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ELECTRICAL INSPECTION, DIAGNOSIS, REPAIR
AFCIs ARC FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS
ALUMINUM WIRING HAZARDS & REPAIRS
AMPS VOLTS DETERMINATION
AMPERAGE MEASUREMENT METHODS
BOOKSTORE - ELECTRICAL
Classified CIRCUIT BREAKER WARNING
CORROSION in ELECTRICAL PANELS
CUTLER HAMMER PANEL FIRE
DEFINITIONS of ELECTRICAL TERMS
DIRECTORY OF ELECTRICIANS
DMM Digital Multimeter HOW TO USE
ELECTRIC PANEL AMPACITY
ELECTRIC PANEL INSPECTION
ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION PANELS
ELECTRICAL GROUND SYSTEM INSPECTION
FEDERAL PACIFIC FPE HAZARDS
GFCI PROTECTION,Testing GFCIs AFCIs
Hertz - Definitions of KHz MHz GHz THz
LIGHTING, EXTERIOR GUIDE
LIGHTING, INTERIOR GUIDE
LOW VOLTAGE BUILDING WIRING
MAIN ELECTRICAL DISCONNECT
MURRAY SIEMENS Recall
PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SYSTEMS
PUSHMATIC - BULLDOG PANELS
RUST in ELECTRICAL PANELS
SAFETY for ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS
SE CABLE SIZES vs AMPS
SIEMENS MURRAY Recall
UNDERGROUND SERVICE LATERALS
VOLTS / AMPS MEASUREMENT EQUIP
VOLTAGE MEASUREMENT METHODS
ZINSCO SYLVANIA ELECTRICAL PANELS
FPE Panel replacement options: This document describes steps to take if you are unable to promptly replace an Federal Pacific Stab-Lok® Electric Panel. Here we address the question raised by some readers about what to do if you can't afford to replace an FPE Stab-Lok® electrical panel right away.
Replacement FPE Stab-Lok® circuit breakers are unlikely to reduce the failure risk of this equipment. We recommend that residential FPE Stab-Lok® electrical panels be replaced entirely or the entire panel bus assembly be replaced, regardless of FPE model number or FPE year of manufacture. We do not sell circuit breakers nor any other products.
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What if Up to Now the FPE Panel Has Seemed Just Fine?
Our breakers have already tripped: Some readers report that some of their FPE Stab-Lok® circuit breakers have tripped correctly in the past. That was good to hear; we don't assert that the failure rate on these circuit breakers is 100% of the time, but in fact the failure-to-trip rate occurs enormously more often than on other non-problem electrical panels and circuit breakers.
A problem is that we can't predict when an overcurrent or unsafe electrical condition is going to occur in a building, and we cannot predict exactly when an individual circuit breaker is going to fail to protect the circuit and thus the building from an overcurrent or electrical short.
But reporting that "up to now the panel has been fine" or "up to now we've never had a problem" or even "up to now the circuit breakers in our FPE panel have tripped off", is not any assurance that such a system is safe. We've seen that if you do trip an FPE Stab-Lok® breaker, that event can actually increase the chances that it will jam and not trip next time.
Our inspector said the panel looked ok to him: visual inspections of the electrical panel or even in-place electrical "tests" of the panel are either unreliable or downright dangerous. You cannot rely on such superficial or inexpert tests, and the very fact that they are offered by some is evidence of a lack of expertise on this topic.
Here's what you can do while waiting to replace your FPE Stab-Lok® electrical panel:
If you find any other electrical safety suggestions useful for homes with an FPE Stab-Lok® panel, CONTACT us.
The $1000 or so to replace an electrical panel is probably much cheaper than the cost of a fire should one occur.
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