Federal Pacific Electric Panels
As a homeowner in Providence, Rhode Island zip code 02909, it’s important to be aware of the potential hazards of having a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panel in your home. These panels, commonly found in homes built between the 1950s and 1980s, were once considered a cost-effective and reliable option for electrical distribution. However, in recent years, they have been discovered to be a major safety concern.
At B&K Electric, a family-owned and operated electrical business in Warwick, RI, we have been serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over 17 years. Our team of experienced electricians specializes in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation, and we are dedicated to keeping our community safe. With our expertise in dealing with FPE panels, we hope to educate homeowners on the potential risks and importance of replacement.
What are Federal Pacific Electric Panels?
FPE panels, also known as Stab-Lok panels, were manufactured by the Federal Pacific Electric Company from the 1950s to the 1980s. These panels were widely used in residential and commercial buildings, and at one point, were one of the most popular brands of electrical panels in the United States. They were also exported to many countries around the world, including Canada and Australia.
The design of FPE panels featured thin and breakable circuit breakers, which were supposed to trip in the event of an overload or short circuit. However, these breakers were found to be defective and failed to trip when necessary, causing a potential fire hazard. This issue, coupled with other design flaws, make FPE panels a major safety concern for homeowners.
The Risks of Having a Federal Pacific Electric Panel
Despite being popular among builders and homeowners, FPE panels have a long history of safety issues that have caused fire hazards and electrocutions. According to a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), FPE panels were responsible for over 2,800 electrical fires between 1983 and 1989 alone. The report also states that FPE breakers fail to trip an alarming 25% of the time, leading to potential fires and injuries.
What makes these panels even more dangerous is that the issues are not always visible. In fact, many FPE panels look perfectly normal from the outside, making it difficult for homeowners to identify if they have one. This means that even if you have been living in your home for years, you may still be at risk without realizing it.
In addition to the safety hazards, FPE panels are also known to cause power outages and electrical failures due to their design flaws. As the panels age, they become more prone to malfunctions, making it crucial to have them replaced as soon as possible.
The Importance of Replacing FPE Panels
As a homeowner, the safety of your family and property is of utmost importance. There is no price for peace of mind, and that’s why it is essential to have your FPE panel replaced. While it might seem like an extra expense, the cost of replacing an FPE panel is a small price to pay compared to the potential damage and danger it can cause.
Apart from safety concerns, another compelling reason to have your FPE panel replaced is the effect it can have on your homeowners’ insurance. Many insurance companies consider homes with FPE panels a high-risk category and may increase your premiums. Some companies may even refuse to insure or renew your policy if you have an FPE panel in your home.
Furthermore, if you plan on selling your home in the future, having an FPE panel can significantly decrease its value and make it difficult to find potential buyers. Most buyers are aware of the hazards of FPE panels and will request for them to be replaced before making their purchase.
Replacing an FPE Panel: What to Expect
If you have an FPE panel in your home, it’s essential to have it replaced by a licensed and experienced electrician, like the ones at B&K Electric. The process of replacing an FPE panel involves several steps and may take a few hours to complete, depending on the size and complexity of your home’s electrical system.
First, the electrician will assess your home’s electrical system and determine the appropriate size and type of panel to install. They will then turn off the power to your home and proceed to remove the old FPE panel and replace it with a new, safer one. Once installed, your electrician will test the panel and ensure that all circuits are functioning correctly. They will also label all the circuits for your safety and convenience.
It’s essential to note that replacing an FPE panel is not a DIY project. Attempting to do it yourself without the necessary experience can result in severe electric shock or fire hazards. It’s always best to leave it to the professionals to ensure the safety of you and your home.
As a homeowner, your family’s safety and the protection of your property are top priorities. If you have an FPE panel in your home, it’s crucial to have it replaced as soon as possible. At B&K Electric, our team of experienced and licensed electricians is dedicated to providing high-quality electrical services to our community. We understand the risks and concerns associated with FPE panels, and we are here to help keep your home safe.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact us today to schedule an inspection and have your FPE panel replaced with a safer and more reliable option. Your safety and peace of mind are worth the investment.