Federal Pacific Electric Panel
Welcome to Elmhurst, a cozy residential neighborhood located in zip code 02908 in Providence County, Rhode Island. Home to many families and individuals, Elmhurst takes pride in its peaceful and tight-knit community. As a homeowner in this lovely neighborhood, you want to ensure the safety and functionality of your house’s electrical systems. After all, it is the foundation of your home’s daily operations.
With over 17 years of experience, B&K Electric has been serving the communities of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island as a reliable and trusted family-owned and operated electrical business. We specialize in electrical repair, electrical panel maintenance and installation. We understand the importance of a well-maintained and functional electrical panel for any residential property, and that’s why we’re here to educate and guide you on the potential risks of having a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panel in your home.
Short Understanding the Risks of Federal Pacific Electric Panel
In the 1950s and 1960s, Federal Pacific Electric was one of the leading manufacturers of electrical panels in the United States. These panels were installed in millions of homes across the country, including Elmhurst and the greater Providence area. However, over the years, FPE panels have been found to have significant safety concerns that may put homeowners at risk of electrical fires and other hazards.
What is a Federal Pacific Electric Panel?
A Federal Pacific Electric panel is a type of electrical panel or circuit breaker box installed in residential properties in the mid-20th century. It was marketed as a cost-effective and reliable option for homeowners. These panels were widely used in homes built between the 1950s and 1980s, making it common in many older homes in Elmhurst and other neighborhoods in Providence County.
The panel box is responsible for distributing electricity throughout your home and providing protection from overloaded circuits. It consists of a series of circuit breakers that control the flow of electricity to various parts of your house. In simpler terms, the electrical panel is like the control center of your home’s electrical systems.
Why is a Federal Pacific Electric Panel a Safety Concern?
As the years go by, we’ve come to realize that the FPE panels have a high risk of malfunctioning and causing electrical hazards. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) conducted a study in the 1980s that deemed FPE panels to be faulty and potentially dangerous.
One of the main concerns with FPE panels is their inability to trip or shut off during an electrical overload. When a circuit becomes overloaded, the breaker is meant to trip and shut off the flow of electricity to prevent any hazards such as fires. However, FPE panels have been found to have a high failure rate in this aspect, which means that they may not trip when needed, increasing the risk of electrical fires.
Moreover, studies have shown that FPE panels may have defective circuit breakers that can overheat and cause sparks or fires. This is a serious safety concern that should not be ignored, especially if you own an older home in Elmhurst, where FPE panels were commonly installed.
How Can You Identify a Federal Pacific Electric Panel?
It can be challenging to tell if you have a Federal Pacific Electric panel in your home because they look similar to other electrical panels. However, here are a few ways to identify one:
– The label or name on the front of the panel will have the words “Federal Pacific Electric” or “FPE.”
– The breakers will have a Stab-Lok design, which is a unique and distinct design of FPE panels.
– You can also check your home’s inspection report or ask a licensed electrician to inspect your panel.
– Another indication is the age of your home. If your house was built between the 1950s and 1980s, there is a higher chance that it has an FPE panel.
What Should You Do If You Have an FPE Panel?
If you have a Federal Pacific Electric panel in your home, it’s crucial to take immediate action. While it may still function normally, the risks and safety concerns are too significant to ignore. The first step is to contact a licensed electrician like B&K Electric to properly assess and evaluate your electrical panel’s safety.
If necessary, it’s recommended to have the FPE panel replaced with a safer and more reliable option. A licensed electrician can guide you in choosing the right panel for your home’s electrical needs and ensure that it is installed properly.
As a responsible homeowner, it’s essential to prioritize the safety and functionality of your home’s electrical systems. If you have an older home in Elmhurst or the greater Providence area, there is a possibility that you may have a Federal Pacific Electric panel. It’s crucial to understand the potential risks and take action to protect your home and loved ones.
At B&K Electric, we take pride in providing top-notch electrical services to residential properties in Warwick and the surrounding areas. We are committed to ensuring the safety and satisfaction of our customers, and we are here to assist you with any electrical needs. Contact us today to schedule a safety inspection of your electrical panel and learn more about our services.