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Federal Pacific Breakers


All homeowners know the importance of electricity in their daily lives. From powering our appliances and gadgets to keeping our homes safe and well-lit, electricity is an essential part of our modern lifestyle. However, many homeowners may not be familiar with the intricate systems that make electricity possible, especially when it comes to their circuit breakers.

Here in Washington Park, a charming and diverse neighborhood in Providence, Rhode Island, homeowners may be faced with an array of electrical issues over time. From faulty wiring to blown fuses, there are many potential pitfalls that can cause inconvenience and even danger. This is where the expertise of a licensed electrician like B&K Electric comes in.

Based in nearby Warwick, Rhode Island, B&K Electric is a family-owned and operated business that has been proudly serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over seventeen years. With a focus on community and customer service, B&K Electric has become a trusted and reliable name in the residential electrical industry. They specialize in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation, making them the go-to electrician for homes and businesses in Warwick and the rest of the greater Providence area.

But among the many electrical issues that homeowners may face, one that is often overlooked is the importance of having a safe and reliable circuit breaker. In this article, we will delve into the world of federal pacific breakers, their history, and why homeowners should pay close attention to their condition.


Before we dive into the specifics of federal pacific breakers, let us first discuss a bit of history about these electrical systems. Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) was the main manufacturer of circuit breakers for homes and businesses across the United States between the 1950s and 1980s. At the time, their circuit breakers were favored for their affordability and availability, and they became the leading supplier for many electrical contractors.

However, by the late 1980s, safety concerns were brought to light regarding FPE’s circuit breakers. In 1983, a study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that FPE’s breakers did not meet UL standards, making them potentially hazardous. This led to a series of class-action lawsuits and recalls, ultimately resulting in FPE going out of business in 1987.

Despite this, an estimated 28 million homes in the United States still have these breakers installed, posing a serious safety risk to homeowners.

Impact on Homeowners

Now, what does this mean for homeowners here in Washington Park and the rest of Providence? The biggest concern about federal pacific breakers is their potential to fail during an electrical overload, causing a circuit to continue to draw electricity when it should be shut off. This could lead to overheating, fires, or even electrocution.

In addition, due to the outdated design and materials used in these breakers, they are more susceptible to wear and tear, making them less reliable over time. They may also not trip as quickly as they should, putting your home at risk for electrical hazards.

Furthermore, homes with these breakers may have difficulty passing inspection, which can lead to complications when trying to sell the property. Insurance companies may also raise premiums or deny coverage for homes with federal pacific breakers installed, as they are considered a high-risk electrical system.

What to Look for

If you are a homeowner in Washington Park or the greater Providence area, there are a few signs that you can look for to determine if you have federal pacific breakers installed in your home. First, look for the label indicating the manufacturer on your circuit breaker. If it says Federal Pacific Electric or FPE, then you may have these breakers installed.

Another indication is the age of your breaker. As mentioned earlier, FPE was the leading supplier between the 1950s and 1980s, so if your home was built within this time frame, chances are you have these breakers. Lastly, pay attention to any recurring electrical issues, such as tripped breakers or warm outlets, as these could be signs of a faulty system.

Solution and Next Steps

If you suspect that you have federal pacific breakers in your home, it is important to take action to ensure the safety and reliability of your electrical system. The best solution is to have them replaced with newer, safer circuit breakers. As this is a complex and potentially dangerous task, it is strongly advised to seek the help of a licensed electrician.

Here in Rhode Island, B&K Electric specializes in panel upgrade services, which includes replacing outdated and unsafe circuit breakers. With their expertise and experience, they can efficiently and effectively replace your federal pacific breakers with reliable and up-to-code breakers, giving you peace of mind and ensuring the safety of your home and family.

As a homeowner in Washington Park, it is crucial to be aware of the potential hazards of federal pacific breakers and take the necessary steps to address them. By understanding the history and impact of these breakers, and seeking the help of a licensed electrician, you can ensure the safety and reliability of your home’s electrical system. And with the help of B&K Electric, you can rest assured that your home is in good hands when it comes to electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation.


Federal Pacific Breakers,

Electrical Safety,

Panel Upgrade.