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Federal Pacific Breaker Box


As homeowners, we rely on numerous systems and appliances to keep our homes running smoothly. From HVAC systems to kitchen appliances, each component plays a crucial role in our daily lives. However, one of the most overlooked and yet essential components of our homes is the electrical system.

The electrical system is the backbone of every modern home, and without it, we wouldn’t be able to power our gadgets, appliances, and even lighting. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that our electrical systems are functioning properly and safely. One crucial aspect of the electrical system is the breaker box, which is responsible for distributing electricity throughout the home and protecting it from overloads and electrical fires.

We’ll be focusing on one specific type of breaker box – the Federal Pacific breaker box. For homeowners in Cranston, Providence, and the greater Rhode Island area, understanding the potential dangers associated with this type of breaker box is crucial for the safety of their homes. to Federal Pacific Breaker Box

In the early to mid 20th century, the Federal Pacific Electric Company was a leading manufacturer of electrical panels and circuit breakers, supplying millions of homes in the United States. However, in the 1980s, the company was embroiled in controversy when reports started emerging about their panels and breakers causing electrical fires.

It was found that Federal Pacific’s breakers were not built to the proper safety standards and were prone to malfunctioning and failing to trip during an overload or short circuit. As a result, homeowners were at risk of electrical fires and electrocution.

While the company ceased operations in 1980, there are still many homes, especially those built between 1950 to 1980, with Federal Pacific breaker boxes. This poses a significant risk for homeowners, and it’s essential to understand the potential dangers and take action to ensure the safety of your home.

Identifying a Federal Pacific Breaker Box

If your home was built between 1950 to 1980, there’s a high chance that you have a Federal Pacific breaker box. However, the only way to confirm this is by checking the label on the inside of the panel door. It should have the Federal Pacific Electric logo and the model number.

If you’re unable to open the panel or the label is missing, you can look for other tell-tale signs such as breakers that are difficult to reset or don’t stay in the ON or OFF position, flickering lights, or frequently tripping breakers. If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to get a licensed electrician to inspect your breaker box.

Why Federal Pacific Breaker Boxes are Dangerous

One of the main issues with Federal Pacific breaker boxes is their inability to trip during an overload or short circuit. This means that the circuit doesn’t get shut off, and electricity continues to flow, increasing the risk of electrical fires.

The breakers are also prone to malfunctioning due to their design, which uses a thin strip of metal to act as a switch. This strip of metal can easily overheat and cause a fire.

Furthermore, Federal Pacific breakers were not tested and approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a safety standard organization, as required by law. This means that the breakers were not held to the same safety standards as other brands, making them more hazardous.

Replacing a Federal Pacific Breaker Box

If you have a Federal Pacific breaker box, the safest option is to have it replaced by a licensed electrician. This will ensure that your home is no longer at risk of electrical fires caused by the faulty breakers.

Replacing a breaker box is not a DIY project and should be done by a professional. An electrician will start by turning off the power to your home and then removing the old breaker box. The new panel will then be installed, along with new breakers, and the electrical system will be reconnected and tested.

While this may seem like a costly and time-consuming process, it’s a small price to pay for the safety of your home and family.

In Conclusion

The Federal Pacific breaker box is a safety hazard that homeowners in Cranston, Providence, and the surrounding areas should not take lightly. With their faulty design and lack of safety approvals, they pose a significant risk of electrical fires, which can lead to property damage and even worse, harm to you and your loved ones.

Don’t wait for something to go wrong before getting your Federal Pacific breaker box inspected and replaced. Contact B&K Electric, a family-owned and operated electrical business with over seventeen years of experience serving the residents of Rhode Island. Our team of licensed electricians will ensure that your home’s electrical system is safe and up to code.


Federal Pacific breaker box,

homeowner safety,

electrical system maintenance and replacement.