Federal Pacific Breaker Box
As a licensed electrician specializing in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation, B&K Electric has encountered numerous federal pacific breaker boxes in our seventeen years of serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island. We understand the importance of keeping your home and business safe, and we are dedicated to educating our customers on the potential hazards associated with these obsolete breaker boxes.
But before we dive into the potential risks, let’s first understand what a federal pacific breaker box is and why it was once a popular choice for homeowners.
A federal pacific breaker box, also known as a Stab-Lok breaker box, is an electrical panel designed to distribute electricity throughout a building. It consists of circuit breakers that can be flipped on or off to control the flow of electricity to different areas or appliances in a home or business. These breaker boxes were manufactured by the Federal Pacific Electric Company, which once held a significant market share in the electrical industry.
One of the main reasons why federal pacific breaker boxes were popular was their affordable price. During the post-World War II era, there was a high demand for housing, and many homes were built quickly and cheaply. As a result, federal pacific breaker boxes were chosen by builders due to their affordability and availability in the market.
Additionally, these breaker boxes were popular because they were advertised as being fire-resistant and having a lifetime guarantee. However, as time passed, numerous safety concerns and defects were discovered, making these guarantees questionable.
In the 1980s, testing by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that an alarming number of federal pacific breaker boxes failed to trip when overloaded, causing fire hazards. The investigation also found that the Stab-Lok circuit breakers had a higher rate of failure than any other brand on the market.
Furthermore, experts have also raised concerns about the design of these breaker boxes, which involves the use of bus bars, which are thin strips of metal that conduct and distribute electrical current. These bus bars were found to be poorly aligned, causing them to overheat and potentially cause fires.
But the danger does not end there. In addition to these existing safety concerns, federal pacific breaker boxes have also been found to be easily damaged by heat, moisture, and other environmental factors, increasing the risk of electrical fires and shocks.
In light of these safety concerns, it is highly recommended that homeowners in Washington Park Providence, Rhode Island, and across the nation, get their federal pacific breaker boxes inspected by a licensed electrician. B&K Electric has encountered several of these breaker boxes in our years of servicing homes and businesses, and in most cases, we recommend replacing them entirely.
If you are unsure whether your home or business has a federal pacific breaker box, look for the brand name on the panel’s interior cover or on the circuit breakers themselves. If you are still unsure, it is always better to err on the side of caution and have a licensed electrician inspect your electrical panel.
Replacing a federal pacific breaker box is not a job that should be taken lightly or attempted by the average homeowner. It requires extensive knowledge, skill, and experience to ensure that the new panel is installed correctly and safely. That is why it is crucial to hire a licensed and qualified electrician like B&K Electric, who specializes in panel maintenance and installation.
While federal pacific breaker boxes were once a popular and affordable choice for homes and businesses, it is essential to be aware of the safety concerns and defects associated with these outdated panels. As a homeowner in Washington Park Providence, Rhode Island, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your home and family. So, do not hesitate to have your federal pacific breaker box inspected by a licensed electrician, and if needed, replaced with a newer and safer panel. Your safety is our top priority.