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Replacing Federal Pacific Breakers


For homeowners in Providence, Rhode Island, ensuring the safety and functionality of their electrical panel is crucial. A properly functioning electrical panel ensures that all the appliances and devices in your home receive the necessary power to work efficiently. However, as with all things, some electrical panels can experience issues and need to be either repaired or replaced. In particular, Federal Pacific (FPE) breakers have become a concern for homeowners in recent years. If you reside in Providence and are considering replacing your FPE breakers, this article is for you.

As a family-owned and operated electrical business based in Warwick, RI, B&K Electric has been serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over seventeen years. We specialize in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation, making us the go-to electrician for homes and businesses in the Warwick area and the greater Providence area. In this article, we will delve into the dangers of Federal Pacific breakers, how to identify them, and the steps you can take to replace them, ensuring the safety of your home and family.

What are Federal Pacific Breakers?

In the 1950s and 1960s, Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) was a leading manufacturer of circuit breakers in the United States. As a result, many homes built during this period were installed with FPE electrical panels. However, it was later discovered that these breakers had design and manufacturing defects that could potentially cause them to malfunction and fail to trip in the event of an overload or short circuit.

What makes FPE breakers dangerous is that when they fail to trip, they can become overloaded, resulting in excessive heat that can lead to fires. This has been a major cause of concern for homeowners, as studies have shown that FPE breakers have a high failure rate and can cause severe damage if neglected.

Identifying Federal Pacific Breakers

If your home was built between the 1950s and 1980s, there is a high possibility that it has FPE breakers. The easiest way to identify FPE breakers in your electrical panel is by looking for the company’s name or logo. You can also check the breakers for a red strip dot, which is an indication that the breaker has been tripped. If you come across FPE breakers in your panel, it is essential to have them replaced by a licensed electrician as soon as possible.

Replacing Federal Pacific Breakers

Replacing FPE breakers is not a task for the average homeowner. It requires the expertise of a licensed electrician who is well-versed in handling electrical panels and the dangers associated with FPE breakers. As a responsible homeowner, it is vital to have your FPE breakers replaced to eliminate potential hazards and ensure the safety of your home and family. Here are the steps involved in replacing FPE breakers:

1. Hire a Licensed Electrician

The first step in replacing your FPE breakers is to hire a licensed electrician who is reputable and experienced. A licensed electrician will be able to assess your electrical panel and provide you with the best course of action. They will also give you an estimate of the cost involved and the timeline for the replacement process.

2. Turn Off the Power

The next step is to turn off the power to your home. This should be done carefully and correctly to avoid any accidents. The licensed electrician will locate your electrical panel and shut off the main breaker. This will ensure that no electricity is running through your home, making it safe for the replacement process.

3. Remove the FPE Breakers

Once the power is off, the electrician will carefully remove the FPE breakers from your panel. They will also inspect the wires for any damage and make the necessary repairs or replacements before installing the new breakers.

4. Install the New Breakers

After removing the old breakers, the electrician will install the new breakers in your panel and ensure that they are correctly wired and connected. They will also check the connections to make sure there are no loose wires that can cause issues in the future.

5. Turn the Power Back On

Once the new breakers are installed, the electrician will turn the power back on and test the breakers to ensure they are functioning correctly. They will also check for any issues or faults and make any necessary adjustments.

Closing considerations

Replacing FPE breakers in your Providence home is crucial in ensuring the safety and functionality of your electrical panel. As a reputable and experienced electrical business, B&K Electric specializes in panel maintenance and installation, making us your go-to electrician for all your electrical needs in the greater Providence area.

If you suspect that your home has FPE breakers, do not hesitate to reach out to us for a thorough inspection and replacement service. Our team of licensed electricians is dedicated to providing quality and reliable services that will keep your home and family safe. Don’t compromise the safety of your home and loved ones – contact us today for all your electrical needs.


FPE breakers,

Electrical panel replacement,

Home safety.