Federal Pacific Breaker Panel
Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State for its expansive coastline and picturesque beaches. But beyond its charming seaside towns and vibrant communities, there is a hidden danger lurking in many homes – the Federal Pacific breaker panel. Located in Cranston and Providence zip code 02907, homeowners in this area should be aware of the potential hazards associated with these older electrical panels. As a homeowner, it is important to understand the potential dangers of outdated electrical panels and the importance of regular maintenance and timely replacement. This article will delve into the specifics of the Federal Pacific breaker panel, its potential hazards, and why it is crucial to hire a licensed electrician such as B&K Electric based in Warwick, RI, to service and replace these panels.
Federal Pacific Electric Company was a manufacturer of circuit breakers and electrical panels used in residential and commercial buildings from the 1950s to the 1980s. During this time, they were one of the leading brands in the industry, with their products being installed in millions of homes across the country. However, it was later discovered that these panels and breakers were not as reliable and safe as initially believed, leading to numerous safety concerns and legal actions.
The main issue with Federal Pacific breaker panels is their inability to properly trip and shut off power during an overload or short circuit. This can result in overheating, which can lead to electrical fires and electrocution. In fact, numerous studies and tests have shown that these panels have a higher likelihood of failing to trip compared to other brands. In essence, a Federal Pacific breaker panel poses a significant fire risk to homeowners.
Now, you may be wondering why these panels were installed in so many homes if they were known to be problematic. Unfortunately, the answer lies in past industry practices and inadequate testing standards. Back in the 1950s to 1980s, there were no strict regulations in place for electrical products. Companies like Federal Pacific were allowed to self-certify their products, meaning that they could test and approve their own products without any oversight or outside evaluations. This resulted in many faulty products making their way into the market, including the Federal Pacific breaker panels.
So, how can you tell if your home has a Federal Pacific breaker panel? One way is to simply check the panel itself. These panels usually have the brand name Federal Pacific Electric or Stab-Lok printed on the front. However, it is important to note that not all panels with these names are faulty. If you are unsure, it is best to have a licensed electrician inspect your panel. Additionally, if you experience any of the following warning signs, it is imperative to have your panel checked immediately:
1. Frequent tripping. If your circuit breakers are constantly tripping, it can be a sign of an overloaded circuit, or a faulty breaker panel.
2. Burn marks or charred smell. This can indicate overheating and potential fire hazards within the panel.
3. Flickering lights. If your lights flicker when you turn on a high-powered appliance, it could be a sign of an overloaded circuit or a faulty breaker panel.
4. Sizzling or buzzing sounds coming from the panel. These sounds are not normal and should be addressed by a licensed electrician immediately.
5. Constantly replacing fuses. Old fuse-based Federal Pacific breaker panels are especially concerning as they are more prone to overheating and failing to reset after a trip.
If your home has a Federal Pacific breaker panel, do not wait to have it replaced. The longer you wait, the higher the risk of electrical fires and other safety hazards. It is estimated that these panels are responsible for thousands of fires and injuries each year in the United States.
At B&K Electric, we understand the importance of safeguarding your home and your family from potential hazards. Our licensed electricians have the expertise and experience to handle all your electrical needs, including panel maintenance and replacements. We are a family-owned and operated business based in Warwick, RI, and have been proudly serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over 17 years. Our commitment to excellent customer service and community involvement sets us apart from other electrical companies. Make B&K Electric your go-to electrician for all your electrical needs in the Warwick and greater Providence area.
As a homeowner in Rhode Island, it is crucial to be aware of the potential hazards of the Federal Pacific breaker panel. Don’t take any chances when it comes to the safety of your home and family. If you suspect your home has a Federal Pacific breaker panel, contact a licensed electrician immediately. By taking proactive measures and investing in regular maintenance and timely replacements, you can ensure the safety and well-being of your home and loved ones for years to come.