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Federal Pacific Electric Panels


As a homeowner in Washington Park, Providence, you take immense pride in your residence. You meticulously decorate your house, maintain its exterior, and regularly take care of any necessary repairs. But amidst all these tasks, do you ever think about the state of your electrical panel?

If you’re like most homeowners, the answer is probably no. Electrical panels, also known as breaker boxes, are the central hub of your home’s electrical system. They distribute power from the main line to the various outlets and appliances in your home. However, not all panels are created equal, and one type that has been gaining attention for its potential dangers is the Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panel.

At B&K Electric, our team specializes in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation. We understand the importance of a functioning and safe electrical system, which is why we want to educate our community on the potential hazards of FPE panels and how you can keep your home and family safe.

What is an FPE Panel?

Federal Pacific Electric is a now-defunct company that produced electrical panels from the 1950s to the 1980s. These panels were widely used in residential homes because they were affordable and easy to install. However, from the 1980s onwards, these panels were found to have numerous flaws, including faulty circuit breakers and lack of proper insulation.

The primary issue with FPE panels is their inability to trip properly when a circuit overloads or short-circuits. This means that in the event of a power surge or malfunction, these panels may not shut off, potentially leading to a fire or electrocution. In fact, a study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that FPE panels were responsible for thousands of electrical fires in the United States.

Why are FPE Panels Still in Use?

Despite the known dangers, there are still numerous FPE panels in use in homes across the country. Part of the reason for this is that FPE panels were never officially recalled by the CPSC. Instead, the company went bankrupt and was no longer in business to address the issue. Additionally, many homeowners are unaware of the potential hazards of these panels and continue to use them without even realizing the danger.

Another reason for the continued use of FPE panels is the presence of grand-fathered clauses in building codes. These clauses allow older homes to continue using outdated technology as long as it was initially installed and has not undergone any renovations. This means that many homes with FPE panels are still deemed up to code and have not been required to make any changes.

The Risks of FPE Panels

Living with an FPE panel in your home poses significant risks not only to your property but also to the safety of anyone living in or visiting your residence. The most crucial risk is the potential for an electrical fire. FPE panels have been known to overheat, leading to fires that can quickly spread and cause extensive damage to your home and put your loved ones at risk.

Additionally, FPE panels have been found to increase the likelihood of electrocution. Faulty breakers and lack of proper insulation can lead to electrical shocks that can be severe and potentially fatal. With the safety of your family on the line, it’s crucial to take action if you have an FPE panel in your home.

What Can You Do?

If you live in a home built before the 1990s, it’s essential to have your electrical panel inspected by a qualified electrician. If you discover that you have an FPE panel, the safest course of action is to have it replaced immediately. At B&K Electric, our team of licensed electricians is well-versed in handling all types of electrical panels and can safely replace your FPE panel with a newer and safer option.

Additionally, be wary of DIY solutions or quick fixes for FPE panels. Due to the extensive damage caused by these panels, many insurance companies will now refuse to cover homes with FPE panels, or they may require significant updates to the electrical system before insuring the property. By choosing a licensed electrician to handle the replacement, you can ensure that your home is in compliance with all safety and building codes.

Protect Your Home and Loved Ones

It’s easy to overlook potential dangers in our homes, especially when they are not immediately visible. However, as homeowners, it’s our responsibility to ensure the safety of our properties and loved ones. By being aware of the potential hazards of FPE panels and taking proactive measures to replace them, you can protect your home and family from the dangers of these outdated panels.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you live in Washington Park, Providence, or the surrounding areas of Cranston and Warwick, contact B&K Electric for a thorough panel inspection and replacement if necessary. Your safety is our top priority, and we take pride in serving our community with quality and reliable electrical services.


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