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Federal Pacific Panels


As a homeowner in the Washington Park Providence zip code of 02905, one of the primary things you must be concerned about is the safety and functionality of your electrical system. While we may take electricity for granted in our daily lives, it is essential to remember that it has the potential to be dangerous if not properly maintained and installed.

At B&K Electric, a family-owned and operated business based in Warwick, RI, we understand the importance of a safe and efficient electrical system for our customers. With over seventeen years of experience serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island, we specialize in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation. In this article, we will specifically focus on Federal Pacific Panels and their potential safety hazards for homeowners in Washington Park Providence.

But first, let’s understand what Federal Pacific Panels are and why they are a cause for concern.

What are Federal Pacific Panels?

Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) was a popular manufacturer of electrical panels in the United States from the 1950s to the 1980s. Their panels were installed in millions of homes across the country, including many in Washington Park Providence. FPE panels were used to control the distribution of electricity from the main electrical supply to different circuits in the house.

Why are Federal Pacific Panels considered a potential safety hazard?

In recent years, FPE panels have gained notoriety for potential safety hazards. This is due to the panels’ design flaws and manufacturing defects, which can result in unsafe conditions and increased risk of electrical fires.

One significant issue with FPE panels is their inability to properly trip a circuit breaker during an overload or short circuit. Circuit breakers are designed to trip and shut off the flow of electricity in case of a fault to prevent overheating and fires. However, with FPE panels, the breakers can fail to trip, leading to the circuits becoming overloaded and potentially causing a fire. Many of these panels also do not meet modern safety standards, making them a potential risk for homeowners.

Moreover, FPE panels have been found to have significant design flaws, causing loose connections and arcing, leading to potential fires. While other panel manufacturers use copper bus bars to distribute electricity, FPE panels use aluminum bus bars. Aluminum is known to have a higher rate of expansion and contraction due to temperature changes, making it more prone to lose connections. These loose connections can result in overheating, arcing, and fire.

What can homeowners in Washington Park Providence do if they have an FPE panel?

If you are a homeowner in Washington Park Providence and suspect that you have an FPE panel installed in your home, it is essential to have it inspected by a licensed electrician immediately. As an electrician with a wealth of experience in the residential industry, B&K Electric can accurately assess the safety and functionality of your FPE panel. We can inspect the panel for any signs of defects and recommend the appropriate course of action. This may include panel replacement or upgrading the panel to meet modern safety standards.

It is crucial to note that FPE panels were never recalled and are not illegal to have in your home. However, it is still in the homeowner’s best interest to have them inspected and, if necessary, replaced to ensure the safety of their family and property.

What are some signs that your FPE panel may need to be replaced?

While an inspection by a licensed electrician is the only way to accurately determine if your FPE panel needs to be replaced, there are some warning signs that homeowners can look out for, such as:

– Frequent tripping of circuit breakers: If your circuit breakers trip often, it could be an indication that your panel is not functioning properly.

– Burning odors: If you smell a burning odor near or coming from your panel, it could be a sign of loose connections and potential fire hazards.

– Buzzing or crackling sounds: These noises could indicate arcing or loose connections within the panel.

– Flickering or dimming lights: If your lights flicker or dim when appliances are turned on, it could be due to an overloaded panel.

To conclude

Homeowners in Washington Park Providence should be aware of the potential safety hazards associated with Federal Pacific Panels. As a family-owned and operated electrical business, B&K Electric prioritizes the safety and satisfaction of our customers. If you suspect that you have an FPE panel in your home, do not hesitate to contact us for an inspection and recommendations for panel maintenance or replacement.


Federal Pacific Panels,

Safety Hazards,

Electrical Systems