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Federal Pacific Electric Panel


It’s a typical summer afternoon in Cranston, Providence, Rhode Island, and you’re enjoying the comforts of your air-conditioned home. As you sit down to relax and watch television, you suddenly hear a loud pop and all of your lights and appliances shut off. Panic sets in as you realize that you have no power. You rush to your electrical panel to check for any tripped breakers, but to your surprise, everything appears to be functioning properly. What could be the cause of this sudden power outage? The answer may lie in your Federal Pacific Electric Panel.

If you’re a homeowner in Rhode Island, there’s a good chance that your home is equipped with a Federal Pacific Electric Panel. It’s estimated that over 28 million homes in the United States still have these panels installed, and the majority of them were built before 1990. These panels were once a popular choice due to their affordability, but they have since become a major concern for homeowners, electricians, and insurance companies alike.

As a homeowner, it’s crucial to understand the potential hazards associated with a Federal Pacific Electric Panel and the steps you can take to ensure the safety of your home and family. In this article, we’ll dive into the history of Federal Pacific Electric Panels, their common issues, and the importance of seeking a licensed electrician, like B&K Electric, for servicing needs. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of how to protect your home in Zip Code 02910 and beyond.

The History of Federal Pacific Electric Panels

Federal Pacific Electric Panels, also known as FPE panels, were popularly used in homes and businesses from the 1950s and up until the 1980s. They were manufactured by Federal Pacific Electric Company, a New Jersey-based company, which operated from 1950 to 1980. The company heavily marketed their panels as a cost-effective option for homeowners, and as a result, many homes across the country were equipped with them.

However, in the 1980s, alarming reports began to surface regarding the safety of these panels. An investigative journalist by the name of William P. Koga published a series of articles in the New Jersey Ledger, uncovering the concerning connections between Federal Pacific Electric Company and Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a safety consulting and certification company. Koga found that UL had never fully tested or certified the FPE panels, and that the company was aware of the panels’ potential hazards but continued to sell them anyway.

The Common Issues with Federal Pacific Electric Panels

Studies have shown that Federal Pacific Electric Panels are responsible for a significant number of electrical fires in homes across the country. In fact, it’s estimated that these panels may be responsible for up to 2,800 electrical fires per year, resulting in 13 deaths and over $40 million in property damage. How can a panel, designed for the purpose of distributing electricity safely, be a potential hazard?

The main issue with FPE panels lies in their design and manufacturing process. These panels were not up to UL’s safety standards, and their components were known to be poorly made and prone to failure. FPE panels have been found to have issues such as loose connections, faulty breakers, and a lack of proper insulation. These issues can lead to overloading of circuits, short circuits, and ultimately, electrical fires.

The Dangers of Not Addressing a Federal Pacific Electric Panel

If you have a Federal Pacific Electric Panel in your home, it’s essential to address the issue as soon as possible. Not only are you risking the safety of your home and family, but you may also face obstacles when trying to sell your home. Many insurance companies are aware of the issues with FPE panels, and some may refuse to provide coverage or charge higher premiums for homes equipped with them.

In addition to potential fire hazards, FPE panels can also cause damage to your electrical system and appliances. The faulty breakers and poor connections can lead to power surges, which can damage your electronics and appliances. This can result in costly repairs or replacements, adding up to thousands of dollars in expenses.

How B&K Electric Can Help

As a family-owned and operated electrical business based in Warwick, Rhode Island, B&K Electric has been proudly serving the residents of Cranston and all of Rhode Island for over seventeen years. We specialize in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation, making us your go-to electrician for your home or business in the Warwick and Providence areas.

Our team of licensed electricians is well-versed in addressing issues with Federal Pacific Electric Panels. We understand the potential dangers associated with these panels and can provide a thorough inspection to determine the best course of action for your home. We also offer panel replacement services using modern and safe options, ensuring the protection of your home and family.

Last reflections

As a homeowner in Zip Code 02910 and beyond, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential hazards associated with a Federal Pacific Electric Panel. These panels may have been popular in the past, but they are now known to have faulty components and can pose serious risks to your home and family. With the help of a licensed electrician, like B&K Electric, you can ensure the safety of your home and avoid costly repairs or replacements.

Remember, don’t take any chances when it comes to the safety of your home. If you suspect that your home may be equipped with a Federal Pacific Electric Panel, contact B&K Electric for a comprehensive inspection. We are dedicated to providing top-notch electrical services and ensuring the peace of mind of our customers. Let us be your trusted partner in keeping your home and family safe.


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