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Federal Pacific Panels


As a homeowner living in zip code 02903 in Downtown Providence, Rhode Island, you may not have given much thought to your home’s electrical panel. However, this small and often forgotten about component of your home’s electrical system is crucial in providing safe and reliable electricity to your residence. But what if we told you that your home’s electrical panel could be putting you at risk? More specifically, if it’s a Federal Pacific panel, you could be facing a serious and potentially life-threatening hazard.

As the trusted electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation experts at B&K Electric, we have seen firsthand the dangers posed by Federal Pacific panels. Our family-owned and operated business has been proudly serving the residents of Downtown Providence and the greater Providence area for over seventeen years, and we believe it is our duty to inform homeowners like yourself about this critical issue. In this article, we will delve into the history of Federal Pacific panels, their potential hazards, and what you can do to ensure the safety of your home and loved ones.

The History of Federal Pacific Panels

Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) was a popular manufacturer of circuit breaker panels from the 1950s to the 1980s. Their panels were widely used in residential properties across the United States, including many homes in Providence. At the time, FPE panels were considered to be of high quality and were even endorsed by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the leading organization that sets safety standards for electrical products.

However, in 1982, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launched an investigation into FPE panels after reports of electrical fires caused by the panels. The CPSC found that FPE panels had significant design and manufacturing flaws, including components that could easily overheat and cause a fire. Despite proof of these hazards, FPE continued to deny and hide the issues, leading to the eventual bankruptcy of the company in 1986.

Despite the backlash and evidence against FPE, these panels remain in many homes today, including those in the Downtown Providence area. This poses a serious threat to homeowners and their families, as well as their properties.

The Hazards of Federal Pacific Panels

The primary danger of Federal Pacific panels lies in their inability to trip and interrupt the electrical current when a circuit becomes overloaded or short-circuits. This is the main function of circuit breaker panels, as it prevents excessive heat and potential fires. However, with FPE panels, this function often fails to work, leaving homes vulnerable to electrical fires.

In addition, FPE panels have been shown to have faulty and unreliable components such as circuit breakers and bus bars, which have a higher likelihood of causing an electrical fire. Moreover, these panels were built with outdated designs and materials, making them unable to handle the increased electrical demands of modern homes.

Another concerning issue with Federal Pacific panels is their age. Many of these panels were installed over 30 years ago, and as with any aging electrical component, wear and tear can affect their functionality and safety. This is especially concerning in Downtown Providence and the greater Providence area, where many homes were built during the era of FPE panels.

What Can You Do to Ensure Your Home’s Safety?

If you are a homeowner in Downtown Providence, it is essential to have your electrical panel inspected by a licensed electrician, especially if you suspect it to be a Federal Pacific panel. At B&K Electric, we specialize in panel maintenance and installations, and our team of experienced electricians can help identify and address any issues with your home’s electrical panel.

If our inspection reveals that your home does indeed have a Federal Pacific panel, we highly recommend replacing it as soon as possible. While this may seem like a costly and daunting task, it is crucial for the safety and wellbeing of your home and loved ones. By replacing your FPE panel with a newer and more reliable panel, you can have peace of mind knowing that your home is not at risk of an electrical fire.

In addition to replacing your panel, it is crucial to have your entire electrical system inspected and maintained regularly, especially if you live in an older home in Providence. This can help identify any potential hazards and ensure the safe operation of your home’s electrical system.

Trust B&K Electric for Your Electrical Needs

As a family-owned and operated business, B&K Electric is deeply invested in the safety and wellbeing of our community. We understand the concerns and needs of homeowners in Downtown Providence and the greater Providence area, and we are committed to providing the highest quality electrical services for our clients.

Make B&K Electric your go-to electrician for all your electrical needs. Whether it be repairing faulty wiring, maintaining your panel, or installing a new electrical system, we have the expertise and experience to get the job done safely and efficiently.


Federal Pacific panels,

electrical hazards,

home safety