When it comes to electrical panels, one of the popular brands for the longest time is Federal Pacific. First introduced in the market in the 1950s, Federal Pacific panels were commonly installed in residential and commercial establishments initially in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and then throughout the world. Because of FPE Panels’ popularity despite their unreliability, many residential and commercial properties still have the outdated panels today.”
What are Federal Pacific Panels for?
At the core, a Federal Pacific electric panel, comes with a Federal Pacific Electrical breaker box called the FPE Stab-Lok breaker, is an essential device that is designed to safeguard a building against electrical surges and the consequential potential safety and electrical fire hazards. It does the job by cutting off the power whenever it detects abnormally excessive current flowing through the electrical wirings, refraining them from getting hot.
Like other breaker panels, FPE panels trip due to a detected short circuit or circuit overload. However, some FPE breakers have been criticized for not tripping as they were supposed to. After thorough investigation, the Consumer Product Safety Commission or CPSC has found out that more than half of the tested FPE breakers failed to trip. In most cases, despite the breaker’s “off” setting, the FPE Stab-Lok continued to power the circuit. Fire reports in the past suggest that this negligence accounts for as many as 2800 fire cases in the United States, killing 13 and incurring $40 million worth of property on a yearly average.
So, are FP panels still safe to use?
As per Federal Pacific Electric Company, their panels are designed to operate at an optimum for years from their installation unless and until perilous electrical problems arise. However, considering the aforementioned cases, the likelihood of them working perfectly fine and then suddenly malfunctioning is high and it will only take one overload or short-circuit incident to test their customers’ luck. On that note, CPSC recommends that licensed electrician’s checkup from time to time to see whether there are signs of malfunction or overheating among the circuit breakers, and to address underlying issues immediately.
Although the Stab-Lok breaker inspection job seems doable, it is a lot more complicated and dangerous than you think. Your trusted licensed electrician in Arvada, Co, in that of ElectriCall, will have to remove the breaker and test it to do what needs to be done and with such complexity, more often than not, it is a lot easier and cheaper to replace the Federal Pacific panel with a new one instead. At times, FP replacement is seriously necessary.
An electrician nearby such as ElectriCall will advise you to have your panel replaced if the following signs are present:
· The panel itself has melted switches
· An outlet ensues an electrical shock after a plug is switched on or removed
· Unexplainable burnt bulbs or flickering lights
When it comes to Federal Pacific replacement cost, a few essential factors will be considered and this primarily includes the number and size of panels needed. In most cases, the type and location of the establishment will also be taken into account. You can consult your trusted electrician to have an accurate estimate regarding this matter.
A Reliable, Seasoned Electric Company in Arvada Can Help
Aside from enhancing electrical safety inside your building, having updated and secure electrical panels will also help you save money in the long run as new electrical panels will also help reduce the surges and fluctuations taking place, and their consequential energy waste.
If you are thinking about replacing your Federal Pacific electrical panel in Arvada, Colorado, or if you have other electrical concerns, do not hesitate to give us a call at Electricall. We are a team of seasoned professional electricians that treats your home or commercial establishment with respect and sees your electrical safety as our topmost priority. Since 2011, we have been providing quality and affordable electrical works and people in Arvada are completely satisfied. Our great reviews do not lie; we are the most preferred residential and commercial electrical service provider in the area for a reason. Call us today!