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Federal Pacific Breaker Panels

Federal Pacific (FPE) Stab-Lok brand breaker panels were installed from the 1950's to the 1980's. FPE was one of the most common brand breaker panel, millions of these breaker panels were installed in home's and business's across the country. Many home inspectors and electricians have found that although the FPE panels appear to work fine, they fail to provide the intended protection to homeowners and their families when needed.

In 2002, in the state of New Jersey, the FPE company was the subject of a lawsuit. The lawsuit states that FPE violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. FPE cheated during its testing of circuit breakers in order to obtain a Underwriters Labratories (UL) approval. Underwriters Labratories approves electrical products to be distributed to consumers, such as with circuit breakers, they ensure that a breaker provides the protection that it was intended to provide to the consumer. FPE's cheating during testing of their circuit breakers has allowed faulty breakers to be installed in their brand breaker panels.

Circuit breakers are an automatically operated switch that is designed to protect against damage caused by an overload. It will automatically trip when an overload exists, causing the current flow to stop. The majority of wiring in a home is 14 gauge and 20 gauge wiring, a circuit breaker is sized (15amp or 20amp) depending on the wiring it supplies current to. 14 gauge wiring is rated at 15amps, the breaker suppling current to a 14 gauge wire should never be rated more than 15amps for that circuit.

Federal Pcific Stab-Lok Distinct Failures
  • A fire and shock can result due to the breaker's failure to trip in an overcurrent situation.
  • Arcing and overheating can cause the case of the breaker's to "blow out".
  • The breaker may appear to be "on" even though breaker's indicator shows it is in the "off" position.

Breakers such as the FPE brand and it's inability to automatically shut of current flow will lead to dangerous problems. Wiring for a circuit, such as a bed room can become overheated from the overload of current causing the wiring to melt, receptacle outlets being used at that time may also melt or even worse, start on fire.

If you suspect that you may have the FPE Stab-Lok brand breaker panel in your home, you should have it evaluated by a liecensed electrician. Ultimately, these panels should be replaced because of their poor history and defects that have caused extentsive damage to home's and business's. Wagner Electric will inspect your breaker panel and breakers for defects and give you the proper recommendation for replacement equipment.

Call Wagner Electric today to have your electrical service evaluated.


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