980s, and it’s estimated that millions of homes in the United States still have them. If you are one of the many homeowners in the 02904 zip code, it’s crucial to understand the potential hazards associated with the FPE panel and the importance of timely maintenance and replacement.

Federal Pacific Panel: The Hidden Danger in Your Home

The History of the Federal Pacific Panel

In the early 1900s, the Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) was a leading manufacturer of electrical panels. Their panels were used in many homes and businesses across the country, including in the North Providence area. The company was known for its innovative designs and safety features, and their panels were widely trusted and popular among electricians and homeowners alike.

However, in the 1980s, independent testing laboratories found that FPE panels were failing to operate correctly during overload situations. Initially, it was believed that the issue was due to a defective circuit breaker. As a result, a recall was initiated, and the company issued an apology and offered free replacement circuit breakers. However, later testing revealed that the problem was not limited to the circuit breakers but with the entire panel.

In 1983, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) conducted an investigation and concluded that FPE panels were a potential fire hazard. They discovered that the panels had a high failure rate and failed to trip even in extreme overload situations, causing the breakers to melt and start a fire. The CPSC deemed FPE panels to be defective and a potential danger to homeowners, and recommended immediate replacement.

The Consequences of Having a Federal Pacific Panel

It’s alarming to know that FPE panels have such a high failure rate, and yet, continue to remain in many homes in North Providence, Rhode Island, and across the country. The potential consequences of having an FPE panel in your home are severe, ranging from electrical fires to electrocutions. As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of your family and property, and therefore, it’s essential to understand the risks associated with having an FPE panel.

Fire Hazard: As mentioned earlier, FPE panels have a high failure rate and are not reliable in overload situations. This means that if there is an excessive flow of electricity, the breakers may not trip, and the wires may overheat, potentially causing a fire.

Electrocution: The poor performance of FPE panels is not limited to overload situations. In some cases, the breakers may fail to trip even when there is a short circuit, resulting in electrocution.

Insurance Issues: Many insurance companies are aware of the potential risks associated with FPE panels and may refuse to provide coverage or charge a higher premium for homes with these panels. In some cases, if a home has an FPE panel and suffers from a fire, the insurance company may deny the claim.

Difficulty in Reselling: If you plan on selling your home in the future, having an FPE panel may pose a problem. Many home inspectors will likely flag an FPE panel as a safety issue, making it challenging to find a buyer. This issue can potentially delay or even derail a home sale.

Signs That You Have an FPE Panel

As a homeowner, it’s essential to be vigilant and keep a lookout for any warning signs that indicate you have an FPE panel in your home. Here are some of the signs to look out for:

Age of Your Home: FPE panels were commonly used in homes built between 1950 and 1980. If your home falls within this timeframe, there is a high possibility that you have an FPE panel.

Label on the Panel: Take a look at your electrical panel, and if you see the name Federal Pacific or FPE, it’s a clear indication that you have an FPE panel.

Rust and Corrosion: Visual inspection is an essential aspect of maintaining your electrical panel. If you notice any rust or corrosion on your FPE panel, it’s a sign that it’s time for a replacement.

Unexplainable Tripped Breakers: If you find that your circuit breakers are tripping frequently, and there doesn’t seem to be an apparent reason, it could be a sign of an FPE panel. This type of panel often does not trip when it’s supposed to, leading to frequent tripping of the breakers.

Overheating Appliances: FPE panels are known to cause overheating in appliances. If you notice that your appliances are getting unusually hot, it could be because of your FPE panel not functioning correctly.

What Should You Do if You Have an FPE Panel?

If you suspect that you have an FPE panel or have identified one in your home, it’s essential to take action immediately. The first step is to contact a licensed electrician who is experienced in dealing with FPE panels. In the North Providence area, B&K Electric is a family-owned and operated electrical business that has been serving the community for over 17 years. Our team of qualified electricians is well-equipped to handle all your electrical needs, including FPE panel replacement.

The replacement of an FPE panel is not a task that can be completed by just any electrician. It requires specialized knowledge and expertise to ensure that the installation is done correctly and safely. At B&K Electric, we take pride in our work and prioritize the safety of our customers above everything else. When you choose us to replace your FPE panel, you can rest assured that you are receiving top-quality service from a trusted, experienced, and licensed professional.

In Conclusion

We often overlook the things that are not visible or immediately noticeable. However, when it comes to the safety of our loved ones and our property, it’s crucial to be diligent and proactive. If you are a homeowner in the 02904 zip code and have an FPE panel, it’s time to take action. Don’t put your family at risk; contact B&K Electric today for a professional FPE panel replacement. With our trusted service and expertise, you can have peace of mind knowing that your home is safe and secure.


Federal Pacific Panel hazards,

FPE panel replacement,

electrical safety