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Federal Pacific Electric Panel


The electrical panel, also known as the circuit breaker box, is the heart of any home’s electrical system. It acts as the main distribution center for all the electricity flowing through a house, controlling and protecting the electrical circuits and devices. A properly functioning electrical panel is crucial for the safety and efficiency of a home’s electricity supply. However, not all electrical panels are created equal. In fact, there is one brand that has received increasing concern and scrutiny in recent years: the Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panel.

If you are a homeowner in Cranston, Warwick, or anywhere in Rhode Island, there is a high probability that your house might be equipped with an FPE panel. According to Warwick-based B&K Electric, a family-owned and operated electrical business with over 17 years of experience, they have seen a significant number of FPE panels in their service area. FPE panels have been found to have significant issues that may put homes and families at risk.

As a licensed electrician serving Cranston and the greater Providence area, B&K Electric has encountered many issues related to FPE panels. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide about FPE panels, from their history to maintenance and replacement options, to help you make an informed decision about the safety and functionality of your home’s electrical panel.

Understanding FPE Panels

In the early 1950s, Federal Pacific Electric started producing electrical panels, which soon became incredibly popular among homebuilders for their cost-effectiveness. By the 1980s, almost 28 million FPE panels had been installed in homes across the United States. However, as homeowners started to demand more electricity to run their modern-day appliances and devices, concerns about the safety of these panels began to emerge.

The issue with FPE panels lies in their faulty design and construction. The breakers inside the panels do not trip when they should, leading to a significant fire hazard. According to a study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the 1980s, nearly 2,800 fires were caused by FPE panels every year. Furthermore, the electrical breakers have also been found to fail to open circuits, leading to overheating and potentially causing electrocution or fires.

Aside from these safety concerns, FPE panels are also known to have outdated technology, making them inadequate for powering today’s modern homes. As such, many insurance companies refuse to insure homes equipped with FPE panels, and some mortgage lenders may even require the panels to be replaced before issuing a loan. As a homeowner, it is essential to understand the potential risks associated with keeping an FPE panel in your home and the options available for ensuring the safety of your electrical system.

Maintenance and Replacement Options for FPE Panels

The first step in ensuring the safety of your home’s electrical system is to have a licensed electrician, like B&K Electric, inspect your FPE panel. They will be able to identify the panel’s model and age, and evaluate its condition and safety concerns. Here are some potential options for addressing an FPE panel in your home:

– Replacing the breakers: In some cases, replacing the breakers inside an FPE panel may improve its functionality. However, this is not a recommended solution as it does not address the panel’s underlying design issues.

– Upgrading the panel: If the FPE panel is still functioning but is unable to meet the electrical demands of your home, upgrading to a larger panel may solve this issue. However, this option is more expensive, and the panel would still have the same safety concerns.

– Full panel replacement: The most recommended solution is to replace the entire FPE panel with a modern, safe, and updated panel. It is a long-term solution that ensures the safety and functionality of your home’s electrical system.

As a trusted electrician based in Warwick, B&K Electric has seen firsthand the importance and benefits of replacing an FPE panel. They have worked with numerous homeowners in Cranston and the entire Rhode Island area to upgrade their electrical panels to meet their electricity demands safely and efficiently.

The Importance of Working with a Licensed Electrician

When it comes to electrical work, it is crucial to only trust a licensed electrician to handle your home’s electrical system. Attempting to address an FPE panel issue on your own or hiring an unlicensed individual can put you and your family at risk. A licensed electrician, like B&K Electric, has the necessary training, knowledge, and experience to handle the intricacies of electrical systems and ensure their safety and functionality.

In addition to being licensed, B&K Electric also takes pride in their community and customer service-oriented approach. As a family-owned and operated business, they understand the importance of building relationships and treating their customers like family. They prioritize honesty, open communication, and transparency, ensuring that their clients have all the information they need to make informed decisions about their homes.

To summarize

FPE panels have been a cause for concern in homes across the United States, including Cranston and Warwick, Rhode Island. Their faulty design and outdated technology make them a safety hazard, and they may not be able to meet the electricity demands of modern-day homes. As a homeowner, it is essential to have your FPE panel inspected by a licensed electrician, and consider replacement options to ensure the safety and functionality of your home’s electrical system.

If you live in Cranston, Warwick, or anywhere in Rhode Island, B&K Electric is your go-to electrician for all your electrical needs. Their experienced and licensed electricians will work with you to identify and address any issues with your FPE panel, ensuring the safety and efficiency of your home’s electrical system. Contact them today for a consultation and let them help you make your home a safer place for you and your family.


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